Posts Tagged ‘grief’

This Beautiful Tribute To A Dog And His Man Will Have You In Tears

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Watch video.

When Grief Becomes a Disorder

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

As M. Katherine Shear, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University School of Social Work, puts it: “Grief is not one thing. It is a shorthand word for a complex, time-varying experience that is unique for each person and each loss.”

There is no timetable for the healing process. “In general, grief usually evolves over time from an acute form that tends to dominate a person’s mind to an integrated form in which the core features of sadness and yearning are much more subdued,” Dr. Shear says. When those feelings persist or intensify, the result may be a condition known as complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder (PGD). As much as 10 percent of all bereaved people experience complicated grief.

Complicated grief is marked by “broad changes to all personal relationships, a sense of meaninglessness, a prolonged yearning or searching for the deceased, and a sense of rupture in personal beliefs,” according to the American Psychological Association.

People with complicated grief often experience chronic sleep disturbances and disruptions in their daily routine. Studies have found that they are at increased risk for hypertension, heart disease, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. They may “try to avoid confronting the intense pain associated with the loss and this, paradoxically, ends up increasing the pain and interfering with the natural adaptive process,” says Shear, who is director of Columbia’s Center for Complicated Grief.


Stray dogs attend viewing and funeral for woman who fed them

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

According to daughter Patricia Urrutia, Margarita Suarez dedicated his life to caring for stray dogs and cats. After first, rejecting the idea, funeral home owners relented and let the dogs stay. “This was entirely unexpected and it is a beautiful and marvelous thing,” Urrutia said.

Besides family and friends of Suarez, the media attended the service and reported that the dogs were well behaved.

“They stayed with my mother all day and then all night, but they left in the morning,” Urrutia said. ¨Then, when we brought my mom to be cremated the dogs came back and gathered to say goodbye,” she said.


More evidence that dogs and other animals know so much more than some people give them credit for. Those of us who are animals lovers will not be surprised.

Freud On How To Forget The Past

Friday, March 13th, 2015

The following is an excerpt from Freud: Great Thinkers on Modern Life, a new series published by The School of Life. In this particular chapter, author Bret Kahr uses Freud’s writings to make a case for the value and effective methods of forgetting the past.

As a psychotherapist, I spend a great deal of my working life helping patients to think about their childhood and its impact. Many people suffer from parental bereavements, painful punishments, crushing humiliations and other adverse experiences, and may, also, have enjoyed tender affection from mother or father, or the joys of happy play with siblings and friends. Some of us revisit childhood in our mind, celebrating the healthy peaks, crying about the debilitating troughs. But other people tend to place a repressive blanket over childhood, pretending that toxic events never happened. I find that such people often suffer from great anger, resentment and rage in adult life, still nursing early wounds which have never healed. Freud has helped us to recognize the importance of childhood and of its excavation.
Freud reveled in the Latin aphorism Saxa loquuntur, “the stones speak” (“The Aetiology of Hysteria,” 1986), a phrase that he may well have noticed while walking through the Sigismundtor or Sigmund’s door, an eighteenth-century tunnel in Salzburg which, as it happens, bears his forename. By relishing the archaeological excavation of the mind, and my resurrecting repressed memories, Freud taught us a vital life lesson, namely, that we cannot, and must not, forget the past. It impacts upon us whether we with it to or not; and thus we have an obligation to explore our childhood in the hope of putting our ghosts in the nursery to rest.



7 Of The Most Helpful Things You Can Say To Someone With Depression

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Depression has a way of being an all-consuming, monster of a battle. It takes a toll physically and emotionally. It’s often stigmatized. But perhaps one of the biggest struggles for those who suffer is the feeling that no one else in the world can truly understand what they’re going through.

However, those feelings of isolation provide one of the biggest opportunities for loved ones to help, explains Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

“The key thing is to help the [depressed] person know that you understand that they’re ill,” he tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of people view depression as some sort of character flaw. To let someone know that you understand that this is an illness that needs to be treated is important.”


What Not To Say To Someone Grieving A Pet

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

If you’ve ever experienced the loss of a pet, you know that the pain and grief is deep and real — and can even be overwhelming.

Despite that, grief over the loss of a pet is often not treated with the same respect or sensitivity as grief over the loss of a human.


I’m doing more and more coaching and counseling around loss of animal as well as human companions, since I seem so well equipped by life experiences to deal with this. My popular book, Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man, and my other books all talk about this in one way or another.

I’m beginning a new book: By a Thousand Cuts

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Some women murder their children at birth. Some kill them over a lifetime.

Many of us came from dysfunctional families. I knew mine was that, but have been realizing more and more just how seriously dysfunctional it is.

When people extol their mothers I have long kept my mouth shut, partly because I believed the dominant view that my dad was the primary bad guy. And partly because many folks become upset at negative comments about someone’s mother. Even more than fathers, mothers are supposed to be sacred, givers of life and unconditional love, who would never destroy their entire family line to protect one of their children.

Loss Group forming

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Starting a group for people who’ve lost their animal and/or human companions and need help dealing with it. Denver. Please spread the word. 303-650-0610

7 Ways Books Can Change Your Life

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Himay Zepeda Often times, during a dark hour or an idle point, a book has changed my life. There are countless books that have pointed me in a different direction, or taught me a lesson. There are also many books that have helped me articulate my own emotions or thoughts, helped me find a voice. If it weren’t for the books I’ve read, I’d be a very different man today…I’d even argue I’d be less of a man.

Books, especially good ones, have that sort of power. If you let them, they can change your life, serve as another compass or guide, or give you a lift when you need it most. I’m sure you can think of at least one book that fundamentally changed you as a human being.

For all of us who’ve felt this transformation, or for anybody who hopes to find that in a good book, this is for you. Here are some of the ways reading a book can change your life.


Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.