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Everyone is allowed to have a bad day. Actually, even two.
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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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Nothing feels safe. Nothing feels right. And there is the "who-cares-anymore" well of depression. You are in a place you never imagined, much less prepared for: you are in hell. Dealing with this anguish and sorrow is a rocky, uneven road. Eventually, you manage to put one foot in front of the other, even if you have been robotic and numb.
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When my dad died I asked the rabbi 'why' and 'how' this could have happened. He said in time we would come to see it the other way around. Instead of looking at why did we lose him so soon, we would see how lucky we were to have him so long. It took a while to get there, but we have arrived.
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How do you deal with emotional pain? The kind of pain that sits in your heart and occasionally (sometimes without warning) breaks your heart just a little bit, and you feel an overwhelming urge to cry. Many of us can relate to that.
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I had a life growing inside me that is no longer, a life that didn't get to meet his or her parents or big sister. This happens to so many women, EVERY SINGLE DAY and now it happened to me, to us, to our family, and I want to share, I have the right to share.
For the survivors left behind, suicide is unbelievable and surreal. It is a game changer. Your life is permanently altered. It is the day time stands still. It is the day you stop taking a full breath. It is, alas, the day people can avoid you, talk about you and even blame you.
I've been told that we care too much for the people of Paris. That our outpouring of sympathy ignores the fate of other countries, that we are too selective in our grief. We find it so easy to stand with our old ally, while places like Beirut and Nigeria burn. We are hypocrites for caring so much about France. But it's false.
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It has been 29 days since Matthew physically left us. 29 days since I held Matthew in my arms as he took his last breath. Since I lost a part of myself. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him. In these 29 days I have experienced many firsts, some easier than others.
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Three months ago, my love died. Today is our seventh wedding anniversary. I am miserable. Distraction and over compensation has been a great (if not especially healthy) strategy for me. If I can't face the pain of loss at the moment, why not flip the script.
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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.
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.
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After suffering such a significant loss, Carly has learned to cherish what is truly important. She talks about how grateful she is to have people in her life who she knows will always stand by her side, no matter what. "There aren't words to describe how much my family means to me."
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.