Read Any Good Books Lately?

          “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.” —- The Princess Bride by William Goldman…

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Facing the Holiday Season–a Personal Story

  With the holidays swiftly approaching, most of us will fall back on “traditions” to mark the festive days.  There are special activities (“The Saturday after Thanksgiving we cut down a Christmas tree!”), specific foods that must be prepared (“We have to have Aunt Frieda’s kugel!”), movies, and music. Because…

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Children, Grief, and Help

Grief is one of the most challenging things to talk about with your families or closest friends, let alone other people. Not immune to this challenge are teachers whose students have experienced some sort of loss, be it parent, grandparent, sibling, or classmate.

“Saying nothing says a lot,” says Dr. David Schonfeld, founder of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, “and that’s a message we should never leave a child.”

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The Value of Personal Rituals in Grieving

“…In a study, published in [February 2014] in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, [researchers] found that some mourners are more emotionally resilient than others, and those who overcome their grief more quickly… …performed what the researchers refer to as ‘rituals’…”

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Life Lessons in Dying

It will be 15 years ago this August 12th that Julie Novak Becker died from breast cancer, two months short of her 41st birthday. When we were first married, I remember Jules saying that she had a hair appointment. When she came home that night, her hair was the same as when she left. I said “You didn’t go to your appointment?” and she said “Oh, this was just an hour consultation visit.

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Why God Gave Me You

Did you know that there are Angels among us? I know my son, Samuel, my firstborn, was one of them. How lucky am I that God choose me to be his mommy?

Let me share with you why.

Samuel Austin came into this world June 12th, 1996. I experienced a typical and healthy pregnancy, so I was completely unprepared for what this little boy had in store for me.

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Filling the Holes in My Soul: Recovering from a Multitude of Losses

It began with the loss of my Grandma at age 7. My family’s silence over the matter was deafening. I was very curious about what ‘death’ meant, so I questioned everything at my Grandma’s funeral. The dimly lit Funeral Home smelt of a musty rose and my mom and dad appeared emotionless, their faces blank and pale. Their forced hugs toward those who attended, seemed heartless even from my 7 year old perspective. In response to my streaming tears and constant questions, my mother offered me a white frosted cookie with hopeful star sprinkles on top.

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Grieving, Not Alone

If you have ever grieved anyone you are probably familiar with the sense of isolation it can bring. Even if your support system involves an endless supply of neighborly casseroles, and friends and family available to talk at any time of day (or night), bereavement often carries with it a…

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