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As much as I craved my mother's warm embrace, the smell of the sea and the happy moments that I did share with my partner in our home, I couldn't help but wonder if my homophobic attackers were still around. And that uncertainty - coupled with the fact that our love is still considered a crime there - was my wake-up call.
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This is the perfect time for pure, unadulterated optimism. In order to hone in on the power of collective hope, we gotta get intentional. Not only dream big, but pull up those gumboots and get ready to get dirty, cuz creating change requires creating some mess. Oh yes.
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While everyone else throws back rum and eggnog and busies themselves with holiday shopping, those of us in grief are doing our best just to get through the day. Hearing a holiday song, smelling a familiar scent or walking by a decorated store window can be all it takes for us to come undone. So, what can you do? Well, quite a lot. Below are my suggestions for how I plan to get through -- I hope it's of help to you too.
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I am terrified that tens of millions of Americans came out in spades to support a man who is endorsed by the KKK, a known terrorist group. Trump is an admitted sexist, a liar, cheat and alleged rapist. A man(child) with zero political background -- completely and entirely unqualified for any position of stature. He is Hitler 2.0, and he now represents the most powerful country in the world. It is, in a word, devastating.
For anyone who's lost a pet, the heartache is significant and can last a long time. Feelings of grief can cause mental distraction, loss of appetite, bouts of extreme sadness and even lasting depression. Why, then, are we expected to get back to work after the loss of a pet without being allowed to take time off?
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Accepting your own death or the death of a loved one is a healthy and liberating step. In the case of Mr. Trump, however, it's not entirely clear whose death is being accepted. If it's the demise of the Republican Party, that may be a good thing. If it's the end of America, then it's probably not.
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Parents often want their kids to hurry up and be OK again. It is difficult to sit with a grief-stricken child. However, if we leap-frog over the grieving process and truncate our feelings, especially our heavier, stickier feelings, we -- both child and adult -- remain emotionally stuck. True freedom from the heartbreak is to walk through the panoply of feelings as they ebb and flow.
If you're lucky, you'll be given the gift of time to start making and preserving memories. If you've got access to your loved ones and you know your time with them is limited, take a few moments and capture your experiences in these five simple ways. You'll be grateful you did.
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We don't have to have been in Paris on Friday to be deeply affected by this event. What do we need to know to protect our mental wellness?
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It can be really hard to take care of yourself when you or someone you love is sick or in crisis, when you feel like life is spinning out of control. I've been there and I'm hoping that by sharing my experience and what helped me, it might help someone else.
Once upon a time, a woman, let's call her Shirley, lost her husband to the ravages of cancer. It had been a long and arduous battle. Shirley was completely depleted on every level. After the funeral...
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Your world is no longer the same. There is no clock, no formula, no standard operating procedure. It takes as long as it takes. Your healing journey is unique to you. In grief, you remember and sift and sort through the good and not-so-good memories, feelings, history and artifacts of a life.
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I want to work in a world where it's OK to really feel things, to shed a tear, to let it all out, to have a meltdown. Maybe not in the middle of a board meeting, but privately and with someone who feels safe.
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When I lost someone two years ago, I felt like I was in an altered state of consciousness, swimming through a thick soup of paralyzing emotions, with no idea how long it would last. These four strategies are super simple and enormously helpful, and I want to share them with you.
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As there will be some special days that make it painful, you can plan ahead. If you have recently lost your father, than make sure you're with supportive individuals on his birthday, or on Father's Day. You will want to surround yourself with people who respect your grieving process. Make sure you accept the love and support of your friends and family members.
Find ways to honour those you miss. Look at old photos and tell stories of any loved ones you have lost. Honour the expectations that you may have had for relationships, life and even your vision of the season, as they are a part of our story. Let a lost loved one remain alive in you, and be an active part of your experience.
Today marks four months since my daughter Rehtaeh ended her life. It's said that losing a child is the hardest thing a person can experience and if there is something worse I can't imagine what it could possibly be. The last four months have been hell peppered with smiles as I think back on memories. I cherish those when they come, even if they last for only a moment. This is the hardest thing I have ever faced. This is an ocean of grief. I'm treading water in a tidal wave of pain, disbelief, anger, sadness, waves and waves of heartache.
I am a widow. Friendships, I learned, are not immune to grief. Despite what you may think, some friends will leave you when you need them the most. Perhaps they don't know what to say or how to act. After speaking to people in similar situations, I now realize that in many cases, friendship and grief do not mix.
I was recently approached by a tearful young woman who quietly asked me for advice following my presentation at a corporate conference. Taking a deep breath and a long look around, she shared with me that she was notified the night before that one of her colleagues had died in a car accident.
Why is it so difficult to treat depression? Part of the problem is in our definition of the term. In fact, there are two distinct depressions: situational and clinical. It would be so much easier if we called the two depressions by different names, for then we could explain better how we feel and know better what might help.