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Posts by Martha Carr, Psy.D., LMFT

The Missing Peace: When You Can’t Say Goodbye

My husband was lost at sea. Sailing around the world was his lifelong dream. He bought the boat, retired, spent years preparing for the journey and set a date. I supported his dream but didn’t want to go with him. We both agreed that I would meet him at various ports, sharing in the experience that way. After six months cruising the Sea of Cortez (where I joined him several times) he took off solo for the South Pacific. He never completed his passage between Mexico and the Marquesas. Three weeks into his five-week crossing, he disappeared in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any landmass in one of the most remote places on earth for search and rescue. I never got to say goodbye.

Grieving Is Healing

When a loved one dies, we are faced with the stark reality that life is indelibly changed.  It is a hard reality to accept, and it launches us into the grieving process. We mostly think of grief as a journey through sadness, fraught with a myriad of struggles along the way – with feelings of helplessness, exhaustion, stress, anxiety or loneliness as our travel companions. We wonder how long it will take until the pain subsides and if we can ever get on with our lives.  It is helpful to remember that grieving is a healthy process, one we are wired to go through after a profound loss. Sometimes people think of grieving only as something to get over. But, unlike an illness, we don’t get over it — we go through it, resolving our feelings about the loss gradually.