Blaming Myself for My Mother’s Death

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, How do I stop blaming myself for my mother’s death?  She was 85 and 18 hours away from heart valve replacement, doing well, ready for it.  She was told to walk some before surgery, and her last walk was fatal.  I think I could have stopped her from overdoing it, but I

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A Grief Therapist Asks about expectations

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, As a counselor myself, I was interested to read recently that the majority of people who experience a significant loss react with a surprising degree of resilience, to the extent that the grief process can, in the longer term, be a positive experience for them. This tends to counter a prevailing, if

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A Bereavement Counselor’s Dilemma: the widow is ready: nobody else is. Dear Dr. Neimeyer:

I am a bereavement counselor at a hospice.  I have a client who has done amazing work after the death of her husband.  She is in her mid 60’s and very healthy.  She and her husband had counseling before his death and she continued after his death.  She has written, and written, and read everything

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Question from a Hospice Social Worker…Dear Dr. Neimeyer:

I am a  hospice social worker with a large bereavement center that offers community support services for grieving people of all kinds, not only surviving family members after a loved one dies in our home care or residential facility.  But recently we’ve been stretched thin in our outreach and response services, and are trying to

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Punished by God? : Dear Dr. Neimeyer:

In my practice I have encountered some clients who have experienced a significant loss in the past (e.g., loss of a parent when they were teenagers), which obviously altered their world views. They made sense of their losses by coming to the conclusion that bad things can happen randomly in this world, while at the

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A Widow’s Complicated Grief Rituals…Dear Dr. Neimeyer:

     I am a therapist who is seeing a woman who lives alone and without children, for complicated grief, and one of the people for whom she is grieving is her husband.  They were married 4 years before he died 19 years ago,  Every year on their anniversary, she has a very complicated ritual

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Preparing for the anniversary of a daughter’s passing

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, How do I handle the one year anniversary of my daughter’s passing, which is coming up next month? She left 3 babies behind, and I found her in her room with the boys with her. Luckily they were sleeping. But I can’t get that vision out of my head! I cry, I

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A Son’s Suicide and the Holiday Season

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, My 18 year old son hung himself in a tree on June 24, 2016. Since that day my life is full of guilt and heartache. I’ve seen multiple counselors and many of them have been great and they all tell me the same thing:  it’s not my fault. But, I cannot forgive

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Five Principles for Managing Grief in the New Year

Dear Dr. Neimeyer– My husband died just over a year ago, so on January 1st I will start my second year without him, and I am not looking forward to it.  It’s not that I am immobilized by grief, as I have gotten better across the months in that department, and actually feel pretty good

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