Coping with End of Life Grief

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    You want to support your friend or family member who is grieving. Initially, you might attend the funeral or memorial service. Your presence pays tribute to the person who died and brings comfort to the mourners. In addition, whether you attend a formal ceremony or not, there are a variety of ways to demonstrate thoughtfulness. When speaking to your friend, how will you find the words to express your condolences? Should you mention the person who died? Will it upset him if you do? Will he appreciate...Read More
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    You may choose to hold a memorial service for your loved one in place of, or in addition to, a funeral. The memorial celebration commemorates your dear one without her body present and may be held weeks or even months after her death. One advantage of a memorial is that you can take time for planning and schedule it when out-of-town friends and family can be present, on a significant date like her birthday, or when you are ready to place the headstone on her grave or scatter her ashes. You may also...Read More
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    From the time your loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness you begin deliberating, “Shall I tell my child?” “Will knowing about the illness frighten her?” “Maybe I should wait and not say anything yet.” As much as you want to protect your child, she probably already senses that something is wrong. Perhaps she overhears you having a conversation that stops abruptly when she enters the room. Or she notices your tearfulness and irritability. Even your youngest child perceives...Read More

Meet the Expert!

Norine Dresser

Norine Dresser is a folklorist and writer. She is the author of Multicultural Manners: New Rules of Etiquette for a Changing Society; Come as You Aren't: Feeling at Home with Multicultural Celebrations; and also wrote the eight-year award-winning Los Angeles Times column, "Multicultural Manners." She has a BA in anthropology and an MA in folklore / mythology, both from UCLA. She taught for twenty years at California State University Los Angeles, lectures frequently, and has worked with a variety...

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