Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who is fascinated by how people adapt to major changes in their lives, especially the death of a loved one, the realization of their mortality, and their own impending death.

Why I Do What I Do

People have wondered what prompted me to start writing about death, dying, and bereavement. During the years I have been counseling others regarding these topics, I have come to realize that in our culture, even thought we hear a lot about death, there are many who don’t have much understanding about this part of life. Therefore, I have created this website and write this blog to provide information and to answer your questions about any aspect of death, dying, or bereavement. If you’d like to submit a question, please leave a comment. Before I can publish your question, you’ll need to include your name (let me know if you don’t want it published).

Several people have asked about my personal experiences of loss. My father died in 1999 from complications from leukemia. I was with him up to the end. We were very close and I miss him greatly. However, I must also say his death had a profound positive effect on me and I credit his death with me leaving the business world, going back to college to get my masters degree, and becoming a counselor specializing in end-of-life and bereavement concerns. I have also had other losses, especially my mother in 2006, that continue to inspire me to do what I can to help others.
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The Death of a Counselor's Mother

On November 28, 2006 my mother died from the effects of Parkinson's disease.  This is the blog entry I wrote for In Due Course to commemorate her.
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Why Do We Have Funerals?

Another significant comment I received while I was writing In Due Course was this one from Deb regarding funerals. Here is the relative portion of her comment and my response:

“... I expect that my mother will not live much longer and we have not had a relationship for a number of years. As a result I am considering whether or not to attend the funeral. My brother refuses to even consider it and her stepchildren would consider it only if their father is still living. I'm certain her family will not understand if I don't attend, but at the same time it is painful to pretend that there was somehow a caring relationship there which for me died a long time ago. Thank you for any insight you can give.”

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Comparing Levels of Grief

Another comment for another blog in In Due Course was made by Lu.  Here is that comment and my response:

" 'I lost my grandmother four years ago. She was like a mother to me. My own mother and father are still alive today. The loss of Grandma was tough. What I would like to know- is it fair/normal for a person to compare the amount of their grief for the loss of both their parents to the grief/loss I have of both my grandparents? We all handle grief differently but how should I handle this person's behavior towards me? Thanks.'

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Is The Grieving Lasting Too Long?

When I was writing my previous blog, In Due Course, a reader submitted a comment about long term guilt. This is how I responded:
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Time Heals All Wounds, or Does It?

As a counselor who specializes in end-of-life and bereavement matters, I often hear of people giving bereaved people advice similar to “you just need some time, after all ‘time heals all wounds.’”  It is as if these well-meaning people are saying: “Just sit back and in time you’ll no longer have the sadness, anguish, yearning, guilt, anger, and fear you’re feeling now.  They’ll fade away, and you’ll be fine.”  Wow!  What an interesting concept!
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