Articles

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  • Gratitude

    Gratitude    By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     I haven’t always lived a life of gratitude.  In fact, it never occurred to me until recently that it might be something worth pursuing. When I was a child I had some unfair deals handed to me so it as easy to feel sorry for myself.  I learned to invite as many people as possible to my pity party.  I suspect it was a learned behavior that came naturally to me.  Life...

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  • God Will Not Forget

    God Will Not Forget   By the Rev John T. Schwiebert, MDivjohn@metanoiaumc.org     The importance of remembering was something we first noticed when we worked with parents whose children had died.  But now we know that the longing to “never forget” is quite normal whether the deceased is one’s child, one’s middle aged friend, or even an elderly parent. When our loved one dies we invite relatives and friends to a memorial service.  There we savor a rich experience in...

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  • God the Father Reconsidered

    God the Father Reconsidered   By Rev John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@metanoiaumc.org     Since the theme of this newsletter issue is Fathers and Father’s Day, and since Theology is what I bring to these online conversations about grief, let me speak of God, the Father. In the earlier days of my pastoral ministry Mary Daly, a Catholic sister, wrote a book entitled, “Beyond God the Father.”  Her book, along with other strong feminist writings, helped us to see the misunderstandings...

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  • Friends

    Friends   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.Pat@tearsoup.com    Long after you have come to terms with your loss, you may still be holding a grudge against others for what they have said to you or failed to say to you, during your grieving time. To understand why they acted as they did you need only remember what it was like before this tragedy in your life, and how you treated friends who had experienced the death of a loved one. What...

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  • Fear

    Fear   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com   For some reason last month I made a note to write about fear this month. My old brain doesn’t remember now why I wrote that note to myself then, but I do know that over the years I have come to realize that fear is the greatest motivator for inaction or not finding our voice. Fear invites us to not accept change. (Aha, that must be why I wanted to write about FEAR!) ...

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  • Fifty (Almost) Years of Marriage

    Fifty (Almost) Years of Marriage   By Barbara Fox Tomorrow is our fiftieth wedding anniversary but my husband isn’t here to celebrate it with me. He died in May after fighting a really good fight against diabetes, congenital heart failure, a foot amputation and a myriad of other medical problems.  Damn it, he was supposed to make it to our anniversary, he intended to and he promised me that he would. We had so many problems the past nine years,...

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  • Father's Day

    Father's Day...   By Chuck DeKlyenwebmaster@griefwatch.com   This month families all over will be gathering to celebrate Fathers Day.  Families might meet for a BBQ, maybe go camping or even just pay a visit to spend time with their fathers.  For many of us lucky enough to still have our fathers in our life this can seem like just another commercial holiday.  But what about those whose father is no longer with them?  Father’s Day can be just another cruel...

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  • Family Gatherings in Times of Grief

    Family Gatherings in Times of Grief   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com  There are times in our grief where we can do nothing but brace ourselves against the storm of pain and bitterness.  We have just enough energy to survive the day and no more.  And then finally, as the storm begins to be more predictable or we’ve released ourselves from the fear that it will consume us, we turn and face ourselves into the wind.  We feel energized rather than...

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  • Experiencing Life's Harsh Boundaries

    Experiencing Life's Harsh Boundaries   By Rev John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@tearsoup.com     “This Is Enough for You!” I am indebted to Rabbi Maurice D. Harris for pointing out these words, spoken by God to Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 3:26)  (see Harris’ excellent book, Moses, a Stranger Among Us). The words (a translation of the Hebrew words  rav lach) are spoken in the context of Moses’ grief because of his not being allowed to cross over into...

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  • Even the Hard Stuff

    Even the Hard Stuff   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     Last night at our support group one of the parents spoke of Father’s Day and how their family decided they wanted to do something special, but something that didn’t include being around people.  After a bit of research, a hike in a very remote site was decided upon, a place where it was highly unlikely that they would bump into other hikers.  So off they went.  It was hard. ...

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  • Embracing Loss

    Embracing Loss   By John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@metanoiaumc.org     The Hebrew Scriptures tell a poignant story about how King David responded when he was told of the death of his infant child: David rose from the ground [where he had lain all night, fasting and praying that his son would survive a serious illness], washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes.  He went into the house of the LORD, and worshiped; he then went to his own house, and when...

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  • Disillusionment and Other Minor Losses

    Disillusionment and Other Minor Losses   By Rev John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@metanoiaumc.org     In the 1970’s, many of us became aware of the dynamics of personal grief for the first time, as Elisabeth  Kübler-Ross and others helped us  recognize, in our own experiences of loss, several stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In the late 1990’s, in the book Tear Soup, we were helped to see that grief is not only an experience that issues from profound...

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