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Coping with Loss/dealing withthe silbling that did not die


My  29 year old son is having a hard time dealing with the death of his 31nyr old brother. thy where best friends. he avoids talking about it. does not want anything to remind him of his brother and his dealth. I feel like I,m back t owhenmy husband ask for a divorced in 1999 and he told my boys before me. and they where angry at me because of the lies he told them. I feel so alone I want to just disappear. I have no support from family then and now. how do I deal with my son and my ex. and how do I get this feeling that I don't ant to be here

Barbara, please promise me that you'll reach out immediately to a local support group or therapy option to start creating the support you need for your best self care!!  You really need to create a net and support for yourself.  It sounds to me like you are facing un-resolved grief of the ambiguous (meaning non-death) loss of your marriage; the death of a child; and some family dynamics that make it difficult for you to communicate in the ways you'd like with your surviving son.  Any one of those things is a lot and would lead me to suggest you find a good local, in-person support, but put all of it together on one person's shoulders, and oh my!  

With that context, I'm not surprised that you are struggling to figure out how to stay present -- it's very hard to be present with so much pain.  And to feel you are alone facing it adds just that much more difficulty to the process.  I'd say your reactions are normal considering the overwhelming circumstances *AND* it is imperative that you start getting support as soon as possible.

Call you local mental health facilities, funeral homes, and hospitals and ask them if there are any free grief support groups offered near you.  Go to group!  Really.  Even if you feel you cannot talk to the group once there, that is okay -- just go and see that you are not alone.  See that other people face these kinds of things and see how they are creating support for themselves.  Let them show you some of what might be available in your area.  Talk with the group facilitators and ask if they know of any local supports like therapist who specializes in grief support.

As for other things I can recommend, I'm sort of limited in what I can offer because this isn't in-person, I don't know where you are located, etc.  But let me point you toward a few online resources that you might also check out for information and coming to understand all that you are going through:

The Centering Corporation -
They have lots of books on grief.  Grief in bereaved parents.  Grief in surviving siblings.  There may be some books there that speak to you.

Grief Watch -
In particular, just today, they released a newsletter about facing mothers day after your child has died:

Compassionate Friends -
This link is their chapter locator in particular where you can put in your zip code and see what support groups might be available near you.  They also have a lot of information on their website for the support of bereaved parents.

Pauline Boss -
You might be interested to read and learn more about something called ambiguous loss which Pauline Boss has written about for years now.  This is the grief that comes when the loss is not necessarily visible, or for some reason, is not acknowledged as a major loss.  While your divorce may have been visible, the complications that came from communication dysfunction and how that impacted your relationships with your children, may not have been so visible.  So maybe coming to understand a bit about what happened there can help?

Please, please pick up the phone and call your local resources asap.  Please search the compassionate friends site for local groups.  Just please promise me you will take whatever next step you need to take today to put some self care in place for you.  You are worthy and deserve good care.  Please seek it and allow the local resources to be of service to you!

Coping with Loss

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Kara L.C. Jones


My specialty is using creativity to address grief, loss, and death issues. Creativity is not necessarily about being an artist, but rather about being willing to let go what we think we know and get a different perspective using creative tools such as writing, drawing, body mapping, painting, smashing, wrecking, mosaic, heART journal,and many other techniques. I can answer questions about how to have permission to grieve in your own way, how to become your own best advocate as you learn to live life again, how to approach a creative way of being even when you think you are not creative. Afterall, it takes a lot of creativity to find reasons to get out of bed the day after someone you love has died. I am glad to answer any questions about how to embrace that creative approach when we otherwise feel totally tapped out by the grief experience.


For 14 years, I've been studying grief and creativity specifically and have been part of bringing the emerging field of grief and creativity to the fore in our world. I worked for a decade with the MISS Foundation offering support to families around the world who are enduring the death of a child due to any cause from miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, accident, disease, suicide, whatever the case. I also co-founded The Creative Grief Studio with Cath Duncan from Remembering For Good as a brand new vision on the training, accountability, and development of the Grief Coaching and helping professionals fields. And probably most important, I've endured the death of three of my own sons and am always learning to live creatively with that reality. For more information, see:

The Creative Grief Studio, Grief & Creativity groups on both LinkedIn and G+


Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Three-year Mentorship with Fred Rogers and Hedda Sharapan of FCI producers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Certified Reiki Master-Teacher, Certified Whole Systems and AI Coach (key model being The Hero's Journey)

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Confidentiality and a sense of ethics will not allow me to share private client information ever! If you are interested in testimonials from people who have worked with me and given full permission for me to share their experiences, please see:

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