Why Not All About Death and Dying?

Grief is like the ocean, it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. Vicki Harrison, author

You might wonder why a blog called motherloss isn’t all about dying mothers, distressed daughters, or grief. First of all, if that were the case, Dear Reader, I’m sure I would have lost you long ago. Second, I believe that recovery is the focus of any mother loss discussion. Third, recovery is lifelong and all about learning to, once again, live life to the fullest. 

For these three reasons, this motherloss blog is about a variety of topics, including grief recovery. As I approach my 365th consecutive blog post, I’m planning to scale back my daily communication. However, I still plan to blog a few days a week on topics related to life; life full and running over. I hope you’ll stick with me. Let me know what’s important to you. Ask questions. Go to the blog site and become a follower. I’m looking forward to another year together.

Affirmation: I strive to live life to the fullest.

Coaching questions: Has this blog been meaningful to you? If it has, please let me know what topics were most important and what might be helpful or interesting in the future. How do you define recovery? 

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Photo by J W on Unsplash

On Openness and Honesty

Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything. C.S. Lewis, author

Death and dying are difficult topics to discuss but honest discussion is critical for our well being. As I interviewed women who had lost their mothers, one of the most important recovery factors was honesty from the father and other caregivers. Secret-keeping was one of the most destructive. 

 Darcy Krause, Executive Director at Uplift Center for Grieving Children, writes, “Clinicians consistently emphasize the importance of relaying accurate, honest information to a child about a parent or loved one’s illness in terms the child can understand developmentally. This lays the groundwork for the child’s healthy grief processing.” 

Perhaps you experienced the damaging affects of secret-keeping. Now, it’s your turn. You can change this destructive family dynamic and have open dialogue with your loved ones on this important topic.

Affirmation: I speak opening about death and dying.

Coaching questions: What’s your experience around death and dying discussions? How were/are you affected? What do you want to change (if anything)? How might open dialogue make a difference in your family? 

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Photo by Abi Lewis on Unsplash

Be Defiant In the Face of Death

For someone who is seriously ill, celebrating life and relationships is almost a defiant act. Even death can’t take from us who we are and have been for one another. Dr. Ira Byock, author of Dying Well

Dr. Byock, a palliative care physician and expert in end of life decisions, believes that nobody should have to die in pain or alone. He is dedicating his life to making this dream come true. While dying is unwanted, sometimes tragic, and always sad, it’s not only those things. It can also be a time of celebrating a life well lived and the relationships one has made.

Accepting the reality of death enables families to say thank you or please forgive me. When death is talked about openly, it gives the patient the opportunity to express his/her concerns about spouses, children or grandchildren, finances, or other pressing issues. Honest conversation unlocks the door of guilt and secrecy frequently associated with serious illness.

Affirmation: I’m not afraid to talk about death and dying.

Coaching questions: What are your end of life wishes? Do you know the wishes of your spouse, parents or grandparents? What would it be like to openly discuss death and dying even with those who are well? Take a first step in initiating discussions.