Posts Tagged ‘grief’

We have all heard that there is no road map for grief. So it can be a difficult and tricky course for many to navigate.

Each of us is like a snowflake. Unique. Just like our grief is unique and how we deal with our loss.

I remember one of my aunts, after losing her husband, telling me that she just kept herself busy, busy and busy. In hindsight she thinks maybe she kept herself too busy.

Another aunt was told to travel after the loss of her spouse. And she did. Accepted every invitation.

Just two examples among many.

Everyone takes a different course to find their way through grief and find their way back again. To discover their new normal.

Life is never the same when we lose a loved one. That is a fact.

The same aunt who was “too busy” wrote those exact words to me in a letter after my uncle Stiophan died.

“Life will never be the same.”

And it wasn’t. But that didn’t mean that life couldn’t be good for her again.

A friend, Donna B., had shared a website this morning on Facebook and I thought it was interesting. Shows another way of dealing with grief.

The owner of the website lost her mother, who was in her fifties, to early onset Alzheimer’s. Her aunt stepped in as surrogate mom but she, too, would soon fall victim to the same disease and be gone within a year.

Here is her website.

I thought I would share it with you. Who knows? Maybe it will help someone through the upcoming holidays. Or the next six months. The year.

There are also some tips and tools on the site designed to help those who are grieving. I particularly liked, “Be the Sherpa.”

Wishing peace and comfort to all of those who are suffering this holiday season. Now and in the new year.




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I suppose I will mostly be writing about my father these days. Because he is on my mind all the time. Bear with me.

Today, I had a good cry and I guess that is good and needed to happen. It’s been a month in the making.

Here’s what prompted it today. Finally.

I was trying to relax and lose myself in one of my favorite hobbies. Genealogy.

But, of course, when my family tree appears on the screen so does a photo of my dad.

And beside his picture it shows Birth:  March 19, 1931 in New York City.

Under that it has Death: and in bold type appears “Living”

I just cannot update the family tree.

I kept staring at his photo and I could feel the tears coming and then I sort of wanted to get angry. Like “Dad, why did you have to go? Why did you have to leave us?” As if he had any choice in the matter.

I knew that my thinking was unfair. He was a good age and his was a life well lived. He knew his kids and his grandkids were all loved, cared for and fine.

People pray for things like that.

It just doesn’t make it hurt any less. At least for me.

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I am still in my father’s home. Just for a few more days. Then I will head back to Malaysia and get on with life there. See and hug my sixteen year old who I have been missing a ton. A nice surprise is that my husband will be there for a week.

I have been so busy here assisting my mom with things that I feel like I haven’t grieved. Whatever that looks like.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been moments when my eyes fill up. Or that my throat gets caught. Because I guess the mind does allow a few seconds of reality to seep in now and again.

After Dad died I took stuffies out of the freezer.

Stuffies (for those living outside of the area) are stuffed quahogs. Quahogs (for those living outside of the area) are hard shelled clams. Its name comes from a local Native American tribe. And I have heard it pronounced all sorts of ways. The correct pronunciation is “kwaw hawgs.” And I’m sticking to it.

Clams are chopped up and then mixed with seasonings, bread and other ingredients. Sometimes it seems like everything but the kitchen sink. It just depends on who is making them. Once everything is mixed together the stuffing is then put back into the shell.


This picture is to give you an idea. You can see pepper, onion and clams in this one. But please keep in mind that this photo shows a quahog on steroids. The ones you buy at the store are not as generously packed. My brother brought some of these homemade bad boys for my dad from a club down the road.

For years, every time I went to heat up the stuffies, my dad would always say, “____ minutes for each one. And make sure you turn them halfway.”

Sometimes I’d hear him say it from the other room. Other times it was over my shoulder. He was nothing if not consistent and predictable.

And I would say, “I know, Dad. I know.” I was nothing if not consistent and predictable.

So, on this day, when I was about to heat them up with Dad no longer calling out from the living room, I just stood in front of the microwave. And stared. My eyes filled up and I whispered, “I didn’t know, Dad. I didn’t know.”

Then I had to look up the directions on the package.

I guess I didn’t ever really know and I’d give anything to hear him tell me once again just how many minutes it would take and to make sure I turn them halfway.

I don’t want to look up the directions. And it’s not because I’m lazy.

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