2015-10-29

Grief: Overcoming the Obstacles of Hypervigilance and Trust Issues.


"After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment." - Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery

When it turns out that nothing is what it seemed to be. When the "It could never happen to me." happens to you, it is easy to keep your guard up and slip into a state where you find it difficult to trust that anything is what it is now.

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2015-10-27

Grieve One Day At A Time.


It takes time and practice to get good at living with loss. It will always feel surreal and alien. It will always sting like peroxide poured out onto scrapped skin. But like any physical training goes, when you started you could only run so far and now when you look behind you, you can see that you can run farther now and even further tomorrow.

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2015-09-01

Open Letter From Grieving Parents


"There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child. " - Henry Ward Beecher

Dear Friends and Family, Acquaintances and Strangers, Neighbors and Co-workers;

For whatever reason, our child came up in conversation today. Please know that we desperately want and need to talk about our child. We know that it might make you uncomfortable, but for the same reasons you are compelled to share your child (or something else in your life) with us, we are just as much with you. Our children are part of our lives, gave meaning and direction to our lives and still do, even in death. 

2015-05-10

Mother's Day: In The Arms Of Grief; Open Letter To My Mom.




"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." ~ Victor Hugo

Dear Mom,

There are so many things I could say, including several I am sorry's. Being a mother is hard work. Hindsight being the what it is, I realize now just how much you gave, how strong you were and how deep your wellspring of love must be. 

https://jenlynnarnold.com/2015/05/10/mothers-day-in-the-arms-of-grief-open-letter-to-my-mom/

2015-04-29

Grief And The Blame Game


"You can't place blame in hindsight like that, when you didn't know, you couldn't know and we may never know why it happened..." ~ Cy Zentzis, Childhood Cancer Angel, 2015

Any time we experience something negative or challenging we all have a tenancy to want to blame someone for it. If they hadn't done it then I would not be experiencing sadness, frustration, anger or confusion.  Even if it is to blame ourselves....fault must be placed somewhere. It keeps things in order, you in control and justice prevails, right?! Wrong. Sometime we must accept that there are times that there is no one to blame, no one did anything wrong or is out to get us. Sometimes we have to accept that shit just happened and then figure out what to do with the pile. Easier said than done with spilled milk but when you are talking about the dealing with these challenges in the context of a loss of a loved one, we enter into a whole knew realm of finger pointing.

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2015-04-19

Why Your Past Hobbies Help Heal Your Grief


"I'm just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression."  ~ Maya Angelou

Long before I knew I would be facing this thing called grief, I liked to cook. I was never the type to follow a recipe, rather I was an experimental chef.  Living on a budget with two young children meant you were creative with your limited pantry. I enjoyed the challenge and thought myself pretty good at it too. I especially enjoyed cooking for guests and happy to see their bellies full. Feeding people was a love language of mine. A way to show you care. A form of comfort and hospitality.

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2015-04-03

Surviving Seasons Of Grief, Holidays And Anniversaries


"The feat of surviving is directly related to the capacity of the survivor." ~ Claire Cameron

I feel like I have a hangover.  My body aches, I am slightly bitchy, exhausted and ready for recovery. The past three and a half months have once again taken their toll and I am grateful that I once again have survived it.   Each year, as for most grievers, is experienced differently.  I have yet to decide if the dynamics of my circumstances are a blessing or a curse but never-the-less, they are what they are and they are mine to figure out how to deal with. 

2015-03-01

Goals And Grieving: Why They Should Coexist.


"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." - Henry David Thoreau

So where have I been for the last few weeks?  I was set on a task to reach a goal that I have been working towards for several years. And by several, I mean several, several. In order to complete the final steps, learn all I could from it and set new goals, I had to give this one my full focus.  I started a project to write a fictional novel before my son was diagnosed with cancer.  I spent late nights tapping away at the computer, getting my ideas on paper and dreaming of a bestselling novel.  This all took a back burner on March, 26th when I learned my youngest son had leukemia. 

2015-02-10

Grief Brain: Grief Affects Memory And Thinking


"My brain tends to take the scenic route. Things come to the forefront of my mind sooner or later, it just takes time." -   Richelle E. Goodrich

When my son started chemotherapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia we were warned of the many side effects that he would face.  Some were to be expected...like weakness and nausea but one we didn't know about until his diagnosis.  Cancer treatment is so toxic that it can cause a side effect called Chemo Brain.

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2015-02-03

6 Things To Do When The Bereaved Talk About Their Loss.


"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break. " - William Shakespeare

I talk about my son every day.  He is still a major part of my life and identity. To not mention him would feel unnatural and stifled.  A concerted effort would have to be made on my part to avoid his name. Yet I see you stiffen uncomfortably and shift in your chair. I see you look away. I hear you change the subject.  I need you to stay and listen. I need you to be understanding and brave.

2015-01-27

Oil and Vinegar


"So it's true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love."E.A. BucchianeriBrushstrokes of a Gadfly

I am living my life moment by moment, event by event and holiday by holiday.  It seems everyone of them serve as a reminder that Tucker is not here.  His presence is greatly missed in my life but is especially noticed in the moments, events and holidays.  Because we fought so hard for a year, every month is touched by a "last time" or "never will"  reminder.  The last birthday, last time he went trick or treating or last family gathering.
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