Tragic Death of a Loved One–finding meaning – copy

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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The Pandemic and Grieving and the Events in Paris 2015

Editor: On November 13, 2015 the world was shocked by a series of terrorist attacks in Paris. We felt that Dr. Neimeyer’s words in response to that were relevant to what all Americans, in fact the entire world, is experiencing right now.  Be safe. Be Healthy LB & LL Dear Dr. Niemeyer, I feel I

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Complicated and consuming grief of a friend

Dear Dr. Neimeyer I have read and appreciate your work about meaning reconstruction in loss. I have a friend whose grief is so complicated and consuming that she can’t find life for herself (her husband died from cancer about six years ago) and she can’t seem to move forward at all. Here is an excerpt

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Anticipatory Grieving: mourning the living

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, Your recent reply to the woman widowed over 25 years ago resonated with me, even though my husband is still alive.  I am a member of the Well Spouse Association, a national nonprofit organization which provides peer support to those caring for chronically ill or disabled spouses. “Chronic sorrow”…”bleaching out of emotions”…”surviving but not thriving”… “sense of not fitting

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Anticipatory Grief: my daughter’s fate

Dear Dr. Neimeyer, If you have been experiencing anticipatory grief for a loved one, once they die do you still experience normal grief? Or is it all combined within the anticipatory? I have a daughter who is a medical guinea pig, and as far as we can tell she is the oldest surviving person in

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A Daughter asks about Grief & Depression

Editor’s note:  this is a re-publication of a question to Dr. Neimeyer from longtime AfterTalk columnist Caitlin Dorman. Dear Dr. Neimeyer, I assumed I would always know what my dad would say if he were here today. We were best friends, and he was very, very outspoken. Without blinking, I feel in sync with his

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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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