Animal Love: Binding Both Ways

The connection between our animals and us can be an incredibly strong and tenacious tether.  When we lose a good friend — who just happens to be a pet — we begin a grieving process that can, at times, feel painful and never-ending.

What about the other side of the grieving dyad?  Do our animal friends miss us when we die?  As I was pondering that question, I happened upon this image someone posted on Facebook:  A dog despondent in sorrow and collapsed on what appears to be the fresh grave of his human friend.  It’s a touching image that speaks to the deep connection we share with our animal comrades.

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Life is Loss: We are Our Deficits

As we continue to mourn the death of Dr. Howard Stein, we are left to ponder the joy of knowing him and, in missing him, we begin the healing process by remembering the important lessons he taught us.

One of the most poignant conversations I had with him in the last few weeks of his life dealt with age and growing older.  Howard reversed an important expectation for me, and I appreciate the reality of that sobering.

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Giving Grief in America

Grieving is frowned upon in America.  We are expected to buck up, to smile, and continue on with our day even in our deepest despair.  Grief, in America, is marker for a visible weakness and those in active grieving are required to put on a happy face and sing a tuneful song to demonstrate their fortitude and their goodwill for their fellow kind or risk being indelibly labeled as a crybaby:  If you must cry — do it in private behind a locked door and under the covers in the middle of the night and don’t make any sound.

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Thinking About September 11, 2001 & 2002

On September 11 we commemorate the loss of thousands of people to an unnatural disaster. Every year the human race suffers the loss of thousands of people to natural disasters — floods, earthquakes, blizzards, mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes — disasters that we have very little chance of avoiding and no one to blame; only Nature.

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Let the Healing Begin

by Nancy McDaniel

I never seem to do things in the right order. I floss my teeth in the morning, not at night. I brush before I floss, not after. I get dressed before I put on my makeup. I quit my job before I had another. I say “I love you” first. You get the picture.

And now I’m trying to figure out how to grieve. Not a death of a person. The death of a relationship. The death of love. It didn’t die for me. It died for him. So I must find a way to put it to rest too and get on with my everyday life.

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My Dad

by Nancy McDaniel

I’ll bet I wrote something with that title when I was a little girl. And I’ll bet it would have been pretty similar to what I’d like to say today about Daddy, or Johnny Mac, as you may have called him. Except now I think I have a few more insights about, though no less love for, this man, whom many of you called your friend. I also called him my friend. One of my favorite Father’s Day gifts to him was a plaque that said, “Happiness is having a father as a best friend.”

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