As a traveler on the journey through grief, you may have experienced family members and friends who meant well, but actually added to your burden of grief through their comments. They may have assumed they were being sensitive and supportive when they offered thoughts such as: "He's in a better place now. God needed her in heaven. He's no longer suffering. This is better for everyone. Now you can go on with your life. I know how you're feeling; I've been there. You're still young; you have time to re-marry/have more children."READ MORE
I got to know a little more the youngest members of my Parish Family during the Youth Hike to the Dells in Prescott last June. My discovery: the mind is youthful the body is not. They were frolicking the hilltops like newborn calves, running circles around me, getting acquainted with the rapid and heavy breathing of a 50-year-old.READ MORE
Before taking a few days of rest away from Arizona I noticed that my reading habits were not where they should be. I read things more like one has enough time to read headlines. Comprehension and retention were more difficult. So, I decided to go to an easy and pleasant read to help foster the love for reading I once had. I took with me on vacation Fr. Walter Ciszek's With God in Russia. It is his account of spending 23 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps located in one of the harshest climates on earth— Siberia. This Pennsylvania born Jesuit priest came back to the States in a spy swap in 1962.READ MORE
You, like many other people, may have just learned that your loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic, serious and/or terminal health condition. As the significance of this situation sinks in, you may have also realized that you are now becoming a caregiver possibly facing a long journey. You may be asking yourself, "Where do I start?"READ MORE
Here's another image from Gastown, Vancouver. Bagpipes have been around since the time of the ancient Romans but most Americans are familiar with the Scottish Highland Bagpipes. They were considered in Scottish Culture instruments of war, heard as far as 10 miles away, and there was a time when they were even outlawed. On this day, one downtown pub, the Blarney Stone of Vancouver, touted better food, better music and better beer. And to prove the point Mr. Celt walked down food alley to state it with his blarin' pipes. So goes the battle of the restaurants and the world of business.READ MORE
Some times when a loved one dies, relationships among family members will become stronger as family come together to grieve their loss and support each other. Other times, death can be a very divisive element, breaking families apart. Some family members may approach their grief with denial attempting to move on as quickly as possible and may expect other family members to do the same. Some family members may be experiencing longer periods of shock unable to accept the reality of their loss. Other family members may be so weighed down with their loss that they are unable to move forward to begin the healing process. In addition, they may question how others can move on and act like nothing serious has happened. These different reactions can create a lot of stress for everyone. What has to be remembered is that each family member is grieving in his/her own unique way. Attending a support group can be very helpful. However, if relationships are strained, it is best that mourners attend meetings individually so that they feel free to share their deepest feelings without upsetting other family members. If the relationships continue to be strained, family counseling may be beneficial to all.