HuffPost Canada closed in 2021 and this site is maintained as an online archive. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact support@huffpost.com.

coping with grief

It can be really hard to take care of yourself when you or someone you love is sick or in crisis, when you feel like life is spinning out of control. I've been there and I'm hoping that by sharing my experience and what helped me, it might help someone else.
I want to work in a world where it's OK to really feel things, to shed a tear, to let it all out, to have a meltdown. Maybe not in the middle of a board meeting, but privately and with someone who feels safe.
Since my mom died almost 10 years ago, I've struggled with Mother's Day. It doesn't help that I am also childless and single. Mother's Day is typically a mix of happy memories and sad introspection for me. I'm not the only one who finds Mother's Day complicated. When I recently polled my friends, I found a wellspring of Mother's Day heartache, and stories and tangents I had not considered.
If you are an animal lover and heading into your senior years chances are you have said goodbye to more than a few pet companions. One dog died in my arms from cancer, another from old age, one was killed by another dog and one died while I was on vacation. My grief for each one was no less than the grief I've felt for the passing of a beloved human.
He had suffered from a period of depression which had developed into a psychosis. When the news reached me, my world collapsed. The days that followed were spent in a state alternating between something dream-like and an acute, painful awareness of the reality of the situation. So many questions were asked. So few answered.
Not knowing how to handle the subject of death and grief, people around us thought it best to never talk about it. They wanted to spare us from more pain and prevent the stirring of feelings. Family pictures were put away, my mother's and sisters' personal items were cleared out of our house and we were expected to move on and reconstruct our world as if nothing had happened.