Grief and Loss

Reflections on Grief and Joy

A three-quarter moon glowed pinkish-peach from the rising sun’s reflection on its shadowy surface, as it made its decent towards the horizon. Alone, I stood on the beach taking in the luminescent beauty of the moon, and the glimmering platinum ocean. The early morning light created a symphony of colors as the blue from the sky peaked through the fog, creating a metallic bluish-silver color.

The sand was smooth without foot prints, except for the occasional spiky claw print of a seagull. Bundled up with a scarf, hat and jacket on, I walked slowly from one length of the beach to the other, about half a mile, stopping occasionally to take in the quickly changing scenery and watching as the waves gently rolled and crashed. Their sound soothed my broken heart.

It had been eight months since I had separated from John, after being married for 17-years. Despite the separation being my idea, I was devastated that we hadn’t been able to resolve our differences. The grief was unbearable at times, especially since it was compounded by the loss of my dog and letting go of my dream of having a baby. Now, I was also letting go of my life […]

Dragonfly Magic: A Gift in the Grieving Process


A large metallic blue-green dragonfly buzzed back and forth again and again. I followed it with my eyes, like watching a tennis match. It was unusual, so I took it as a good sign. Everything was going to be okay.

It had been a beautiful Sunday in mid-August and I was sitting in the faded green Adirondack chair in our backyard, in Santa Cruz, CA my head tilted back, soaking up the sun. Relieved to relax for a few minutes, I took several deep breaths. Rennie, my ailing Shepard-mix dog, lay panting heavily next to me. I had helped her outside to go to the bathroom. I stroked the soft fur on her back gently as my fingers glided over her protruding spine. I was attuned to her every breath and movement.

Earlier that morning, John had said to me, “It’s time.” We had asked for a sign, something to tell us Rennie was ready to die, something to make our unbearable decision easier. Rennie’s health had declined rapidly in recent weeks. First, she was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. She bounced back, but then became lethargic. A trip to the vet revealed she had an auto-immune condition which affected her jaws […]

By |October 30th, 2013|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Saying Goodbye to Bucky – Part I

Waking out of a deep sleep, I heard my husband, John, shout, “Karen, you need to get up and see this. Bucky can’t walk.”

It can’t be that bad, I’ll just roll over and sleep a little more.

“Get up,” he said. “You have to see this.”

Grudgingly, I got out of bed and saw that our cat, Bucky kept falling over as he tried to drink from his water bowl.

Bucky was 20 years old. Since I never had children, he was my “baby,” sweet, gentle, timid and affectionate. I loved to cuddle with him and pet his soft gray and white fur. As the runt of his litter, Bucky had outlived his brother, Spanky, and his next feline companion, Kitty. He was the least adventurous of them all, although, having moved ten times in his long life, he experienced plenty of adventure.

Blind and arthritic, Bucky had recently become incontinent and developed a terrible smell that bathing didn’t help. Was his time near? He didn’t appear to be suffering. I hadn’t even considered putting him to sleep. He kept my lap warm while I wrote in the morning, slept in my meditation chair next to me as I worked during the […]

By |October 24th, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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7 Healthy Ways to Cope With the Loss of a Loved One

There’s truly nothing worse than experiencing the loss of a loved one. Nothing can prepare you for the immense sadness and pain of saying goodbye to a friend, family, co-worker, or neighbor, but there are ways to help you come to terms with your loss in a healthy, positive manner. If you or someone you know is experiencing bereavement, take a look at these seven healthy ways to cope with the loss of a loved one.

(This is a guest post provided by Jena Ellis at

Click here to read more…

By |September 27th, 2012|Grief and Loss|

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Quantum Leap Healing through Community

Are you someone who has experienced loss? Do you find yourself grieving alone or suppressing your feelings altogether? If so, you may be afraid of burdening friends and family with your grief. Or, perhaps you feel like no one understands what you are going through, so you hide your deepest thoughts and feelings of loss.

Nearly two years ago, I found myself feeling stuck, depressed and very alone in my grief related to not being able to have a baby. I had been through an eight-year cycle of hope, despair and loss during which most of my grieving I did alone. Finally, I joined a pregnancy loss support group with five other women, which catapulted my grieving process in three short months to an entirely new level.

Not only did I feel witnessed, supported and acknowledged for my loss, but I got in touch with and expressed some deep anger I didn’t even realize was there. The group acted as a safe container for me to explore all of my feelings. During the final session, a member shared with me, “You look lighter.” The burden of my grief had been lifted and I felt more joy.

Today, I have more vitality […]

How to Help When Your Spouse Loses a Parent

The death of a parent is one of the hardest losses in life, and most of us will experience this pain during our lifetimes. When it’s a spouse who has to cope with the grief of losing one of the most important people in his or her life, it can be hard to know how to help. Though the grieving process may last months or even years, these tips will help you comfort your spouse and bring the two of you closer together.

This is a guest post offered by Hannah Peterson from LifeInsurance. org. To read the entire article, please click here!

By |September 7th, 2012|Grief and Loss|

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Grieving: A Catalyst for Spiritual Awakening

The grieving process can be a powerful catalyst for our spiritual awakening. When we experience loss, such as the death of a loved one, we long for the connection we once had. We long for what was that isn’t anymore. In our longing, we are invited to surrender and let go of control of how we think life should have turned out. We are invited into a deeper relationship with the Divine as we let go and trust the great mystery of life.

Over the past ten years, I have desired to have a baby but have experienced one early miscarriage after another, with no medical explanation. Each month I become pregnant, I get excited and think, maybe this time! Then, my period comes and I experience grief and despair only to ride the cycle again the following month.

The more I allow myself to express my grief and anger, ALL of my feelings, the more energy I have. My vital life force is allowed to flow and move…to create new life. Thus, my journey through infertility and grief has opened me to new possibilities for living a fertile life. Not only have I birthed a greater version of myself…a stronger, […]

Celebrating the Cycle of Life and Death

The cycle of life, death and rebirth is so rich and beautiful. When someone or something dies, someone or something new is born. Life is forever expanding and expressing itself. If we remain open and awake, we are able to celebrate it in all of its forms.

Recently, I received news that my 97-year-old Grammie was on hospice and dying after a fall from her wheelchair. Even though she was old and I knew her time on earth was coming to an end, I was still heart broken. I wanted one last chance to see her.

While driving to her assisted living home, I went over and over in my mind the things I wanted to express to her…how her life had made a huge impact on so many, what an amazing person she was, how much I loved her. I felt sick to my stomach and had a lump in my throat as I didn’t know what to expect. Would she be awake and conscious? Would I be able to communicate with her? Would she be in pain?

I knocked softly on her door before entering. She was unresponsive, sleeping heavily and looked similar to my father the day he passed […]

By |August 3rd, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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Healing After Divorce

Have you experienced a divorce or relationship breakup? Do you have a broken heart? If so, this article offers six keys to help you heal.  Please click here to read.

Responding to Tragedy

I was saddened to learn about the Colorado Movie Theater shooting. It especially struck home for me since it was a theater my husband and I frequented when we lived in Parker, Colorado. I’ve written an article, 5 Tips For Responding To Tragedy On The News.  Click on this link to read the article published on

By |July 20th, 2012|Grief and Loss|

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