Welcome to this week’s Friday Favorites. I hope you’ve had a nice week. At the very least we can be grateful regular season television programming is back, am I right? Anyway, we’ve put together a few of our favorites articles about grief from this week. Actually to be perfectly honest they are all over the map so…yeah, even better.
The Things Nobody Tells You About Grief via LifeHacker
I found this post on lifehacker.com, my new favorite website, although it originally appeared on medium.com. In this article author Sarah Parmenter discusses her grief in the year following her mother’s death. She talks about how surprising and disorienting it was to struggle to understand her own feelings in the midst of her grief; she had always assumed she knew her own mind well enough to recognize unhealthy changes. I liked this article, I felt Parmenter’s experiences resonated with many common grief experiences and hinted at the loneliness grievers often feel, even when surrounded by well intentioned and caring individuals.
This article isn’t directly about grief, but bear with us. The article discusses ‘exchange orientation’ which is basically summed up as I do a favor for you, then you will do one for me. Although we may not keep count of the favors we do, research shows on some level we want to be able to cash in on our goodwill whether it be for actual favors or for something as basic as emotional support.
So here’s our question, do you expect payback when you support grievers in their time of need? Or is this one situation where you do NOT expect reciprocity? I guess we would just caution people to be aware of their own expectations and understand that your grieving friend or family member may not be in a place to return the good will (beyond a thank you card) for some time. Just don’t go charging interest is all.
*As of this morning, Litsa has dubbed this an official genre.
Larisa Barth’s son Asher died when she was 40 weeks pregnant with him. The time Larisa and her husband spent with their precious son was brief, but his memory and their love for him is everlasting. She and her husband treasure a necklace with and imprint of his hand which was given to them by family and friends, and in an effort to make such a priceless memorial available to other parents Barth has launched her own line of necklaces. The project, Held Your Whole Life, provides necklaces to other parents grieving the loss. Necklaces are avaialable free of charge and in the last year has shipped 2500 necklaces to places as far as Bulgaria. Here’s to grievers helping grievers!
Some of these are funny, some of these are ironic, and some of these just make you wanna say true story. Although the experiences of grief and depression are not synonymous, there are certainly some common themes. In the beginning grief can feel an awful lot like depression (even when it’s not) and so I’m sure many of us can relate to these comics on some level.
“Am I Going Mad?” ~ Mystical Experiences in Grief via the Grief Healing Blog
We pretty much love everything Marty Tousley has to say. In this post she explores the more mystical experiences of grief such as feeling you’ve received a symbolic communication or message; experiencing the sensations of hearing, seeing, touching, or smelling your loved one; hallucinations and dreams; and extraordinary encounters. Have you had an experience like this? Read the post for a few simple suggestions on making sense of and coping with a ‘mystical experience’
Suicide and the Economy via The Atlantic
No, this is not about today’s economy or current suicide rates; rather, the story of one woman’s search to uncover the truth about her great-gradfather’s suicide during the Great Depression. In this essay Elizabeth Macbride discusses a need to discover and understand the details of her grandfather’s death, one that had been erased from her families collective memory due to the shame and stigma of suicide.
Over the span of 2 years (1937-1938) 40,000 Americans took their own lives, mostly men who couldn’t provide for their families or themselves. As the author’s 90 year old family friend poignantly remarks, “Every family had a story like that. We never spoke of them. Why would we?” The story she speaks of was indeed common, a man worth discounted due to the stigma’s of unemployment and suicide and a life intentionally (although no doubt painfully) forgotten. Now, almost one hundred years later, MacBride tries to read her great-grandfather’s story anew through a more forgiving and compassionate lens.
I want to thank the Huffington Post for their fair and balanced reporting of stories both horrifying ‘Three human heads found in Los Reyes, Mexico“?!?! and heartwarming “Strangers related by shared bone marrow dance wedding’s first dance.”. Filed under ‘heartwarming’ is this list of 15 videos of people getting really good news. Seriously, these gave my tear ducts a real work out this morning. What’s wrong with me?
My favorite is this clip of Kristen Bell talking about her encounter with a sloth. Celebrity factor aside, this would still be an adorable story/video.
Oh heck, let me throw in this video of little Lily finding out she’s going to Disney World. If this doesn’t warm your heart chances are you are probably a sociopath.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to subscribe to receive posts from ‘What’s Your Grief’ straight to your inbox.