grief bereavement

A blog about grief and bereavement.

Brothers to brave Atlantic Ocean in row for skin cancer research

15Mar

Two Lymington brothers are preparing to row the Atlantic Ocean in memory of their late father Peter Massey, who sufferer with basal cell carcinoma skin cancer and sadly passed away in 2015 aged 63. Jude Massey, 17, and Dr Greg … Continue reading

  

SUDEP Awareness Day 2016 encourages people with epilepsy to take key steps to reduce their risk

20Oct

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SUDEP Awareness Day aims to improve awareness of SUDEP by highlighting key risks and steps that people with epilepsy can take to reduce their risk. Launched by UK Charity SUDEP Action on 23 October 2014, the awareness day shines a … Continue reading

  

3 Things a Cancer Patient Should Do Before Passing On

18Nov

My late father-in-law was 67 when he passed away with Stage IV of Pancreatic Cancer in June 2015. He underwent several cycles of chemotherapy and had lived for 1.5 years before succumbing to the cancer this year. He was very … Continue reading

  

Were you aware ?

1Sep

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Yesterday was August Bank Holiday in the UK, for me it was a fairly wet dull day. It was also International Overdose Awareness Day, the aim of which is to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug … Continue reading

  

Live self determined-Die self determined

14Aug

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In my last blog I wrote about the process of Assisted Dying in Switzerland. A country I have loved to ski and walk in for many years and a country I feel very at home in, as do my two … Continue reading

  

Sudden Infant Death syndrome – Advice for Parents

1Jun

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I have not shaved today. Over 30 years ago I worked for a Paediatrician who had a special interest in what was then termed cot death.  I found it very distressing and emotional dealing with cases.  Little was known about … Continue reading

  

Do doctors talk about dying?

22May

Many people think that having a conversation about dying is reserved for those with cancer. We tend to forget that there are other, often chronic, illness such as heart failure, which also need careful management of the expectations of end-of-life … Continue reading

  

Who do you turn to when your Mum is dying?

20May

I have very mixed feelings about the support we were offered towards the end of Mom’s life. Everyone was lovely and kind to Mom, but nobody would talk about her dying. Even the Macmillan nurse wouldn’t broach the subject because … Continue reading

  

Get involved this National Epilepsy Week

19May

At SUDEP Action, we supports people who have lost someone they love to epilepsy or Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). We also campaign for change and fund research to prevent epilepsy deaths in the future. What you can do … Continue reading

  

Managing Xmas Emotions after Loss

15Dec

Christmas, for so many, is a time for celebration, giving and receiving – and sharing time with those we love. But, for so many others an inevitable fact of life is that most of us will at some stage face … Continue reading

  

The Christmas Gift

8Dec

I love Christmas. I love the build-up to Christmas. The crazy running around, gift-buying, baking, visiting, carolling, then the peace and quiet of Christmas Day. To reflect on the year, on life, be thankful, happy and sad. Christmas will never … Continue reading

  

Autumn colours

9Oct

Mom always enjoyed the autumn colours on her birthday. She would have been 70 today. We will be going for a walk in the woods later, to enjoy the colours and to celebrate. Mom’s cancer was aggressive. The first round … Continue reading

  

Care at home

24Jun

I have recently lost my husband and cared for him at home until he died. The help I had from my GP and the District Nurses was wonderful and could not be faulted, the NHS staff are a credit to … Continue reading

  

Sea shell whispers

15May

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This lovely cowrie shell was collected on Durban beach a long time ago, when Granny was a girl. She treasured it. She gave away all her earthly belongings before she died. She was bed-ridden, on a high-care ward, dying from … Continue reading

  

Always on my mind

30Apr

I’m not used to people telling me things I didn’t know about my Mother. In the weeks leading up to her death from lung cancer, we talked a lot. She told me many personal things, and we shared the most … Continue reading

  

My journey with Flynn by Rosy

4Mar

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I wanted to write about our experience in the hope that I may be able to help others, to try to communicate to the world how it feels to lose a child and most importantly to keep my little boys … Continue reading

  

Walk and talk

6Feb

Just when I thought there was no more to say, a simple comment to Dad today brought out another level of reflection from us both. Time has given us the space to listen and so nearly three years since Mom … Continue reading

  

The chair

30Dec

Please don’t sit in her chair, It makes me ache that she is not here. Two Christmasses gone, Her place at the table will never be forgotten. I know you are a nice person, Not wanting to hurt me – … Continue reading

  

I’m not dead yet

9Aug

Anniversaries focus the mind. Bring back memories. A talk radio discussion this morning reminded me how angry I was in the month before Mom died. How determined we were that Mom would not die in hospital. Mom was admitted for … Continue reading

  

Time passing

21Jul

The every-day hum drum of life is OK. It’s the quiet times that get to me. The times when grief is close to the surface of my heart, and erupts in a harsh sob, that I can’t even tell the … Continue reading

  

Dear Friend (sharing grief)

17Jun

Dear Friend, I am so sorry to hear that your dear Dad has passed away. I know your pain. The sadness. The overwhelming emotion of dealing with the death of a loved one. Your Dad’s death has brought back memories … Continue reading

  

Long-distance grieving

24Apr

They say that the world is getting smaller, meaning it is easier to travel to or communicate with loved ones, friends, family and colleagues. But what about when someone you care about is ill, terminally ill? And living 10,000 km … Continue reading

  

Death in a care home

24Apr

I am an advocate for dying matters. I believe that when your loved one is nearing the end of their life, you and your family should be told about the choices for their care. It is not an easy conversation … Continue reading

  

Eileen Elizabeth 1920 – 2012

13Apr

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My mother sadly passed away 16th December last year.  I like and hope to think that it was the release she would have wanted from suffering from dementia, but who knows…… Although she was nearly 93 and had been suffering from dementia … Continue reading

  

Stress and Life

28Mar

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“Stress is the spice of life” Hans Selye (1980) It was Walter Cannon (1871-1945) who first described the physiological fight-or-flight response to a threatening situation. The term stress was introduced by Hans Selye (1907-1982). Stress in small doses has an … Continue reading

  

The most important job of my life

21Mar

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Written by Rhonda Brantley You’ve heard about Alzheimer’s and dementia for years, but never suspected it would creep into your own home. Much like cancer, a house fire or losing your life savings, we just don’t anticipate bad things happening to us. Those … Continue reading

  

Close one door and another one opens

21Feb

When Mom was diagnosed I was angry. So angry that her retirement had been ripped apart so cruelly. So angry that her life would be cut short and there was nothing we could do about it. Angry that my job … Continue reading

  

Patients to get better care from healthcare assistants

20Feb

A new independent review will look at how the training and support of healthcare and care assistants can be strengthened so they give better care to patients, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today. The review will be led by Times … Continue reading

  

Don’t sweat the small stuff

31Jan

I have changed. I used to be a worry-pot. I used to get annoyed at the slightest thing. I could get in a real temper. But that was before Mom became ill and died. It was a life-changing event. I … Continue reading

  

Health 2012: a year in headlines

31Dec

Our health in 2012

In 2012 we’ve found that the standards of health reporting have – largely – improved. Where there have been health scares these have been sensibly and even-handedly reported, ‘wonder cures’ seem to have hit the headlines far less often than we’ve … Continue reading

  

Growing old and what we need

27Dec

Demographics of growing older. Interestingly I have been thinking about this of late with my field of work we often forget there are a growing number of ‘younger’ old people who are relatively fit and healthy contributing to society the … Continue reading

  

Life is like a box of chocolates…

23Nov

Well life bowled me a googlie recently which has changed a few things around. I had to have a biopsy of my womb in mid-September due to the long term unopposed oestrogen I have been on and unfortunately I got … Continue reading

  

Natural disasters, war – where are your loved ones?

3Oct

Danny Lieberman, founder of Pathcare; the private social network for a doctor and his patients goes back in time to 1973 and talks about a multi-trauma patient management system – developed in Israel during the war as a response to the … Continue reading

  

Could all the money in the world find a cure for cancer?

3Oct

I honestly think the short answer to that is no, but I would love to be proved wrong. Funding shortfall There are any number of high-profile cancer research campaigns, all begging and pleading for funding. The UK medical research funding … Continue reading

  

Your choice

10Sep

Sometimes, when things get a bit tough, it is easy to forget that we have a choice. We have a choice about where and how we die. With a diagnosis of terminal illness, we are given plenty of time to … Continue reading

  

When your time is up

23Aug

I am writing this today, the day after Tony Nicklinson died. I don’t know his family, but I do understand how brave they are. To see your loved one suffer is so very hard to bear. We knew that Mom’s … Continue reading

  

Get your ducks in a row

6Aug

That’s what Mom always said. She was a wise woman, right to the end. And her clarity and comprehension of her situation helped us to help her. My wonderful husband was pro-active in getting Mom to decide where she wanted … Continue reading

  

Isn’t it time we changed the way we do bereavement?

3Jul

Bereavement doesn’t have to mean suffering. It can be a period of reflection, from which we, the survivors, draw comfort and strength to face the future without our loved ones. I have been close to my Dad this week as … Continue reading

  

Can General Practice handle the emotion of terminal illness?

18Jun

Reading a GP’s Twitterings made me realise that we have very different ideas about what patients should expect from GPs. GPs expect patients to fit into the numbers game (alcohol consumption, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol). Patients expect GPs to treat … Continue reading

  

Sometimes, death is a negative

29May

I enjoy reading grief blogs. They are often witty, inspirational and always personal. But some are written by cynical ‘grief specialists’, each with a unique process for dealing with grief. Now, this is OK for some, but for many of … Continue reading

  

Things my mother never taught me

25May

My mother was a fine woman. She was strong and jolly and independent. She was not a stay at home mom. She worked full time and I went to pre-school when I was just two years old. I loved it, … Continue reading

  

Dying Matters Awareness Week

14May

The support we had when Mom was dying was second to none. The group of people who rallied round and made sure that Mom’s wishes were met, were angels to her and to us. Mom found it difficult to accept … Continue reading

  

Tea and sympathy

28Apr

I’m a great fan of the cup of tea. My favourite is Earl Grey made with tea leaves and beaming with bergamot. I don’t like it particularly strong. I take a little milk, but not sugar. I vividly remember my … Continue reading

  

Physiology of grief

26Apr

As the impact of my Mother’s death lessens, I can now put into perspective the way my body reacted to the grief at losing my Mother to cancer last year. Some have likened the grief process to accelerated ageing, with changes … Continue reading

  

A more gentle approach to grief

16Apr

Perhaps I was a bit harsh last week. I was feeling particularly vulnerable. It’s my birthday this week and I’m missing my Mom. My Dad has been leaning quite heavily on me and the emotional strain is getting a bit … Continue reading

  

De-clutter your life: moving on from grief

12Apr

I am not a life coach or counsellor. I’m not even a really friendly ear. I’m outspoken and honest. And I say this, de-clutter your lives. Do it now. Do not surround yourself with people who are negative and unrewarding. … Continue reading

  

The invisibility cloak

5Apr

It has occurred to me that society has a way of cloaking the difficult aspects of life, death and some things in between. I assumed that because I was OK to talk about Mom’s cancer, everyone else would be OK … Continue reading

  

Let’s talk about dying

4Apr

I have been looking at cancer blogs and forums and have noticed something quite disappointing. They are filled (quite rightly) with inspirational survivor stories and battle cries, but are lacking in discussions on death and dying. The two largest cancer … Continue reading