After sudden death of a husband; finding meaning in life

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, Six months ago my partner of 47 years died suddenly. We have no children and have always been very close and spent a lot of time together. This would have been our first real year of retirement together and we were looking forward to growing old together, just enjoying our free time and everyday things.  Now he’s gone I can

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Alzheimer’s Loss: fixating on the present

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I am providing emotional support to the family of an advanced Alzheimer’s patient who has been institutionalized for 5 years. The patient was a brilliant scientist, greatly loved and admired by his sister and three daughters. As the scientist approaches death, his sister and daughters are troubled by the fact that their thoughts

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“My son took his own life…”

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, My 17 year old son took his own life not even a month ago. I find I can’t even type the details. He used a shotgun in our basement. Our whole family  found him shortly afterwards. I recently read about “atypical depression” which very well described Edward’s condition. He was doing well.

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Send Comfort, Flowers and Gifts


Send Comfort, Flowers and Gifts


Guilt and a Mother’s Passing

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I didn’t want to post this because I don’t want my loved ones to know the guilt I feel about my mother’s passing. But before my mom passed last year I avoided her calls as my sister said she was drinking a lot. We lived in different states. And she was drunk

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Tragic Death of a Loved One–finding meaning

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I have read and heard you speak about the need to revisit and retell the story of the tragic death of a loved one in order to find meaning in the event.  What stands out in your comments is obvious, but should be underlined, in my view:   the profound Truth about the need

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A new grief therapist asks if being empathic is a liability?

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I am a new therapist who is just beginning to work with grieving people, but wonder if I’ve chosen the right career.  I’ve always known I was an empathic person, someone who could feel genuinely for others who were hurting, and this made me a good listener for friends when I was

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Complicated Grief: A therapist question about the loss of a client’s daughter, possible suicide

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I have been working intermittently for many years with a woman named Pam who was divorced when her adult children were adolescents, as a result of the father’s unpredictable and violent behavior and alcoholism. Likewise, two of her four children have had long histories of drug and alcohol use, despite her funding

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I Lost My Son to Suicide…

[Editor: Today is World Suicide Prevention Day] Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I lost my oldest son nearly 8 years ago to suicide at the age of 24.  He shot himself in our home.  Friends and people from church were very kind to us after it happened.  We have three other sons.  They are all grown now, but one

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