Navigating Grief Bon Odori Ritual

Borrowing Rituals: Bon Odori

Grief Rituals Offer Comfort

After a death, we all engage in rituals or customs to symbolize the loss, provide comfort to the living and honor the one who died. For most Americans, the ritual is the “traditional” memorial / funeral service held just days after the death of a loved one: viewing, service, procession to the graveside and burial ceremony. The details will depend on the mourner’s religious protocol, personal and historic traditions and even the deceased’s pre-arranged wishes.
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Navigating Grief Book review Post Secrets

Book Review: A Lifetime of Secrets

A Lifetime of Secrets, A PostSecret Book
compiled by Frank Warren

Last holiday I was given a book from my adult daughter: A Lifetime of Secrets, A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren. I hadn’t heard of this series of books, and was immediately drawn in by the cover art.

PostSecrets originated in 2003 after a dream led the artist to a journey of postcard messages. The use of postcards as a miniature canvas evolved into a group art project. According to the website, “PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.” Simple.  Extremely profound.
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Navigating Grief is Universal

You Are the Expert on Your Grief

Recognize the Individuality of Loss

One of the important premises of Navigating Grief is that grief is universal, yet loss is individual. As you travel your journey of grief reflection, there are three layers about your grief to understand: The universality of grief; the bond with someone who experiences the same type of loss; and your own personal, individual loss.
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Navigating Grief Adoption Loss and Found

Loss and Found: An Adoption Story

A Personal Story

I was seventeen years old in 1978 and living in a small rural Midwestern American town of eight thousand inhabitants, when I became pregnant. The father, Thomas, had been my ‘high school sweetheart’ and we had been intimate since I was fifteen and he was seventeen. In an attempt to be ‘responsible’, Thomas and I had secured a prescription for birth control pills – not an easy task at that time or place. One summer day, my mother found them in my dresser drawer and “all hell broke loose” as they say in that part of the country. The pills were immediately taken away, the prescribing MD was promptly called and all my dermatology appointments were unilaterally canceled (the latter, a white upper middle-class form of punishment, would have been funny if the consequences of the former had not been so tragic). My already strained relationships with my mother and step-father deteriorated even further.
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Navigating Grief Blog Review Widow's Voice

Voice of Widows Resounds Hope

I met seven extraordinary people a couple of weeks ago, who are sharing “seven different perspectives on the journey of widowhood” each writing once a week for The Widow’s Voice blog. Met maybe isn’t the right word as I only have seen their photos, tagged as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…   but I have heard their stories, and have enveloped their self-proclaimed “painfully raw” essence of grief and life and hope. They are real and do list their names, but I like this weekday playfulness and attitude!
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