Mexico: Death in Mexico
Death: No thank you. Dying: Gives me a panic attack. Burial: Not today, please. Of all the subjects I could write about, this one is my least favorite. It, in fact, could easily send me into the mother of all anxiety fits. Nevertheless, it is necessary to visit the subject since I now live in another country.
Death is a topic that I managed to avoid most of my life until January 2003, when my mother passed away. No more than seven months later, my youngest brother died of undetermined causes. Easter Sunday 2004, my best friend died of kidney cancer....
Is Death Really the End or the Window to A New Beginning?
Earlier this month I learned a dear friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She has been given less than six months to live as the cancer has fully permeated her liver and pancreas.
Since the diagnosis, her health has rapidly declined and the hope of realizing several more months of life is quickly waning.
The fear of death holds a mighty grip because what lies beyond our physical existence is basically unknown and fear of the unknown can be debilitating and torturous.
Our spiritual beliefs play a major role in how we view death and how we respond when we are faced with it....
Euthanasia: How Will I Know When its Time?
Pippin needed assistance from his owner to get to his feet. He slowly walked to the door, then needed help once again to step down onto the back porch. With a slight groan, he squatted to relieve himself and came back towards the house. There was no twinkle in his eye, and this time he needed to be carried all the way back to his bed. He'd used up his energy for that day.
I got a call from Pippin's owner that day asking me, "Do you think it's time for me to put him down?" This wasn't the first time Pippin's owner had asked me this question, nor was it the first time I'd faced this dilemma with others....
The Twists and Turns of Life
When I was born in 1962 I thought life was good. I had two parents, a twin sister, and an older brother. We lived in an apartment until my sister and I were eleven, and then we moved into a house. My brother was twenty-one years old so he moved onto his own apartment. I was the luckiest girl in the world.
We were the normal family with chaos and the antics of being a family. I was blessed to have my parents around in my life.
At the age of thirty my parents were still together. Of course their marriage went through their ups and downs, but all marriages develop this kind of turmoil....
Why Dont We Talk About Anticipatory Grief?
I know anticipatory grief - a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs - far too well. My mother suffered from probable Alzheimer's disease and I was her caregiver for nine years. As time passed she lost the ability to reason, track numbers, read a book, understand TV, create sentences, and finally, the ability to speak.
Every time I was with her I wanted to cry.
Anticipatory grief is a hard journey and nobody can take it for us. Some experts think anticipatory grief is worse than post-death grief because we're always on alert, waiting for the end to come....
Scared to Death of Dying and Denying Grief
When I invited Martha to the gathering at my house, she accepted the invitation cheerfully. Martha was new to the area and so I thought this small potluck I was hosting would be a chance for her to get to know other women in our town. Martha stuck it out till the end, softly responding to each person's questions about where she had moved from and the details involving her current job. It was not until the last guest left that night that she was able to utter her fears, "Oh, Alice, maybe I shouldn't have come....
One Womans Way of Dealing With Grief
All of us at one time or another have felt grief: perhaps over a lost job, lost love, or the most heartbreaking, the death of someone we loved dearly. Each of us goes about the task of grieving in our own distinct way.
When we lose a loved one the grief path is long and complicated. We feel so many different emotions, sadness, abandonment, anger; it seems we will never be normal again.
When I lost my son and my husband within the same year, I was devastated. My son died in April of that year and my husband and I had him cremated....
Who has the Worst Pain
During the 28 years I have been interacting with bereaved people, one of the most frequent questions I have been asked is, "Who has the worst pain?" Do bereaved parents suffer more than widows and widowers? Do children whose parents die feel more agony than children who lose a sibling? Is it harder to watch a loved one suffer for a long time before death releases the victim than it is to answer the doorbell or the phone at midnight and suddenly hear the news of tragedy? Is suicide worse than homicide?...
When Change Comes (Dealing With Grief and Loss)
Needless to say, the time after loss is volatile and confusing for most people. Unresolved issues come to the fore and questions we have not answered must often be confronted. Along with a sense of abandonment and sorrow, anger often arises. Most have little understanding of what they are going through, or what to expect in the future. Facing the unknown can produce additional fear.
Yet crisis means opportunity. When the process of grief is handled properly suffering can be diminished and symptoms that may appear later, can be forestalled....
Made in Heaven
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend - my Mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to breathe at times.
Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my football matches, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, supported me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life.
When Mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her....
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