Tag Archives: grieving children

The Mary Mac Show | Father’s Day | Sweet and Bittersweet

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 29, we remember our father and father figures who made an impact on our lives. We also discuss the pain of bereaved fathers, and father’s whose wives are struggling to bear children and fear they will never be called “Dad.”

The pain from a father’s death is often severe especially if we had a wonderful relationship with our Dads.

But, sometimes, our relationship wasn’t as we would expect and we struggle with the ‘what if’s’ and perhaps guilt that may bring.

Yet whatever the relationship, good or bad, that we had with him, we must forgive ourselves and even moreso him for what you needed that you didn’t get, for what you and he said to each other that stung, and all the unfinished business that might still linger that neither of you can do anything about anymore.

We also recognize all the father figures who raised you and cared for you if your Dad died younger than expected.

And we also talk about bereaved fathers who have buried their child, children or even all their children.

Lastly, we look at men who struggle to have children with their wives, those who experience a miscarriage or stillborn child, as well as those who deal with infertility and/or the knowledge that they may never have children of their own. We also remember men who are older now and wished they had children years ago when it was more practical, or those who never found the right women to raise a family.

This can be a very melancholy day for some. Let us acknowledge them all.

Listen in to Episode 29 here or on your favorite podcasting platform.

xoxo

The Mary Mac Show | Mother’s Day Can Sting

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 23, we remember our mothers and mother figures who made an impact on our lives. We also discuss the pain of bereaved mothers, ladies who struggle to bear the title and those who will never be called “Mom.”

The pain from a mother’s death is often severe especially if we had a wonderful relationship with our Moms.

But, sometimes, our relationship wasn’t as we would expect and we struggle with the ‘what if’s’ and perhaps guilt that may bring.

Yet whatever the relationship, good or bad, that we had with her, we must forgive ourselves and even moreso her for what you needed that you didn’t get, for what you and she said to each other that stung, and all the unfinished business that might still linger that neither of you can do anything about anymore.

We also recognize all the mother figures who raised you and cared for you if your Mom died younger than expected.

And we also talk about bereaved mothers who have buried their child, children or even all their children.

Lastly, we look at women who struggle to have children, those who miscarried or had a stillborn child, as well as those who deal with infertility and/or the knowledge that they may never have children of their own. We also remember women who are older now and wished they had children years ago when it was still possible, or those who never found the right husband to raise a family.

This can be a very melancholy day for some. Let us acknowledge them all.

Listen in to Episode 23 here or on your favorite podcasting platform.

xoxo

What About the Other 364 Days?

www.F4GC.com
www.F4GC.com
Someone has declared today the National Children’s Grief Awareness Day. Lovely.

I guess when I hear these kinds of things I wonder, “Exactly how is that any different than national chocolate cupcake day,” which, by the way, two years ago my colleague and I celebrated by baking for the entire team.

And some would say that I’m not showing the proper reverence for this day, but, I must tell you, quite the contrary.

You see I don’t believe that declaring something as significant as the grief of grieving children to only one day of the year is quite fair. It’s not as frivolous or as carefree a day as enjoying a favorite cupcake, or taco, or dance class. No, it’s far more serious and, well, frankly, it bothers me.

I don’t think of this ‘day’ as something to celebrate. I don’t think of this day as something that happens once a year. And, to a certain extent, I think it’s misleading.

Grief, when we are in the thick of it, lasts every day and all moments of that day and, then, many, many days and months and years onward.

It’s not something we only recognize once a year. Because when you love deeply, you grieve deeply and that pain should never only be acknowledged today. Not for grieving children and not for adults. It should be an awareness every day.

Over 2.5 million Americans alone die each year leaving millions more folks to grieve their deaths. If you consider 100 people for each death who will be affected, that’s 250 million grieving people each year and many of them are children, and teens and young adults.

Do we really know the correct statistic of how many children grieve? Absolutely not and we never will. They can never be recorded properly so if you see stats flying around today, discount them.

How would you count the grieving siblings, classmates, teammates, neighbors? You can’t. So don’t try.

So although well intentioned, giving a ‘day’ to such an incredibly wide-reaching topic, seems quite superficial to me.

Sandy Hook, Newtown, CT: One Year Later

The first anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT holds difficult emotions for the families, friends and school staff, as well as its community. Dealing with the pain of loss for the first full year is never easy.

When we approach an anniversary, we relive all the little moments before the tragedy and try to trick ourselves into thinking that person is still with us. On the days leading up to the anniversary, we, at least, get to think “the week before we were baking Christmas cookies” or “the day before we were decorating the tree.”

But once the actual first anniversary occurs, we don’t get to have that luxury any longer and we can’t fool ourselves. We can no longer say, at this time last year we were doing this or that. And that reality bring sorrow.

The first anniversary is never an easy day to live through but sometimes the anticipation is much more stressful than the actual happenings of the day itself.

I’ve known so many families (and I’ve had this experience, too) tell me they made the experiences of the day so much greater in their head than they turned out to be.

They thought they’d be devastated, but somehow it turned out to be a lot lighter than they thought it would be. It became a day of remembering the person, than how they died.

It became a day of thinking of all the fun times they spent together and being grateful for those times instead of allowing themselves to succumb to the events of that day.

So my thoughts are with the families of this small Connecticut town today and do hope that they can look for the happiness they held in the relationship they shared with their loved one and not the way they died.

Yes, it can be hard, but moving toward gratitude for those happy years spent together, will always outweigh a moment in time that can never be changed.

To read my blogs from last year when this tragedy occurred, go here. As a stepmother of an 11 year old who was murdered, I wrote them from the perspective of a grieving mother of a murdered victim.

Review: May He Rest in Peace

menorah-star-15686513There are a lot of sites online dealing with grief; some are written by people who truly have lived through a personal crisis and will share their experiences, and others who just try to teach you in a professorial mode.

When I found www.mayherestinpeace.com, I was so happy to see that here you are welcomed to make a memorial website for your loved one. And I was additionally grateful to know it was created by a man who has experienced grief on several levels.

David Goldshtein began this site about a year ago to help others through the grieving process. His father, Michael, died at the age of 84 after ten years of illness, having struggled with cancer, kidney disease, etc. And although the doctors told him several times he was at the end of his life, he never gave up, instead pressing on. As a holocaust survivor, he understood the meaning of fighting to live.

His mother has been struggling with Alzheimers for the past ten years. At the young age of only 17, her parents were sent to a labor camp in Siberia by the Russian Government, leaving her to learn to survive as the daughter of political prisoners.

David’s family’s journey has made him sensitive to grief and as he moves into his forties, he had a desire to celebrate their lives and the challenges they overcame by building a wonderful website that would not only house his memories of his Dad, but to give all of us a place to honor our loved ones who had died or were killed.

I am delighted, as Hanukkah, the festival of lights, begins for the Jewish people this year, to share May He Rest In Peace, for you to honor your loved ones.

In addition, David shares articles (which I will contribute to), books on grief (he’s graciously added my Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death), and several other areas which will help you on your journey.

Take the time this weekend to visit his site and look around. David Goldshtein has developed a lovely place to not only learn about the grieving process, but to share the life of those we’ve lost and loved.

My newest book, Holiday Grief: How to Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Depression After a Loved One’s Death is now available here.