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Posts from 2018

End of the Road

Five feet tall, forty years old, a steel witness to a life no more.   I open the four drawers and pull out the files. Some slim and clean, others heavy, showing their age. They store happy memories of travel around the world, celebrations of birthdays, and anniversaries, the joy of remodeling the house, receipts for various acquisitions, utility bills and bank…

Please Don’t Take Away My Grief

Please don’t take away my grief…

I know that you mean no harm when you say things like “You’ll feel better soon.” “You’re strong.“ “Look for the good things to remember.” There’s an entire long list of things that people say to me, wanting me to feel better… but I don’t feel better. I feel lost, alone and am missing my loved one.

When you try to “fix” my grief, I only leave it to take care of you, to make you feel better. Honestly, that takes a lot of energy and leaves me feeling exhausted and totally alone.

The Empty Chair: Grief and the Holidays

Grief and the holidays… what a paradox! They just don’t feel or sound like they go together, do they? Yet, here you are, facing the holidays while you’re grieving. Unfortunately, grief and the holidays are meshed together in ways that feel inexplicable and symbolic.

I Recognize Your Face, But…

Have you ever bumped into someone at the grocery store or while shopping at the mall and recognize her but couldn’t for the life of you place the face with a name? You smile and chat for 3-5 minutes, trying desperately to dig in your mental filing cabinet to find the correct file — but fail. As soon as she walks away, the file lights up, “Sara!”

Grieving Ain’t For Wimps. But You Can Get Through It.

Jess Womack is a lawyer from Sherman Oaks and a HOPE Connection alumnus. 

November 26, 2018, marked the sixth anniversary of my wife’s death. We were married for 43 years, 4 months and 2 days, and I loved her dearly. Six years later, I am still in love with her and with my memories of her. I have not deified her in death. She was human and as a human a flawed, mortal soul; but she was a very lovely, loving mortal soul whom I still love and miss, terribly.

The Circle of Life

“It’s the Circle of Life and it moves us all through despair and hope through Faith and Love.” — From The Lion King These are soulful words though not typical of how we move through life. Our lives are usually experienced in a linear way — on a path that goes on and on until it fades away or ends abruptly. We count and…

Through Which Window Are You Viewing Your Life After Loss?

While driving a car, it’s important to see things from two different viewpoints — through the windshield and in the rearview mirror. The windshield is large and designed to protect you by showing a clear view of your present surroundings and a short distance down the road ahead. The rearview mirror is much smaller. You periodically glance into the rearview mirror to…

No Ruined Stone

When the dead return they will come to you in dream and in waking, will be the bird knocking, knocking against glass, seeking a way in, will masquerade as the wind, its voice made audible by the tongues of leaves, greedily lapping, as the waves’ self-made fugue is a turning and returning, the dead will not then nor ever again desert you,…

Grieving A Parent And Discovering A Forever-Changed Family

This article is addressed to adults who have lost a parent. However, if that parent also happens to be your spouse, then this article is also meant for you — the parent of that adult child. Looking at parent-child relationships from every perspective is valuable and can help both parent and adult children heal and grow.

When your parent dies, the family gets confused.

The roles you had come to know and expect in your family, roles that have been in place for much of your life, suddenly are not the same. It can feel very foreign, unfamiliar and can really rock your world. Who are we without mom? Who are we without dad?

A “Goodbye” to HOPE Connection

Man’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell – Jean Paul Richter, writer, 1763-1825 At HOPE Connection, we encourage every group member to say goodbye to other group members and the group therapist when they move from one group to the next. There is a rationale behind this tradition, which you can read about here. Following this tradition, a group…