Archive for Mourning

September 11, 2014 — Patriot’s Day

Posted in American Flag, American Military, Death, Heroism, History, Hope, Life, Losing A Parent, Loss, Memorialization, Mourning, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Parenting, Patriot's Day, Personal power, Relationships, Remembrance, Soldiers, Thought For Today, Tragic death, WAR with tags , , on September 11, 2014 by Morguie
English: A collection of photographs of those ...

English: A collection of photographs of those killed (except for 92 victims and terrorists) during the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001. See also: en:Category:Victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)







English: (Sept. 11, 2006) - Illustration displ...

English: (Sept. 11, 2006) – Illustration displays crew members taking the time during Operation Enduring Freedom to remember the tragedy which occurred September 11, 2001. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group and embarked Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) are currently on a scheduled six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy Graphic by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sabrina Parker (RELEASED) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Readers:


Please DO take great care and be aware always that their are evildoers looking for retribution, revenge, and sometimes the vanquishment of our Western world, our ways,  and our people.


Today marks the 13th anniversary of the most awful day ever witnessed on the U.S. home shores, when terrorists massacred thousands in the name of their God and their fanatical extremist doctrine.  We  all tend to be complacent when a little time passes…I do sincerely bid you all a safe and beautiful, normal, uneventful even, late summer day….that none is harmed in the name of war or religious zealotry.  I have an awful rumble… down in the belly, and I feel a sense of foreshadowing…I really hope that we will never have to fear this bloodshed or terrorism again…I just wanted you to know I and the little Furry One will have you all in our thoughts and well-wishes on this somber, unforgettable day of Remembrance…Patriot’s Day, here in America.  Remember the lessons we learned that fateful day. Yes…there are enemies who will try again and stop at nothing to see us destroyed and removed from this world. It is not a stretch to believe it will happen again, or be attempted at least.


So keep well and keep yourselves aware…and be ready to dodge harm, should it cross paths with you.  That’s how we will thwart the evil plans and foil those who might conspire to bring on our demise.


Countries in which Islamist terrorist attacks ...

Countries in which Islamist terrorist attacks have occurred on or after September 11, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Morguie and I want to simply say thank you for reading this blog. We’ve hit on some sad times…a lot of them over the past couple of months…it’s been hard to work up the energy or the creative juices to post much lately…and we apologize.




I learned today that my ex-husband’s mother is quite seriously ill…this is especially hard on my daughters…they are close to both of our mothers. God knows, they were the mainstay and the stability during the harder years of our marriage, and the ensuing post-divorce years. I worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs to get through those first few years and I would have been at an utter loss to find loving, protective care for those hours I was away….Jan and my Mama both jumped right in to help in every way. I am so grateful that I wasn’t forced to leave them in a stranger’s care. The girls have a very strong bond and now they are facing great concern and worry for GeeMa Jan.


I hope I can help ease their sadness and pain over their great worry for her… it’s always hard to find the right words or assemble them into something comforting or meaningful at a time like this.




Funeral directors, who are  supposed to know all of the right things to say and do,  sometimes have trouble finding their way to lend comfort and solace to those closest to us who grieve— and some of us even feel a bit of angst over a family or friend’s death or illness…

But, I must be able to gently comfort my kids and assure them they can lean on Mommy as they try to understand and accept this situation. For now…I do know this:




We only have today…which is a gift — that’s why they call it the ‘present.’

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to us. Live today like there is no tomorrow.

And perhaps today, we here in the Free World might pause,



take time to give a quiet moment up in thoughts of those who were lost September 11, 2001,  as well as for those who defend our nations against evil and terrorist acts.


And, by all means,  we Americans should fly  Old Glory, our beautiful and resilient flag.




Go In Peace, till next time!


Thanks…   CJ and Morguie


In Front of Our House

In Front of Our House




English: Memorial mural plaque dedicated to th...

English: Memorial mural plaque dedicated to the firefighters killed during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center (New York, NY). “May we never forget.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

C J TALKS ABOUT: Grief — To Ignore Is To Deny, So What?

Posted in bereavement, Death, Funeral, Grief, Losing A Parent, Loss, Mortuary, Mourning, Tragic death with tags , , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by Morguie
Grief can be caused by the loss of one's home ...

Grief can be caused by the loss of one’s home and possessions, as occurs with refugees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology: A ...

Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Scan of Postcard "856 - Angel of...

English: Scan of Postcard “856 – Angel of Grief, Stanford University, California” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

<continued from “Grief: WHAT is it? WHY is it?”>

My last post discussed the concept of grief. Since humans form attachments to other humans, loss then becomes an issue of psychosocial proportions.

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grief can be defined as the emotional reaction to a loss.

Mourning can be described as the process of adaptation or adjustment to the loss.

It is necessary to point the difference out between those words, which are often used interchangeably.

They are related but not synonymous.

In the last post, I talked about grief as being a ‘necessary evil’ due to the fact that we assign or attach value and make emotional investments in other people (or things, ideas, or abstractions). When we lose someone important in our personal lives, we react at first. We are hurt, saddened, devastated. But we cannot remain in this state of being in perpetuity; we need to find ways of processing this loss and evolving into a personal sense of wholeness again. Mourning is the actual meat and potatoes of this term we call “grief work.”

When someone we love or cherish dies we are filled with an initial angst, which seems to take over us; the responses run the gamut from emotional pain and sadness, to depression, physical disrepair, and social isolation. We must be allowed a way to express how we feel by accepting that the loss has occurred before we can move on.

English: Hyams Monument, Metairie Cemetery, Lo...

English: Hyams Monument, Metairie Cemetery, Louisiana. Example of “Angel of Grief” or “Weeping Angel.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moving on requires of us to adapt to our loss. Imagine a circle containing yourself and all of the other important people in your life, holding hands. Suddenly, one of those people drops out of the circle, leaving a hole or a space where they once stood. The circle has been broken and there is an unmistakable void left — THAT void is what we have to process or adjust if we are to adapt our life to go forward. The circle, after time and adaptation, eventually rejoins and closes as the void fills.

As time passes, the initial grief responses quiet. We begin to heal. This is not to say that reminders of your loss will not remain or that your loved one becomes forgotten or any less precious to you. Those will always be there, with you. Sometimes, even years later, something will trigger the response and suddenly you find you are swept up into a wave of sadness, tears, guilt, regret, or loneliness. This is normal, and should be expected…and allowed to take its course, but not take over your existence.

If the significant other were the household breadwinner, you would be forced to work through the problem created by the missing financial support. Eventually, you would be able to resolve the issue because you simply MUST. Having food, shelter, clothing, and necessities of LIFE demand it.

To stop in your tracks, to stop time, to deny your grief and the mourning or grief work required in dealing with your loss complicates grief. (SEE also: Complicated grief)In spite of a normal feeling that your world has ended, it has not. And it is not with insensitivity that I say here: life must and DOES go on. So the ties that once bound us, the investments we made dissolve at death. We must separate ourselves from the deceased in a healthy way. It is not possible to further invest in them after death. So mourning requires us to resolve the void in forming new attachments or making new investments over time. After all, we remain in the realm of the living, whether it feels awful or not.

The way to recovery and what the ‘tasks of mourning’ will be depend on something called “the death surround” and circumstantial factors unique to the death. I plan to speak to these at some point in the future posts.

To deny our grief, to ignore the grief work is not normal and can lead to self-destructive behaviors as a result.

Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief

Ivan Kramskoy- Unconsolable Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finding ways to express your grief and get on with the processing of your loss is a phenomenal task… but if it has overwhelmed your daily living activities to the extent that you are neglecting to care for yourself, turning to substances or over-indulging in alcohol for self-medication, or thinking of ending your own life you MUST GET HELP.  Whether it is help from our supportive family and friends, or help through a professional, trained to help in crisis situations, GET HELP. Needing or seeking help does not make you appear weak or crazy. The burden of coping with the many aspects surrounding your particular loss is often one that can overwhelm us and it is most understandable to need assistance in dealing with so much. To be able to recognize that you need help is a HUGE first step in getting back to living and eventually enjoying life again, as you were meant to.  

< coming soon: C J Talks About: Funerals, Memorials & How They Benefit The Living >

English: Comfort in Grief

English: Comfort in Grief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

**I hope to add a “Resources” post in the very near future, however, since there is not yet a page for that here on my site, I would invite you to personally e-mail me with questions you have or to send to me any info or links you have found to be useful, as it pertains to our conversation about Grief Recovery.**

You may contact me at:  I will do my very best in replying to your messages in a timely, helpful way. If I cannot answer your question, I will certainly try to point you to someone or some place that may be able to help.

**I am not a licensed medical or psychological professional and do not purport to be. The advice that may be inferred within my posting is general and not intended to function as a substitute for services provided by legally licensed professionals. Please seek professional help immediately if you are experiencing a crisis or call 911 for an emergency.

©2013, C.S. Thompson.

C J TALKS ABOUT: Grief…WHAT is it? WHY is it?

Posted in bereavement, Death, Funeral, Funeral Service Professional, Grief, Loss, Mortuary with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by Morguie
The loss of the "Doterel" - Funeral ...

The loss of the “Doterel” – Funeral service performed over the remains of those who perished by the explosion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology: A ...


existence (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

When I was in mortuary college,  a great deal of the curriculum focused on a basic premise: GRIEF. Why? Because grief is the underlying REASON that necessitates such a profession as funeral service and death care. Let’s face it, if there was no grief or concern for personal loss of a cherished loved one, there would be no need to worry or fuss much over death or what should be done about dead people, thus no need for funeral service professionals or death care facilities. In fact, I wouldn’t have this posting to put up for you to read. Wow…after another moment of thought, I came to realize that I wouldn’t even exist in the blogosphere…at least not in the spirit or intent which inspires me to create this blog. ***POOF***

Does that line of thought mean I am happy then, that there is such a thing as sorrow or grief? Heavens NO!  So, why then, should grief be given so much attention?  Well, I suppose as humans, with intellectual and emotional capabilities built into our very design, we are sort of cursed, in a way. Humans are social beings that live in an existence which requires the presence and existence of OTHER humans if we are to survive, thrive, and flourish as a species. Actually that could be true of most organisms. What separates us from a basic amoeba is our cognitive ability… our brain.

Loooonnnngggg story, shortened by skipping past the tons of burdensome details: grief is innately a necessary evil in human beings and the societies in which they co-exist. Since the dawn of man, humans the world over have sensed that there is a ‘purpose’ in their existence. Generally, that sense of purpose was somehow created by the belief that there was someone or something larger than themselves which designated that purpose. Now, many may wish to interject here with arguments both “for” and “against” theories about divine beings, higher powers, or religious dogma. So with respect to everyone’s right to a personal belief system, I believe we can all generally agree to the following:

Existence = purpose

Purpose = meaning

Meaning = importance

Importance = value

Value = the sum total of perceived purpose, meaning, or importance something or someone has as it relates to a person ( i.e. ME/YOU) or impact on that person (ME/YOU)

Stay with me here…also, please understand that the example in no way infers that the value of objects are equal to the values of persons…for demonstration of the value concept, ONLY. 


Car  engine >  ignites car > propels ME to a destination > ME arrives in timely manner to work, home, etc.

VALUE of Car, then: totally depended on it to get to where it is that I need to go, etc.

LOSS OF CAR? It’s pretty darned important to have that car if I rely heavily that car to facilitate my needs.

I am going to grieve the loss of my car to get myself from place to place. It was so vitally important; I needed it for so many reasons.

So what to do first? I must ACCEPT that loss, like it or not. Damn! No car!


 Now I have accepted that I have no car. Wow. The next step requires me to wrap my mind around the fact that I have no car, but I still need to go on without it. I may cry or panic at this point in the game…I still have to arrive, somehow. I will have to deliberate and consider what it means to me now and the impact it has now that I have lost a vital way or method. I no longer have that car. Must work around that in order to continue in the existence I am forced to sustain, if I am to go forward. Now I am angry that the car quit. I may wish I had taken better care of it, appreciated it more, etc.  I sure will miss that car. I cry when I imagine myself inconveniencing someone to take me everywhere. I don’t feel too great about a commuter transport which adds oodles of extra time to the trip,  either. But then again, I could walk. If only there was a way to get another chance to get it to run, then I’d promise to take better care of it…I need it! Alas, there is no do-over.

Final conclusion: I will have to learn to manage, one way or another.

Conversely, humans tend to value other persons, in one varying degree of importance or another. Therefore, losing someone who has an appreciable influence or impact on me is plainly going to hurt me. It’s really going to hurt a lot at first, when I am reeling from the notion that the cherished person is GONE. Forever. No more will I have the valued company of them in my life. It will impact the way I live from now on, always. A whole lot at this very beginning time of my loss or deprivation, to be sure; it is a total game-changer. It may take a very long time to personally adjust to the new reality I find myself in. But, because I still have a heartbeat and breath in my being, I must understand I have no option open to just stop, wither, and die because of the loss. I still have a purpose in being…and thus, I must…BE. Gradually I will move on. This isn’t going to be easy. It actually seems incredibly impossible that I will be able to go on. I feel frightened and alone. I miss that person; I needed them and never imagined that one day, they would not be here with me.

And, the PAIN; oh, I do not like pain, AT ALL. But, I am here. I…must. This is too hard…

Or…is there a way to put off my dealing with it until…later? This truly IS a very bad time for all of this to hit, after all. What if I just place this grief work ‘on hold’ for a minute? After all, it’s just ugly and I hate the whole stinking situation. Can’t I deal with it…tomorrow, next week, next year, or how about… never?

<to be continued in “Grief: To Ignore Is To Deny, So What?”>

©2013, C.S. Thompson.

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