Tsunami Grief: A one-hour warning

We were awoken abruptly at 3:50 am one morning this past week. There was loud banging on the front door of our ocean side condo. Startled and fearful of whom it might be, I hesitated to open the door. After the second round of loud knocking, I decided to open the door only to find myself face to face with a fire fighter in full uniform. So many things passed through my mind at that moment. His expression and his words were serious and intense. Continue reading →

Christmas Cookie Recipes: Embracing both the old and the new in grief

Christmas is a season of contrasts – it involves both old and new. For the grieving, it is also a time of the year that is mixed with sorrow and joy.

When families gather together this time of the year, they often experience a twinge of sadness as they are reminded that there is a person (or people) missing that used to be with us during this time of the year. Continue reading →

What Would They Say If They Were Present?

Bringing Your Loved One Into the Celebration

This month, I returned to parish ministry following a 4-year sabbatical. One of the individuals who encouraged and supported me to be a pastor when I was young was my first wife Pam who died 9 years ago.

There are many celebrations in life where we wish we could bring back a deceased loved one.

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a celebration missing that person? Continue reading →

Everyone Needs a Wart to Slow Them Down: 5 Reasons not to rush through your grief journey

I had my second wart (since my 58 years of life) on the outside of my left pinkie toe and it slowed me down – a lot!

Today, when I tried to charge through the mall to complete my chores, I couldn’t because the wart was rubbing against the inside of my shoe. It hurt! But it forced me to walk at a normal pace. To my surprise, at the slower speed, I actually began to notice and enjoy everything around me. I really did.

Oh, how we need to live life differently and more intentionally.

It’s the same with grief. Some people believe you should plough through it as fast as possible and get to the “other side”. I personally don’t believe that’s possible or healthy – grief has a purpose that requires us to slow down.

Why?

Because, when you rush…

  • You make mistakes
  • You miss out on what is right in front of you that might be important
  • You create anxiety in and around you
  • You don’t give space for the learning
  • You don’t see what is good
  • You can’t reframe because you are focussed on one thing only

Better to be the tortoise than the hare. No need to rush – your grief isn’t going anywhere soon.