Perspectives on Grieving
I was eight years old when my parents divorced. I always say the age hit the sweet spot—I was old enough to understand what was going on, but far too young to be able to deal with the way it made me feel. When I was little, my dad was my idol and best friend. So many of my earliest memories are moments with him—shelling peanuts on the ground at Yankee Stadium, getting quizzed on state capitals at dinner, introducing him to my latest PlayStation game and still losing every time.
"Oh, no! Not again!" Lately, there has been way too much bad news! We hear about one tragedy on Monday only to learn of another on Tuesday. It's like being hit by a monster wave in the ocean, and when you've just found your legs the next wave knocks you over again. How can we cope? What can we hold onto? In times like this, we can look to the wisdom of others for hope and help.
Let’s imagine something different. Let’s Imagine a world where children coping with loss grow up emotionally healthy and able to lead meaningful and productive lives. Let’s imagine a world where grief, loss and trauma are transformed into resilience, empathy and compassion. So that someday the world is driven by love and compassion, and not unresolved grief.
It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to you today with some resources on how to assist our children cope with the news of the recent attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert.
Many people define their lives by worldwide events. Pearl Harbor Day, JFK's assassination, Man Walking On the Moon, Nixon's Resignation, The Attack on the World Trade Center. For 4 people, the defining moment of their lives was June 9th, 1971. Almost 46 years ago, those 4 people lost the center of their universe, and their lives were forever defined as "before" and "after".
I was too little when my mom died (age 6) to have any idea what I needed emotionally. I took my cues from the grown-ups around me, such as, not to talk or ask about mom too much, not to talk about how our family had changed or what it was like having her in and out of the hospital for 9 months, etc. etc.
Prudential Financial with its brilliant Masterpiece of Love and Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B have both provided a way for all of us to tell our stories of loss.
As I popped onto facebook briefly on Tuesday, I learned about the chemical attack that took place in Syria. This was the first I had heard of an attack. Scrolling through my feed, there it was. I was confronted with the absolute carnage of it all – videos of people writhing in pain, people gasping for air, dying, many of them children. It was only a few seconds before I started crying, and shortly after that, short of breath. My asthma had been triggered so I put my phone down.
Create a Good Mourning Workplace with Imagine. "I see a direct link not only with our health and wellness initiatives, but also our diversity and inclusion commitment by offering grief support in the workplace. Fostering an environment where each employee feels they can bring their full, authentic self to work is so important. And having colleagues who are allies for inclusion, who are comfortable just listening or talking about this often taboo topic, is a win. Imagine offers the resources and training to deliver on this support and I am grateful to be able to offer their services to to my employees.” Sheila Rostiac, VP Total Rewards & Talent Management, PSEG Services Corporation
In her article Circles of Love, author Kate Braestrup describes a visit to her children’s psychologist after their father’s death. “My children are suffering,” I told the psychologist. “They cry, Sometimes they don’t want to eat, they have dreams from which they awaken, weeping. What can I do to make the suffering stop?” The child psychologist said to me, gently, “Their father died.” “I know…