Tag Archives: family

The Mary Mac Show | Disenfranchised Grief I

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 60, we delve into the trauma and pain mourners feel when they can’t fully express their loss after a loved one’s death.

There are so many situations where someone feels shame after a loved one’s death and cannot express their grief and pain because the relationship may not have the proper ‘label’ or the relationship has been so strained or secret.

Many types of death carry a stigma that society places on it and, consequently, many bereaved feel stifled in openly showing their grief.

Often times people make others feel less than or embarrassed when a person has overdosed, or took their own life, or was murdered or killed another and themselves in a vehicular homicide crash.

They convey that something is wrong with a woman who has a miscarriage or stillbirth or several.

It could be a secret gay relationship was never known and the surviving partner must keep that to themselves because their lover was married, perhaps even with children and only hurt with come to his family.

It might be an ex-spouse who caused all sorts of pain and your children are grieving his or her death, but where does your grief fit in?

This week we discuss many different types of disenfranchised grief and next week we will look at what we can do to soothe ourselves when we are dealing with such a death.

Additional Notes:

If you are feeling shame either because you’ve imposed it on yourself for what you “think” a certain death means to you, or because others are making your feel that way, you might find solace in this EFT Tapping Video by Arianna Opper, D.O. She has a very soothing voice and aura.

If you’d like to explore her other videos, please go here.

To see my signature Heart of Gold “I Remember” Mug, either for yourself or as a gift for someone grieving the death of a loved one, please go here. A portion of all proceeds help fund The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., the first national non-profit public charity which benefits children, teens, young adults after a loved one’s death.

Much Love,

Mary Mac xoxo

The Mary Mac Show | Dealing with Devastating Disappointment

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 59, we discuss how those who claimed to have your back after the death of a loved one, slowly or abruptly exit your life and how others unexpectedly appear at your side.

It is very difficult to understand how people who are close to you in life can tell you one thing at the funeral when you are at your most vulnerable, only to reneg on you in the future.

It’s incomprehensible how the people, whose word you took as fact, fail to follow through for you.

In this episode we talk about how to handle this pain.

Additional Notes:

When you’ve had serious emotional blows, taking Bach’s Rescue Remedy can be very helpful. (Does contain alcohol, so be aware.) A few drops on your tongue and a short nap can calm you.

Also, you can find our new collections of creative products and gifts for yourself or others who are grieving at The Mary Mac Store. We also honor the military, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and other First Responders who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Visit and take a look around. Read the “About Us” page to learn more about how our shop was formed.

A portion of all sales goes to support The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., the first national non-profit public charity which benefits children, teens, young adults after a loved one’s death.

The Mary Mac Show | Our Loved One’s Belongings

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

This week in Episode 31, we discuss how the bereaved struggle with when or if to release their loved one’s belongings, and how to best deal with this difficult process.

The most important thing to know is NOT to touch, launder, move anything from where it was when the person died. That task is left only to the person closest to the one who died and only they will decided what to do with their loved one’s possessions.

This is something that will take a long time, often many years, and even then they may choose to keep them as is.

Each of us is different and we need to honor their decisions.

Some things that will help along this journey to ease the pain:

Visit Brad Yates’ youtube channel will teach you the Emotional Freedom Technique. His videos calm your spirit and help you release emotional and physical pain as you move forward.

Here are some meditation music to help you rest.

You can order your Bach’s Rescue Remedy by clicking on the link below and then tab at the top of their page for Rescue Remedy Products. Remember, these do have alcohol in them.

I use the Rescue Remedy 20ml drops but they have spray and other versions which might work better for you. And…they also have products to calm pets, too.

*To find a homeopathic doctor, visit here or here. Many offer phone consultations if you cannot find one in your area. They work with patients around the globe. You can also research in your area of the world.

Grab my free ebook, 21 Things You Need to Know About the Grieving Process, right here on my site.

Please share with anyone who may need to know this. Also subscribe, rate and review this podcast on whichever podcast platform you listened in.


This Wonderful Christmas Day 2008

So here I am in Florida visiting with parents, family and friends in from all around the United States. It’s a wonderful time for my family.

The decorations in this magical house are courtesy of my sister-in-law, Katie who makes her home so inviting. Little white lights, red ribbons, and ornaments everywhere.

Even the little doggies have tuxedos on today and they bring us all such great joy.

Pictures are snapping everywhere and food, some which has been prepared for days, has been beautifully displayed and will soon be enjoyed. The grill is on and the last minute foods are being cooked now.

I look around the living room and there are numerous conversations going on…the young 2o year old crowd conversing on what their IPOD’s contain, the Moms trading experiencings and laughter surrounding their child raising escapades, young love blossoming in the family for my college-aged niece and her boyfriend.

All the youngest of the family are doting on my two-year old nephew in from California and whom I’ve had the pleasure of being around for only the third time. It’s amazing what distance does to family relationships. But today, I’m especially grateful to be playing around with and witnessing this young one, Elijah, opening his Christmas gifts this morning. It’s an experience I haven’t had since his older brother, Brandon was a babe.

As one of my brothers will be moving to Hawaii next month, I find myself especially aware that it may be a few years again until I’ll have the experience of enjoying all of us being in the same town to spend Christmas together.

But today as I watch everyone enjoying themselves in mini-conversations all around my brother’s home, I am reminded that joy comes from surrounding ourselves with people whom we love and who love us.

In my line of work, someone precious to us can be gone in a moment. So I guess I’m even that much more appreciative and some would say ‘sensitive’ to the recognition that life can change literally in a heartbeat.

No one knows what tomorrow may bring. Or if we’ll even have another experience like I’m enjoying right this moment, as my eldest niece Ashleigh cozies up next to me. She and her sisters mean the world to me. They will always bring such joy to my life.

Let us always be grateful for the precious lives that touch us everyday. With all the turmoil in our world today…the economy, the prices, the wars, the fighting about the right laws of our land, the credit crunch…let us always remember the great gift anyone can give to each other is the time and experiences we share with those we love.

Time is the greatest gift we can give. All the things in our lives can be replaced. They can be found again. But the hugs and love and comfort and experiences with family…this exact special moment in time…can never, ever be captured again.

May you always treasure these moments.

Blessings to all of you on this Christmas Day!

Lord, Can We Please Replay This Tape

Remembering Tim Russert 1950 – 2008

My love of politics began at the assasination of President Kennedy when I found myself looking up at all the crying adults in my elevator wondering what would bring so many grown-ups to tears.

I woke up in the middle of the night when Senator Bobby Kennedy was killed to find my Dad on the edge of his living room chair staring at the television and there I was sitting next to him. The pain on his face was intriguing to me and I wanted to share that with him.

It caused me to walk into New York City Mayor John Lindsay’s storefront campaign office at the age of 11 with my best friend who sat behind me in class, Ellen McHugh, to ask if we could help. They put us to work hanging posters on street lamps and we were so proud to be a part of that campaign.

The summer I was 16, I worked for the Mayor of my Village on Long Island and had a blast. I’ll never forget those funky colored outfits he’d wear to go golf on Wednesdays.

As I went onto college, I ran and was elected to floor rep and dorm president and was active in school government. I loved it. And later I helped run Perot’s NYC campaign and became Head of the Petition Drive to get him on the ballot in NY State. Eventually I ran the campaign in Queens and Staten Island.

But the most memorable was as a Precinct Captain and member of the Executive Committee in Florida during the 2000 election. What a wild ride to live that there.

Although I had many wonderful experiences during that election cycle, what stands out in my mind so vividly was the reporting and white board of Tim Russert that year. I was amazed at how he knew all the electoral votes within each state and I found myself working the numbers with him. It was heaven for me. It was thrilling and challenging and so amazing that it kept you hanging on for all the latest projections from Tim.

On Friday when I went online to see my email and there the headline said he had suddenly died, I was shocked as was most Americans who follow politics. I just stared at the computer screen and slumped in my seat.

I told a friend who said, “Tim Russert? Meet the Press Tim Russert?” To which I replied, “Yes, THE Tim Russert.” And everything within me just simply could not believe this.

I spent the majority of my weekend watching all the tributes on MSNBC Friday night and Saturday night and then today I taped Meet the Press. How could I not.

I guess because my love of politics coupled with my passion to help the bereaved, makes me somewhat more sensitive to these kinds of things.

I looked at the Lord’s picture which hangs in my home and said, “Exactly what were you thinking? Can’t we rewind this tape?”

From my perspective, and others are saying this as well, it was absolutely, postively NOT the right time for him to leave us. His work was not done here, in my eyes. He had so much more to tell us and educate us on the political process. And he had so much more to give humanity and his family and friends who deeply loved him.

So I ask you Lord, “Can’t we please rewind this tape? Can’t we at least finish out this incredible election cycle because nothing would have been more thrilling than to see him play with that white board scribbling down possibilities as we come close to election day?”

Yet from a bereavement perspective, I’m aware that death is never fair. It doesn’t come in the time factor we’d request. Because there really never would be a good time for someone so great to die, would there be. When exactly would the right time be.

If it were after the election, then we might enjoy his play-by-play, but his family wouldn’t see him and his beloved wife watch Luke marry.

If it were after the marriage, perhaps his family and friends wouldn’t see him as a grandfather sharing the joys of grandparenting.

But it turned out, God called him now…bad timing for us, but obviously the right timing for the Lord. That’s the sucky part. We don’t get to be in on the decision. And quite frankly, it never seems like good timing anyway you look at it.

So since the Lord can’t rewind the tape I wish he would, I must be content to wish his family and friends comfort in knowing that there were many of us, who never had the privilege of knowing this gentle giant, but saw through the television that he was indeed so genuine, so pure of heart, so committed to those around him, so funny, so real, so enthusiastic about what he did in life and from my perspective, he gave us a legacy of love that will never leave any of us.

Someone like Tim Russert lived his life to the fullest. I often say I want to live till I die. And it’s rare I find others who share that passion. Tim had that. He was a rare and treasured man to his family and friends and I, for one, will miss his smiling face and exuberant energy and laughter.

His passion to engage and educate Americans in the political process was simply divine.

So now God gets to have the firsthand play by play this election cycle, while He’s greeting Tim and saying, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”