butterfly resting on tombstone

The path through death to healing

Healing from our losses in life is more like a resurrection or rebirth to new life than a resuscitation of an old one, and there is no resurrection without a death first. Easter reminds us of what this journey of death, the grave, and new life looks like as we apply that process to dealing with our grief and losses.

when grief comes to visit for the holidays

When grief comes to visit for the holidays

Grief does not take a break for the holidays. In fact, our holiday memories and expectations can make grief even more intense. If grief is an unwelcome guest for your holiday season this year, here are a few suggestions for how to navigate the season in a way that is as healing and supportive as possible.

The chasm between the old and the new

The chasm between the old and the new

The Easter story has much to teach us about the chasm between what has ended (or broken) in our lives and the new beginnings that are coming on the other side.

white figures of man and woman on sign against background of trees

Beyond gender in grief

As a culture, we have powerful (but often subconscious) expectations about how gender affects our style of grieving. Moving beyond these gender-based expectations gives us the freedom to experience and express our grief in a style that is most effective for us without shame intruding.

illustration with Olympic rings and shadows of people with raised arms in background

Loss is not an Olympic sport

We have a tendency to rank some losses as more “worthy” of grief than others and then use these comparisons to decide whether someone is grieving “appropriately.” These attempts to rank and compare lead to shame rather than comfort in the face of grief, and today’s post explores the fallacy of this approach.

red rose on ground next to someone's feet

Invalidated grief

When we face the kinds of grief that are not validated by the “rules” of our society, it’s not only a deeply lonely pathway to travel, it’s also a place where shame can easily take hold to hijack our grief. Learning to recognize grief and validate ourselves can help prevent shame from getting in the way.

elderly woman with her hands covering her face in black and white against black background

The rules of grief

Every culture and social group has “rules” about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to how we experience and express our grief. Shame arises when our experience does not match these “rules.” Identifying the rules is the first step to developing resilience to this shame and making space for our own experience.

the word "shame" filled with smaller descriptive words

Grief’s most insidious hijacker

Grief is what we experience in the wake of life’s losses and broken places, and that’s a hard enough thing to navigate on its own. Shame is a very common hijacker of the grief experience that makes the journey even more challenging to get through.

tornado touching down on open ground with storm clouds in the background

The loneliness of hidden grief

Grief is always a lonely business, but it is lonelier still when our losses are hidden or unacknowledged ones. We stand alone in the middle of a tornado that no one else can see. In times like those, it often becomes necessary to give ourselves the support we need and can’t find elsewhere. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful in times like those. What works for you when facing hidden grief?

road lined with trees and fields heading into thick fog

Navigating the fog of grief

A recent morning commute through thick fog reminded me of how similar that is to the experience of grief after a loss. It makes the regular, everyday routine that much more challenging to deal with. Navigating through this fog of grief has much in common with that recent drive to work, and today’s post highlights some of those similarities and the lessons it can teach us.