#Grief

How Meditation Changed My Life

Komal Minhas | Posted 10.16.2014 | Canada Impact
Komal Minhas

In August 2010, I was attending week three of a youth conference and found myself deep in meditation, sobbing as if I had just emerged from the womb. Here I was, in the middle of Berlin deep in meditation, with the photo of an older Indian man with long hair and in white robes at the front of the room, feeling at my very core that my life was about to change dramatically.

Putting My Mother's Life In Boxes

Sue Nador | Posted 10.11.2014 | Canada Living
Sue Nador

My sister and I have been putting my mom's life into boxes. She died two months ago, so we are sorting through her things deciding what we keep, what goes to others who loved her, and what gets shipped off to strangers in need.

I've Waited Most Of My Life To Stand In My Father's Ski Boots

Sarah Collins | Posted 09.06.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Sarah Collins

Today I am the exact age my dad was when he died in a freak ski accident. Back then, I was 16: self-centred, emotional, athletic, and focused. He was 43 and nine days: broody, generous, heavy-handed, and hot-tempered. Sometimes we collided. Often I hid.

What Watching My Parents Grieve Taught Me About A Daughter's Duty

Sara Harowitz | Posted 08.19.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Sara Harowitz

We can go days without talking, but I still know their love is there. Most of the time it's comforting, like a hug or a warm sweater. But sometimes it's heavy, almost suffocating, as if their happiness depends entirely on my actions, my life. I don't blame them because I know this intensity only stems from their greatest fear: losing me or my brothers.

Kind Words to Me From a Stranger

Carol Todd | Posted 08.17.2014 | Canada Living
Carol Todd

In the past 20 months, my journey has been filled with meeting a variety of people. The majority are thoughtful, kind and compassionate. This is a letter that I found in my inbox that "fills the bucket." I believe that words and writers like this deserve to be shared.

My Brother's Suicide Taught Me How To Turn Pain Into Art

Tommy Tordsson Björk | Posted 08.03.2014 | Canada Living
Tommy Tordsson Björk

He had suffered from a period of depression which had developed into a psychosis. When the news reached me, my world collapsed. The days that followed were spent in a state alternating between something dream-like and an acute, painful awareness of the reality of the situation. So many questions were asked. So few answered.

Were There Signs I Didn't See Before My Son's Suicide?

Lynn Keane | Posted 08.02.2014 | Canada Living
Lynn Keane

What were the signs? This question is one that I find myself still struggling to answer five years after my son's suicide. Could the changes we notice be part of our kids' reactions to the pressures we place on them as well as the pressures they heap on themselves?

Three Things To Do For Someone Who's About To Lose a Pet

Barbara Cartwright | Posted 06.07.2014 | Canada Living
Barbara Cartwright

The underlying sentiment is that our dog is going to die anyway so why not relieve ourselves of the discomfort and inconvenience. I have worked with animals and people for decades -- it is both my passion and my career -- so I was caught off-guard when I felt that subtle pressure from mainstream society to put my dog down and move on with life.

As a Widow, I Miss Touch More Than Sex

Joan Sutton | Posted 04.28.2014 | Canada Living
Joan Sutton

Couples who live together in intimacy take for granted the many times in a day when they touch each other, from bumping into one another in the bathroom, to fingertips brushing over a coffee cup or one cold foot seeking out the warmer one under the blanket.

The Donations You Made to Typhoon Haiyan Survivors Saved Their Lives

Michael Messenger | Posted 04.15.2014 | Canada Impact
Michael Messenger

Canadians are also helping ensure children and their families don't go hungry, thirsty or sleep out in the open. A child's healing and well-being is about more than just a safe place to play during the day. We know the importance of a warm, dry place to sleep, and a pot of nourishing food bubbling on the stove or fire at day's end.

Death, Grief and Facebook

University of Toronto News | Posted 04.13.2014 | Canada Living
University of Toronto News

Facebook is a familiar tool that gives instant access for users to share their emotions, making it a natural place for mourners to gather virtually for group support. However, users could also inadvertently erode the memory of the dead person, altering an image he or she intentionally created.

My Husband Is Gone But His Soul Lives

Joan Sutton | Posted 03.14.2014 | Canada Living
Joan Sutton

Fragments of self are swallowed up, bit by bit, in the voracious maw of Alzheimer's. So many pieces flew away over the years , I found myself wondering what is self? Which aspects of it are essential? What makes us human? What is left when self disappears?

Do You Know This Trick to Life? It's More Than Mere Happiness

Eoin Finn | Posted 02.08.2014 | Canada Living
Eoin Finn

I like to tell this story because I feel that our job as yoga instructors is to do what artists, poets, and priests do; to remind us of the great truth that to cling only to sweet as our only form of happiness is a trap. Sorrow teaches us about love and even bliss... if we let it. Ultimately, we can't share the light if we aren't cracked open.

The First Year of Being a Widow

Joan Sutton | Posted 02.06.2014 | Canada Living
Joan Sutton

I am moving through what I think of as the year of the terrible firsts. The first wedding anniversary without him; the first holidays; the first family celebration; birthdays, his, mine, our children's. And I move, inexorably, to the marking of the first anniversary of his death. In many ways, these months have been filled with surprises.

How Do You Celebrate Holidays After Losing a Loved One?

Elizabeth Berrien | Posted 01.27.2014 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Berrien

The idea of a jolly holiday is like rubbing salt in the wound when our loved one isn't there. Honour your grief. You may find a completely new way of handling celebratory occasions by starting new traditions, or you may feel more comfortable sticking to old ones. Either way, you will know what feels right.

Camping out With Death

Emelia Symington Fedy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Emelia Symington Fedy

My mother is dying. When it got to be too much at home we put her in hospice. Hospice, for those who are not familiar with the term, is a place where folks go to die. The criteria to enter are you have three-six months left to live with an expectation of no heroic measures. The goal is comfort and dignity in your final days. My brother and I camp out in the room with my mom. Me in the Murphy bed and him on the Lazy Boy. We fall asleep listening to her whisper to herself and hallucinate on the shadows she makes with her hands. My mom had lung cancer and it progressed to her brain, so she is not safe to be alone anymore. She could fall. She could leave and get lost. She could take all her clothes off and run the halls naked. So we move in to the tiny room with her.

The Five Stages of Living With Obesity

Arya M. Sharma, MD | Posted 12.15.2013 | Canada Living
Arya M. Sharma, MD

Some readers may be well aware of the five stages of grief, the natural process of grieving, which, according to Kubler-Ross, move from denial to anger to fear to grief and finally to acceptance. Now that we have come to appreciate that obesity is a chronic disease, it should come as no surprise that these five stages also apply to obesity.

Give Up - Give In - Give It All You've Got . . . You Choose

Lynda Fishman | Posted 11.27.2013 | Canada
Lynda Fishman

In my book Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy and Choices, I recount the terrible time when I was thrust into a "tornado" of major lo...

Learning to Live With Grief

Lynda Fishman | Posted 11.23.2013 | Canada Impact
Lynda Fishman

For almost four decades, I did not talk about the plane crash. Instead, I buried the tragedy and any associated feelings of grief as deep down as possible. That was the way tragedies and death were dealt with in the 70s. I was told, directly and indirectly, that the subject was closed, never to be discussed... the subject of death was unmentionable.

"This Is What I Need!": On Being Direct After Loss

Elizabeth Berrien | Posted 11.04.2013 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Berrien

I learned early on when I was coping with my baby's death -- and again after my husband died -- that I had to be very specific about what I did or did not need from those around me. I used to be a shy person.. As I was working through my grief process, however, I started to see that a new, bolder side of my personality was begging to come out.

Mind, Heart, Body and Words

Joan Sutton | Posted 11.03.2013 | Canada
Joan Sutton

It took some of the medical establishment quite a long time to recognize the mind-body connection. Which is surprising when you consider that connecti...

How I Learned to Trust After Loss

Elizabeth Berrien | Posted 10.27.2013 | Canada Impact
Elizabeth Berrien

How does one trust in life again after experiencing two tragic losses? This is a question that I've asked myself since losing my son to stillbirth after a healthy 9-month pregnancy, followed just 18-months later by the death of my husband, a soldier serving in Afghanistan. How could I ever trust in anything again?

How I Dealt With Comments As a Young Widow

Elizabeth Berrien | Posted 10.18.2013 | Canada Living
Elizabeth Berrien

There were many times, especially in the beginning of my grief, when I turned to someone with a look that said, "What did you just say to me?" It took me a long time to not take comments too personally. I had to develop a thicker skin as time went by or I would've constantly been flying off the handle.

Moving Through Grief to the Self-Pity Stage

Joan Sutton | Posted 10.01.2013 | Canada Living
Joan Sutton

By now, most people recognize that the stages of grief outlined in the Kubler-Ross model are not a map. Each of us walks that lonely road in our own way. ut there is one aspect of grief that no one talks about, because it isn't "nice." But, let's be blunt: some part of grief is just plain feeling sorry for yourself.

I Mourn My Husband's Absence, Not His Death

Joan Sutton | Posted 09.11.2013 | Canada Living
Joan Sutton

Six months: It was exactly six months ago that my beloved husband died. There was a breath, and then, none. Life left the room, leaving behind love, loneliness, bittersweet memories, and a range of emotions. I do not mourn his death, but I do mourn his absence and I have learned that absence can be a presence.