Share stories are all the guest posts, Navigating Grief community articles and information related to social grief.

Navigating Grief Gift of Story

Giving the Gift of Story

I read a post on a children’s grief website the other day that asked if anyone knew an appropriate memorial gift or product. Yes, I thought: the gift of story.

I thought about this over a couple of days because the first days of loss are different than a few weeks later. I thought about everything I’ve come across  – clinical, academic, experiential, personal, and anecdotes from bereaved – on the early days of loss and grief. I realized there are  recurring themes:  the need to not feel alone; the role of memories which can be bittersweet, yet comforting; and, how the blur of shock can render time and thoughts invisible or forgotten.
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Navigating Grief Did Not Know What to Say

What to Say… When You Don’t Know What To Say

Learning by Experience

When my mother passed away, I received a card from a friend of mine that touched me so deeply I can still remember it 15 years later.  The card was humorous and the note he wrote was the perfect balance of empathy, humor and reality.  You see Chris had lost his father about a month before I had lost my mom and he knew intimately what I was going through.  This card was the cornerstone to developing a resource website I Did Not Know What To Say.   I wanted to encourage people to be thoughtful and supportive of their friends and family when they are going through a great loss.  The topic of death is difficult and many people “freeze” when the topic comes up.  Our website is dedicated to helping people find the words when you don’t know what to say.

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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 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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Navigating Grief Balloon Release after Loss

Is it Hello or Goodbye?

Pioneer Orchard Park in Ft. Steilacoom, WA is a small, grassy knoll overlooking an amazing panoramic Puget Sound view. There is a big, old fashion wooden swing that could seat four adults facing two and two comfortably. On the opposite side of the park is a large platform stage, its short white fence marking the edge between earth and water. It calls you to come peer outward and dream. I can image this as a perfect spot for a wedding.
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Navigating GriefBook review Stroke of Insight

Book Review: My Stroke of Insight

My Stroke of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, Viking, 2008

How well are you tending the “garden of your mind?”
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