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Venus and Mars: Crucial Differences in Grieving

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By Nancy W. (Part 2 in a series) There are some crucial things to understand about the process you are embarking on. First, no two people ever grieve in the same way. This is because nearly every culture on earth prescribes different roles by sex and biology. Men protect, women nurture. Men are the breadwinners, while women bear the children. This is very important to grasp. Consider this: Men, especially in Western culture, may grow up believing it is their duty and role to be the breadwinner, the protector, the fixer. They may strive in usually very concrete ways to fix things when they are broken. […]

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The Grieving Year

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By Nancy W. (Part 3 in a series) It is important to understand the timetable of grief after a ending a wanted pregnancy, for we do see a pattern. Remember this is not set in cement, but most folks would concur that these are the landmarks: The immediate postpartum period This is when you may experience intense, overwhelming emotions, nearly continuous grieving, poor sleep, poor appetite, shock and disbelief, bargaining, constant second guessing of the decision, physical aching to hold the baby, mom’s milk comes in, setting off your grief anew, still feeling the baby’s “kicks,” arms aching to hold the baby, “hearing” the baby’s […]

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The Tapestry

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By Nancy W. (Part 5 in a series) In the series of articles beginning with What Is Grief Work? I have tried to deal with some of the big issues in the grief process after ending a wanted pregnancy. I absolutely understand your feelings, the crazy ones, the guilty ones, the ones where you hate your body for betraying you, the frustration with family and coworkers and their callous remarks and attitudes, your fear and ambivalence about trying to conceive again, not to mention your cravings to be with child again, your ambivalence about what comes next, your grief with subsequent fertility problems. Oh boy, what […]

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The Big D: Depression

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By Nancy W. (Part 4 in a series) Research is discovering more and more about the biochemistry of depression. We know that depression is linked to a faulty mechanism for regulating various neurochemicals in our brains, like Serotonin, which regulate our feelings of happiness or satisfaction. “Designer” drugs (SSRIs) such as Zoloft, Prozac, and others help to regulate these chemicals. Some other, older, antidepressants can be very helpful too. But I am getting the cart in front of the horse here. Depression has been found to run in families, and often a major depressive diagnosis can be made without a precipitating episode; some of us […]

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“God only gives us what we can handle” and Other Untruths

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By Tova Gold On Facebook today a friend posted a comment about how stressed she was. I read through the comments and came upon the obligatory “God only gives us what we can handle” platitude. I came very close to posting a reply but decided I wasn’t in the mood to educate one stranger about the stupidity of that concept at the expense of the general niceness on my friends wall so I decided to come here and vent about it instead … Read the rest of this article at Finding My Muchness, a blog by Tova Gold. Excerpt republished by permission. ©Tova Gold

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Cupid’s arrow

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Grace O. Few things irritate me more than people griping about how much they hate Valentine’s Day. “It’s just a Hallmark holiday,” they whine, “Why can’t people say I love you every day instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day? I hate chocolates. I never have a date. Roses are a waste of money. It’s stupid.” These petty complaints crop up every year. And I have to stuff my response, resist the temptation to stun the complainers out of their self-absorbed grousing about how tough it is for them to tolerate another Valentine’s Day. So I let them sulk about romance, or polish their tiresome hipster cred […]

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When We Create Meaning

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By Tova Gold About six weeks after the girls died, I thought I would die from my grief. The entire experience of pregnancy and loss felt like a bad dream that I’d imagined. It’s because I never met them. I had no concrete evidence they’d existed. I chose to be “put under” for the delivery, because I was scared, and when I woke up they were gone, no longer in my body. It wasn’t until after that I realized how much I yearned to know what they’d looked like. How I ached for the opportunity to hold my two daughters at the same time, looking […]

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Grief and its Relationship with Time

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By Marna Cathleen As the layers unfold in my story of loss and grief I am noticing how the pain calms down and something else begins to happen. Yet, in those awful moments I did not believe it would ever get better. How feelings come and go I am learning that a feeling, good or bad, often feels that it will last forever. The only difference between a good feeling experience and bad one is that when the great joy and bliss are happening I usually do not ask the question; “when is this dam bliss going to end?” In fact time stands still in […]

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Hope for the Newly Bereaved

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By Sara I am so sorry for your losses. You will get through and life will be good again. Please know that you can handle anything now. Not much could be worse than what we have all been through. I still think of my baby every day, but it doesn’t break my heart anymore. It just is, there, in the background. I have moved along, dealt with my loss and accepted it. My new outlook on life is a little less naïve, but stronger. I no longer expect that things will be okay, I accept that what will be will be, and I have the […]

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The Dreaded Baby Shower

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by Grace O. It’s almost inevitable after we’ve ended a wanted pregnancy. We will be invited to the dreaded baby shower. It’s comes with the territory. We’re of childbearing age, and so too are our sisters, sisters-in-law, cousins, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Somebody else will be pregnant, and we’ll be invited to her baby shower. Before we were forced to choose between two terrifying options, we may have found baby showers fun, or tolerable, and if not tolerable, we could at least look forward to ice cream punch and cupcakes. But after EWP, a baby shower invitation can feel like an invitation to emotional Armageddon. […]