Articles

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  • Dear Mom (Two Years Later)

    By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     Dear Mom, You’ve been dead two years now.  Seems like long enough.  I don’t feel anything but love for you now.  All the tension and anger and resentment and embarrassment are gone.  You can come back now. I’ve re-created you into the mother I always wanted—and that you always wanted to be.  I know you always wanted to be a good mother. You often asked me if you were.  Don’t worry.  You still can’t...

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  • Dear Mom

    Dear Mom   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     Last July,2012 in the article It’s Never Too Late I wrote about wondering what it would be like when my mother died.  We had a complicated relationship and bringing her into our living community of 8 other people hasn’t been easy.   I never experienced that uncomplicated relationship with her till the last week of her life, which ended on August 28, 2013.  This has not been easy to write.  The words...

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  • Cutting Losses

    Cutting Losses   By John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@metanoiaumc.org     Human beings have invented multiple ways to avoid or postpone grief.  These ways mostly involve denial that a loss has occurred or will occur shortly. The process typically begins in childhood.  Two children play a game and one loses.  But it is hard for the loser to accept the fact of her loss or the brief episode of grief that is sure to follow.  So the loser makes a proposal, “Let’s...

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  • Conspiracy of Silence

    Conspiracy of Silence   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     You can’t judge a book by its cover.  So it goes that you can’t really tell how someone who is grieving  is doing by looking at how they appear in public.  People may look good, but they can still be in deep grief. The conspiracy of silence runs deep in our general public, but it runs just as deep in the grieving community.  This is how we tend to think...

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  • Communal Grief

    Communal Grief   By John T. Schwiebert, MDivjohn@metanoiaumc.org     “he . . . kept his head down, not wanting them to see the shadow of grief he knew showed on his face. You don’t want to burden folks with your own pain.  It isn’t fair, his mother had once told him, and he had never forgotten it.” I ran across these words in a paperback novel I was reading last month, and two thoughts immediately occurred to me. My first...

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  • Comfort and Joy

    Comfort and Joy   By Rev John T. Schwiebert, MDivjohn@metanoiaumc.org     When one of my favorite comedians, Stephen Colbert, was interviewed recently on television by Oprah Winfrey, I learned some things about Mr. Colbert that I had not known before, including his experience with a tragic loss. The youngest of 11 children, he was only 10 years old when his father and two older brothers, ages 15 and 18 were killed in the crash of a commercial airliner in...

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  • Change

    Change   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com   My neighbor was delighted in her new life after her husband of 55 years died.  I was a bit surprised.  Most people don’t respond in that way.  It always seemed this lovely pair were joined at the hip and enjoyed each other’s company more than anyone else’s.  She didn’t like it when friends tried to tell her how hard it was going to be for her to live without her mate.  She thought...

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  • Bits of Crazy

    Bits of Crazy   By Donna Rothert, PhDhttp://seeingthestrals.com/     Grief seems at first to destroy not just all patterns, but also to destroy a belief that a pattern exists.  –Julian Barnes It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from...

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  • Because They Are No More

    Because They Are No More   By Rev John T. Schwiebert, ThMjohn@metanoiaumc.org     In a less than pleasant part of the story of Jesus birth and infancy we encounter the deep grief of parents whose infant boys were killed by King Herod in his frantic attempt to do away with the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18).  The grief of the mothers especially is recalled in a poignant verse from the book of Jeremiah that recalls an earlier bitter fruit of...

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  • Are You Ready?

    Are You Ready?   By Pat Schwiebert, R.N.pat@tearsoup.com     Life was going along just fine.  There were the usual bumps in the road that one can expect from being in life, but nothing catastrophic.  Lots to keep me busy.  Events to prepare for.   Meals to plan.  Support groups to facilitate.  Grandkids to corral.  Meetings to attend.  Then my right hand helper and close friend Tom suddenly has major arrhythmia issues that put him in the hospital.  The same week...

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  • And Then There Are Dragonflies

    And Then There Are Dragonflies. By Jerre Peterson (Jerre’s 12-year-old daughter, Audrey died April 5, 2000, a month after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Part of Jerre’s healing comes through putting his experiences since Audrey’s death to print.)And then there are dragonflies. Many of the wonderful signs I believe I’ve been given by Audrey are perhaps to let me know she is ok. Is heaven a place where we go where we can be anything we want? Is heaven a place where all...

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  • Almost a Mother

    Almost a Mother   Borrowed from Almost a Motheralmostamother.blogspot.com   Today I went to see my mom and her husband, and my sister and nephew.  We were out shopping and we were checking out.  I had asked my mom to buy something and split it and then right before she paid for her stuff, I slipped it in her pile, trying to be sneaky (this is a common joke-me trying to get her to pay for stuff for me :)....

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