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Grief and Loss at Holiday Time

Older Adult Loss

Pet Loss

Special Days

Support for Children and Teens who are grieving

Trauma and Children

Grief isn’t good or bad. It just is.

Grief isn’t good or bad, or right or wrong. Grief just is. Grief is the array of emotions we feel in response to losing someone or something we love or value in our lives.

They key to how well, or how “good” we’re going to do after a loss is mourning. Mourning is the outward expression of our internal feelings.

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Conversations on Grief: Supporting Yourself and Others Coping with Loss

Virtual Workshop Sunday April 21st, 2024 at 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM presented by Mary L. Robinson, MA, CT, owner MLRobinson & Associates. To register email Mary at In this workshop you will learn the definitions of grief, loss, and mourning and how they apply to our own lives and to the lives of those we love, live with, and support in our communities. Human beings...

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How to Support Youth Grieving a Loss

February 24th, 1974 If you know a child or teenager (and I hope you don’t!) who has had a parent, sibling, or other important person in their life die, consider sending a sympathy card designed specifically for them. 49 years ago today my father died of cancer. I was 14, he was 46. After my father died I received the following sympathy card from a neighbor: "Dear Mary, I am so sorry for your...

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Her absence is like the sky. Losing a mom when you are older

The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread all over everything.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed Though C.S. Lewis was writing about the death of his wife Joy, his words describe how I felt during the first year after my mother’s death.  In fact, it was only after passing the third anniversary of her death from pancreatic cancer that I felt like I was...

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You want a physicist to speak at your funeral

This is a transcript of a speech given by writer and performer Aaron Freeman on NPR News "All Things Considered". You can listen to it here. You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the...

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Got Grief? It’s that holiday time of year.

For years after my father died my mom carried on at the holidays as if nothing had changed. Her intentions were good — to keep things the same and not bring any sadness into the room.  But things weren’t the same, there was a person missing. My dad.  The person who sawed off the bottom of the tree to fit into the tree stand.  And who wired the tree with lights and watched as we...

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Letting Children Have All Their Feelings

“Don’t leave me!” the little girl with pink ribbons in her hair sobbed as her aunt and young cousin said good-bye to her at the Denver airport. I was returning from a Bereavement Skills Training conference in Colorado and was sitting next to the little girl and her grandmother. The grandmother was holding her and attempting to comfort the young child as she cried. “There, there,” said the...

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Mother’s Day

God I love Anne Lamott.  On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and any holiday for that matter, I post very carefully on social media.  On Mother’s Day this year Anne Lamott wrote “here is my annual Mother’s Day post, ONLY for those of you who dread the holiday, dread having strangers, cashiers and waiters exclaim cheerfully, mindlessly, “Happy Mother’s Day!” when it is a day that, for whatever...

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Traumatized Children Finally Getting the Attention They Need and Deserve.

The death of a parent is a trauma for a child or teen.  A parent is a child’s first attachment, first love, the person they depend on for their very survival and often it is the very person to whom they would turn to for support after a loss. The dictionary defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Behavioral health professionals more broadly define trauma as resulting...

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Remembering someone who has died at holiday time

A mourner is perforce, a person with a story. The pity is, how very rarely it gets told.” Christian McEwen The first Thanksgiving after my mother died, I spent with my godmother Ginny and her family. I had known Ginny my whole life, of course, and her three daughters were like cousins to me. They were all there, one of them with her own three daughters! Growing up we had spent many holidays...

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Good-bye Rocky

“How can I prepare my children” a friend asked when he found out they’d have to euthanize their beloved dog Rocky who was dying. Here is what I said: Always tell the truth. Be sure not to say “Rocky went to live on a farm” or “the goldfish went on vacation.” The death of a beloved (or even not so beloved) pet is often a child’s first loss. It is an opportunity to provide some education about...

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I Wouldn’t Have Missed You for the World

One Father’s Day when I was about 13, I had the idea that my gift to my dad was to remove all the rocks from the dirt trench lining one side of our house, where my parents planned to put in rose bushes. My dad was going to use the rocks I removed to build a stone wall in front of our house, like the ones in New England my parents loved so much.  After one day of working in the dirt and rock...

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