What do Eleanor Roosevelt, Barbra Steisand, and I have in common? It’s not celebrity (I’m out) or human rights icon status (no for me and Barbra) or even vocal prowess (not Eleanor and I, unfortunately). It’s that we all lost a father early on – Eleanor at nine (after losing her mother the year before), Barbra before she was two, and me at almost two. Losing a parent gives you experience that no one would wish for you, leaving you with certain issues that you didn’t get a cha
Pamela Jane Bell just wanted to join a grief support group. With her husband in hospice care, she was losing more of him day by day. She needed people who would understand and show her the way forward. But she was denied entry to the group. The problem: He wasn’t dead yet. She tells her story in “Good Grief, but Not Good Enough” in The Wall Street Journal and reveals a common myth about grieving – that it begins when someone dies. In fact, grief begins far earlier than that.
A loss creates seismic shifts in a life. The structure that supports it falls in on itself, the rhythm of that life is disrupted, a gaping hole opens up underfoot. Things that were easy become difficult, even impossible – eating is no longer appealing, sleep is elusive, simple communicating is overwhelming. Never have the basic tasks of the day required so much effort. Every loss has its layers, and one of the most disruptive is the loss of the chance to begin the day with co