Why Does God Allow Suffering?
Justin was a typical ten year old boy. He liked Leggos, trains, and watching TV. He had red hair, freckles, and a huge smile. Justin was a great kid and everybody loved him. Because of cancer, he didn't live to see his eleventh birthday. His mom Mary, who had watched him suffer for months, held her son in her arms when he died. Every day, for the last two years, she has lived with the grief of her loss and the memories of Justin's suffering.
This issue of suffering is the most common argument against religion....
A Critical Assessment of Euthanasia
The question of whether, say, a man should have the right to take away his life granted pain and suffering have overcome him is a very important question today. A different way of putting this question is this: 'Should a man have the right to take away his life if he ceases to function as a human being?' This matter would have been laid to rest had it not been that it strikes at the heart of law, key matters of health, and morality. It is a subject that, if not properly addressed, can cause some nasty consequences to the lives of people and pose unwarranted danger to the stability of a society....
Pet Loss: Significant and Profound Loss or Much Ado about Nothing?
For those who have deeply loved and lost their animal companions, the answer is obvious and yet disturbing. There are still far too many people in our culture who minimize and trivialize the loss of a pet. They tell the grieving friend, colleague or family member, "What's wrong with you? Get over it. It was only a dog (or cat, bird, horse, etc.) Get yourself a new one! After all, it's been a month already. You shouldn't be so torn up over this."
Having been a grief counselor and a pet loss support group facilitator for many years, I have encountered a wide range of stories from people who have suffered cruel and insensitive statements from those around them, to others who receive wonderful support and unconditional love from their family and friends after the death or disappearance of a beloved animal....
Grief Support: The Dos
Helpers often ask questions such as: "What should I do? What should I say? Am I doing the right thing? Did I do the wrong thing?" Here are some suggestions for how to best help those in grief.
1) Do give grievers the permission to grieve. You do this by your presence, understanding and acceptance of where they are.
2) Do expect volatile reactions from the bereaved. Those in grief are on an emotional roller coaster.
3) Do be "present" to the bereaved. Give the griever your full attention as they share their loss with you....
The Lesson of a Mothers Death
Dedicated to my mother, Florence
November 11, 1920 - May 25, 2005
The Passing of the Torch
She lies in peaceful repose on her back with her hands, one atop the other, gently resting on her tummy. Those hands that loved to play the piano, taught me how to make the most delicious fudge, brushed my hair, held hundreds of books, gracefully parted the air during Tai Chi practice, pounded a career of typewriters, peeled logs in preparation for their new home, produced many a midnight sewing machine creation and, most importantly, held her children close to her heart....
When The Spirit Leaves The Body
Do you spend most of your time inside or outside of your body? If you know what I'm talking about then I can almost certainly say that you have spent some time outside of your body.
What does it even mean to "be outside" of one's body? Well, in order to appreciate what this means you must have an experience of your "Self" first and then you must be able to "feel" where that "Self" is geographically speaking.
So let's start with the first part. In order to get an experience of your "Self" think of some quality or characteristic that you like about yourself....
When Sorrow Is Too Great to Be Borne Alone, Support Groups Reach Out
Not long after Arlyn died, my husband and I decided to attend a support group program run by the local Hospice organization. We felt lost, afraid, and alone, and we desperately needed to understand the emotional roller coaster we were on.
We had arrived early; all of the seats were empty. After I glanced at my husband, to make sure he had not turned around and walked out, we sat down quietly on the seats closest to us and to the door.
Shortly after we arrived, a few other people wandered in and took seats also....
Dying at Home - A Precious Gift
Few of us care to think about the inevitability of our own demise. We except that we are not immortal, however for the most part, we are successful in putting thoughts of our own death from our mind. When those close to us die, we painfully become aware of the fragility of life and as we contemplate our own mortality, two things become very clear. 1. We do not want a painful death, and 2. We do not want to die in hospital.
Circumstances may prevent us from achieving these goals - we may be involved in a traffic accident, become a victim of crime, suffer a heart attack or stroke and be taken to hospital;...
Terminal Illness - Death and Grief
No one likes to think about illness and death, when we are well, we feel invincible and there is nothing that can prepare us for the shock and devastation of a terminal diagnosis. The knowledge that we can no longer take our lives or the lives we share with our loved ones for granted takes away our ability to plan for the future and removes hope from our lives. When a loved one becomes terminally ill, we grieve in anticipation of their death, we grieve for the loss of them in our lives and we grieve for our own mortality....
Present Moment Awareness: Lessons From My Dog
I've always waited for the perfect moment to be happy: As though time were a flower waiting to bloom. My scruffy puppy-happy senior dog knows better. Watching his tail wag as he stands in the middle of a mud puddle, I now understand that happiness is where your heart is, not just where your legs travel.
Last summer we moved into the house of our dreams: Beautiful, big and by a football-sized off-leash dog park. Finally a chance for my Border collie cross, Tucker, to exercise his herding instincts by running ahead of me across an expansive field....
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