Grief and Loss Articles

Suicide, Grief and the Time Machine

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Salar de Uyuni by Patrick NouhaillerAt some point someone has been asked that playful question: If you had a time machine and you could go back and change one and only one thing, what would it be?

When suicide has touched your life, there is only one answer to that question. No more thoughtful musings on how you would’ve minored in philosophy or not gone home from space camp early or had the courage to speak to that beautiful woman you saw waiting for the F train.

There’s only one thing you could do. You would go back before the suicide and make sure to tell that person how much you cared about them, what they meant to you.

Healing My Inner Child

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Healing My Inner ChildDear Inner Child,

You’ve been through so much and I am not sure how you coped. Your strength inspires me with every memory I recover. I know you are the reason we are alive today. And I thank you for all you did to keep going. Sometimes, others ask me how I lived through it and I don’t know the answer.

You carried that burden. And to some extent, you still do.

Letting Go: External Changes

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Letting Go: External Changes“When some girls go through a breakup, they’re inspired to cut or dye their hair,” my professor said in a lecture for his “Psychology of Personality” course.

When experiencing any significant change, whether it’s a breakup or embarking on a new life chapter, we may crave external transformation. It will not resolve the issues at hand; however, it can reflect inner growth and progress. There’s a certain catharsis to physical alterations.

Dealing with Rejection

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Dealing with RejectionIt’s been kind of a hard week. I’ve been sending out queries to literary agents for a new book I’m putting together and it’s been crazy. I sent 140 queries out over the last week and so far the only ones I’ve heard back from have written to tell me they weren’t interested.

In hindsight I’d advise not being so feverish about something career-oriented because on about the 20th or so rejection I just felt this sick, sinking feeling in my gut.

How to Cope with Pain from the Past

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

How to Cope with Pain from the PastOne of my favorite quotes, referenced in a piece on Tiny Buddha, states:

“If you get lost in a trigger that thrusts you to a painful event, take a deep breath and remember: we can’t change that we’ve been hurt before, but we can choose not to suffer now.”

That sentiment — that we can’t change the past, but we can choose not to suffer now — struck a chord. I’ve been through many emotional downs in previous relationships (especially one significant romantic relationship) and therefore hope to embody this approach. The past can be a cautionary tale, a reminder that we’ve endured pain, but we made it to the other side and learned from the experience.

5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Monday, November 24th, 2014

depression symptoms

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

Til Death Do Us Part: Coping with Commitment after Death

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Marriage May Lower Risk of Heart Attack SS

Are we still married after the death of one partner? “Til death do us part” is a part of all traditional marriage ceremonies, but I can’t help but wonder if it is really true. Do our vows — and our relationships — really end at death? Do we really “part” from those we love the most?

I can understand that our faithful, monogamous obligation may come to a completion at death, but I am not so sure much else comes to a sudden halt.

How to Remain Calm in a Trying Situation

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

How to Remain Calm in a Trying SituationI’ve had my fair share of overwhelming times. There have been times where I’ve been so thrown back in my chair that I had to excuse myself from the situation to get a grip on things. If it wasn’t anxiety it was a punch to the gut as some sort of veiled insult or rejection. These things can happen often and it takes skill not to let them get the best of you.

Just yesterday I was hanging out with a girl I liked and she mentioned that she had a new boyfriend. That may seem trivial, and it probably is, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t taken aback. I’ve learned (with a lot of practice, though) to just roll with the punches. I don’t let trivialities get to me much anymore and I think it’s a skill that could benefit everyone.

Robin Williams: A Terribly Real Thing in a Terribly False World

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Robin Williams: A Terribly Real Thing in a Terribly False World“You,” he said, “are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.”

That quote belongs in Emilie Autumn’s psychological thriller novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.

It’s the essence, I think, of Robin Williams. He was so real — so passionate, brilliant, empathetic, brave, and sensitive — letting us see the exquisite beauty that is a byproduct of living with your heart exposed to the world.

Dealing with Betrayal without Betraying Ourselves

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

kenshin__trust_and_betrayal_by_imnoweebo-d7daqulBetrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. We suddenly discover that what we thought was true is not true. When a person we’ve trusted suddenly undermines trust, our world is turned upside down.

Trusting a person means feeling safe with them. We trust that they respect us, care about us, and wouldn’t hurt us, especially intentionally. We feel betrayed as our eyes are suddenly opened to a new reality: what we thought was safe and reliable turns out not to be.

Remembering the Little Things

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Remembering the Little Things

I feel I was never able to forget anyone I’ve been with because each person has their own specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost.

- “Before Sunset”

When relationships run their course, we cope in various ways. Some try to move forward quickly, which may result in severing ties and discarding physical evidence: letters, photographs, emails. They extinguish the past. They eradicate its significance. And that’s OK — that’s how they navigate through the pain.

Personally, I was never able to embrace that approach. I’m emotional, I attach easily, and I often view relationships through a nostalgic lens.

Fear-Mongering & Ebola

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Fear-Mongering & Ebola

There is nothing better for cable news networks — and online news sites — to whip up a storm about an outbreak of a deadly disease. People click furiously to get the latest updates, and then log on to social media and forums to discuss all of the things the government is doing wrong.

Ebola is the latest outbreak to get the full 24/7 fear-inducing coverage.

While it costs virtually nothing to put this new Ebola outbreak into perspective, few news organizations invest any time in doing so. Why minimize what could turn out to be the killer of millions of Americans?

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