Category Archives: Emotional Challenges

The Mary Mac Show | Are We Ever Prepared?

The Mary Mac Show PodcastNo matter when we ourselves die or when someone we love dies, are we ever truly prepared?

We might think if we had a longer time to think about our death or someone else’s, as in the case of a terminal or chronic illness, that somehow it will be easier because we expected it.

And we might think that if someone died suddenly from a tragic accident, murder, suicide, military or law enforcement death or natural disaster like hurricane, flood, etc., somehow that would be an even more difficult death to live with.

But chances are good, we won’t be satisfied with how they died or the timing of their death. We still want them here with us regardless how they died and when.

And if they were reckless, that adds to the drama.

One of the most important things I want this podcast to achieve is what I’ve always wanted for the people I’ve helped for over three decades. And that is to help you become more emotionally stable during your grieving process.

I want you to learn skills on how to help yourself function better.

In this episode I introduce you to Brad Yates, who practices EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, which I strongly recommend you learn for all your emotional needs. He has helped me tremendously over the years and you will be so amazed at what it can do for you! (More links in the show notes.)

Grief is messy but I want you to gain as much control as possible.

Visit here to listen to Episode 7 and please subscribe, rate and review at your favorite podcast portal.

Mostly, please share my podcast with those who need us.

The Mary Mac Show | Understanding the Stages of Grief

The Mary Mac Show PodcastMany people who talk about the stages of grief believe that you go through them in a certain order. But this is far from the truth.

The stages of grief are completely different for those who are actually dying versus those who survive a loved one’s death.

Survivors go through a roller coaster of emotions during the grieving process. They move through the various stages sometimes on a more frequent basis, then later more slowly. They can jump around between stages and perhaps skip stages that no longer relate to them.

What you need to know is that there is no right way to grieve. No perfect way to go through these ‘stages’ and I, for one, think they set us up for self-imposed failure because we think we should go through them in some particular order.

Everyone is different so please don’t beat yourself up because of what you’ve learned in the past about these stages.

You will go through YOUR grieving process in the exact manner you’re supposed to. No one can dictate how it will flow, so don’t put some framework on yourself.

Yes, you might touch on each of these stages, but perhaps not in the order they are usually discussed. And you might go back and forth experiencing some for a little longer or shorter than others.

Our work is to help you celebrate the life of the person who died or was killed and to honor what you are going through. We look for the positive instead of the negative. We look for you to feel better not worse because you think you should be moving along at someone else’s predetermined pace.

That’s nonsense.

Use your gratitude journal every night. Concentrate on what you DO want instead of what you don’t. And live the new life that is here for you.

Even if you’re not happy about it.

Listen to Episode 6 here. Download, rate and review.

9/11 -13 Years Later-the Escalation of Terrorism

Freedom Tower / Jean-Pierre ElyWith the recent news of the beheading of two American journalists, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that, just like 13 years ago, we are still fighting a group of terrorists who are intent on killing Americans and cowardly hide behind scarves and rags to hide their identity.

I remember when Christians were being slaughtered in the Sudan because they wouldn’t convert to Islam. Our government did little to help until it got so serious a handful in Congress finally shouted loudly enough.

Over the last 13 years, radical muslims in and out of our Country have increased their intent to kill Americans and fly their flag on our White House. They are demanding Sharia law in our courts and expect us to reconfigure our lives around their wishes. Nonsense. Continue reading 9/11 -13 Years Later-the Escalation of Terrorism

30 Years Ago Today…

101When I look back on my life, there are a few days that stand out with such significance that I can’t help but acknowledge them, regardless of the pain.

And while there are happy days I can recall, like when I completed both my degrees, when I was given wonderful awards for my work, when my books were published, there are several difficult days that I’ve lived that caused me and those I’ve loved great trauma.

One was the death of my beloved grandmother, who lived, almost exclusively, a healthy life till her death at 93. She was my anchor when life handed me difficult times while growing up.

Another was my little dog, Daisy, who brought me so much joy every day for almost 13 years. My constant companion, she was always there to snuggle with when I needed her most.

But there was one particular day that, when I look back on my life, shaped and changed who I was and, even though I had helped so many in my life before who had struggled with bereavement, it was her death that catapulted me into leading support groups, writing books, speaking, and starting a national foundation for grieving children.

107She is Angela.

A 10 year old who came into my life when I met her father. Her older brother was then 13 and younger just 9.

I remember her bubbly personality, her courage to ask me those most pressing questions you’d never think would come out of the mouth of such a young lady. But I answered every one and she went away satisfied.

Many who knew her longer than I described her as a firecracker. And for the short time I knew her, they were right.

I specifically remember how much she loved shopping together. How she couldn’t choose between the pink or blue cotton candy.

Or the last holiday she and her younger brother spent with us. It was Easter, 1984 and I made a special dinner for us.

At one point after dinner we took a long walk together. I wanted to purchase film that day to take a few pictures but we didn’t pick it up. And that moment was lost to me forever.

Angela at 11; her last school picture.Because just a few short months later on this day in 1984, that bright, bubbly young girl was murdered on Long Island.

And what followed were 18 years of an unsolved murder.

It took until 2002 to have enough evidence to charge the initial suspect and another two years to go to trial.

We endured a six-week emotional rollercoaster from the time they began picking a jury for her 20 year old murder, to the time he was convicted.

I often wonder what life would have been like if she were still here with us. Would she have been in my bridal party when her father and I married?

Would she have studied for a college degree? And what career might she have chosen?

Would she have married and had children? How many would she have had and what would they have looked like?

But today, I guess there is a part of me that, as my stepson texted me today, which says “I can’t believe it’s been 30 years.”

And he is so right.

Rest in Peace, Angela. You were with us for far too short a time, but the impact you had on our lives, both in life and death, will remain forever.

When Mother’s Day Stings

When Mother’s Day swings around I usually have mixed emotions.

I’m grateful that my own mother is still with me, along with the other ‘mothers’ I have the privilege to still enjoy…my Aunt, my Godmother, and my friend Jeanne, all who really ‘get’ me since I’m anything but conventional in my thinking.

But my heart is with women, today, who are reminded that ‘motherhood’ hasn’t worked out quite as they’d expect. And I’ve met many who have had these experiences; some have had a few.

Like the lady who has lost a child, something she never anticipated. Perhaps her only child or all her children have died. The one who never knew her mother because her mother died before she was old enough to meet and enjoy her.

Or the woman who never had the honor to even becoming pregnant for a whole host of reasons. And the one who is still able to bear children but can’t keep a pregnancy.

We look at loss in many different ways; we see things others don’t see on these types of occasions. We don’t bring it up in conversation, instead we simply let it remain buried deep inside where a lot of that pain still sits.

My mother has graciously gotten to the point where she’ll wish me a Happy Mother’s Day with the caveat, ‘because you are a mother to many’ which is her way of soothing that wound and I’m at a place where I might well up with a tear or two but at least it’s not the piercing pain that I once had years ago.

Sometimes it’s not an actual loss of a mother, for some, that is difficult to grieve. It can also be what hasn’t occurred that can sting on a day like today.