Writing on this platform resumes with new topics and focus
Over the past year, I wrote on aspects of grief and compared the process to the COVID-19 pandemic, racial strife in the USA, and other matters. I wanted to help people understand the grief process in the context of wide-reaching occurrences, showing that grief isn’t just personal, it’s also communal.
I took this summer away from writing and prioritized family and personal activities. As the summer wears down, I turn back to my research-driven writing on grief in the personal/communal dynamic. …
They Are Among the Highest Rates of Suicide. Why?
“Lately, Joe had begun to change. Our family noticed it, and his work family noticed it. The past year had been very difficult for Joe,” said Omaha Mayor, Jean Stothert at a March 2021 press conference. She held this event to discuss her husband, Dr. Joseph Stothert’s suicide. The doctor had been a lauded, experienced professional, beloved by his peers at Univ. Nebraska Medical Center, itself a nationally recognized health care and research facility.
“Lately, Joe had begun to change. Our family noticed it, and his work family noticed it. …
Meaning Drives Our Will to Live — and Lacking Meaning Causes Us to Die
At last, after covering the five, better known stages of grief first researched and posited by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross over thirty years ago, the grief series concludes with the “sixth” stage, Meaning.
Meaning has propelled human thinking for ages. We have devoted fields to it, created religions around it, spoofed it (“42”), commercialized it, and done everything we can to try and find a universal answer to, “What is the meaning of life?” …
Can A Person Keep Enough Lies Floating to Cover Their Position?
In past entries about Denialism, I’ve contrasted it from Denial, the stage of grief. I have also explained how toxic leaders can make denialism worse, by fomenting and validating people’s wish to believe the impossible in order to stave off not just the real, but the really inevitable.
To recap: Denialism is a subversion of the grief process, where you subscribe to impossible scenarios, hope for unlikely outcomes, support conspiracy theories, back toxic leaders, shun disbelievers, and practice antipathy to those outside your circle. Often, Denialism is political but…
How to Help Suicidal People
One night, I asked my wife for her permission to die. This happened about three months after I wrote her a suicide note. I told her I couldn’t bear the pain of living anymore.
She was scared and furious. She told me all I have to live for, who I would be living behind, and she focused especially on the painful burdens I would leave behind for her.
I stepped back. I entered counseling through the Veterans Affairs. The VA social worker gave me resources, encouraged me to attend online classes, and gave me the…
A Smoother Talking, Craftier Crook is Still A Crook
“If he had just told the truth….”
That is a common phrase you might read or hear regarding soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump. Pick an issue: COVID-19, the economy, his finances, or his personal life. Trump is perhaps the world’s most prolific liar, as far as public record is concerned. His last and biggest lie concerned him lying about the election itself. …
Acceptance Opens the Door to Healing — But It Will Always Hurt A Little
“This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing” (Kessler, n.d. Five Stages of Grief)
Depression is Grief’s Winter
In this series about grief and current events, I have covered Denial, Anger, and Bargaining. Each of these three stages has their own characteristics, but what each one lacks is the bone-deep, energy-sapping impact of Depression. Depression is when grief plays out like a long, cold Great Plains winter, which feels endless and devoid of life. As grief expert, David Kessler (n.d.) writes,
“After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though…