The Male Perspective on Grief

The Male Perspective on Grief

I have people ask me all the time: How did your husband cope with his grief? My first reaction for MANY YEARS was: I have no idea It seemed like he wasn’t really grieving And he never really talked about it I assumed he was doing okay   I have since had all four of those reactions turned on their head. I learned: I had no idea how my husband, Aaron, was grieving because he often tried to be strong for me, therefore didn’t always show his feelings. Aaron was grieving, deeply; his grief just looked different from mine and so I didn’t recognize it or understand it the same way as my own. Men are not encouraged to share their feelings as much as women, and sometimes when they do they are made to feel less manly or in control. We can never...

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A Happy Place to Heal

A Happy Place to Heal

What is your happy place?   I always look forward to the summer. The heat and sunshine are healing for me. Nature is awakened around me, engaging every sense. Laying in the grass. Reading in the shade. The smell of flowers. The warmth of the afternoon sun. The taste of fruit, barbeque and cold drinks. The sound of bees buzzing. The vividness of greens and blues.   Some people have a location. For me, above all else the summer season is my happy place.     It is a season that reminds me of many good times and happiness as my first rainbow baby was born at the summer solstice in 2012. When times are rough, I need the summer heat. After Zach died, Aaron, Hannah and I traveled to Hawaii. Our savings suffered – and our grief traveled along with us...

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Family Planning After the Death of a Child

Family Planning After the Death of a Child

“You’ll know when you’re done.” That’s what people often say when I tell them I’m not sure if I’m finished having children. I used to be more decisive with the number of kids I wanted to have. I once wanted six. Oh boy, right? Then it was three to four. After Zachary died I was sure I wanted four living children. Now that I am thoroughly enjoying my career, and free hands as Eden is a year-and-a-half old, I wonder if two living children is enough. While my numbers fluxed over the years, in those moments I was always confident. That’s not the case these days. The trouble with family planning is that there is no magic eight ball to shake and give you the perfect answer. I find the more I talk it out with girlfriends, the more uncertain I am one way or the other....

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Stillbirth Led Robert Munsch to Write Love You Forever

Stillbirth Led Robert Munsch to Write Love You Forever

Have you read Robert Munsch’s book, Love You Forever? Do you know the story behind it? I’ve owned a copy of Love You Forever my whole life, but I didn’t understand the impetus behind the book until my sister-in-law sent me a message with the link to Munsch’s website. That’s where I learned that the author penned the song in Love You Forever after his wife had two stillborn babies. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Munsch could not actually sing the song for a long time because of the strong emotions that came up when he tried. He eventually wrote the song into a book that he had intended as a children’s story but to the surprise of Munsch, and his publishers, the story appealed to people of all ages....

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Creativity to Ease the Pain

Creativity to Ease the Pain

I have been an artist and writer all my life. Somehow I refused to let go of the child-like desire to color, paint, build block towers, write short stories and pen poetry as I grew. Working as an artist and writer have been very fulfilling for me. Then when Zachary died, I stopped. For one whole year, what I call my Year of Distraction, I couldn’t be creative nor did I even try. I lost myself in so many ways. It was when I got back into my work that I realized the amazing potential of creativity to help find a way through my grief – and this creativity is not reserved for just professional artists and writers. It’s for everyone.   Creativity itself is mysterious, spiritual and healing.   Creativity taps into a different part of our brains and allows us...

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