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What Is Grief?

The Grief Toolbox is providing our user contributed articles as well as aggregated articles from a variety of blogs. Please join our community and comment on the articles, let us and others know what you found helpful and that you did not. Together we can help each other as well as future travelers on their grief journey. We are also always looking for additional contributors; if you see a topic you would like to share your thoughts on, please submit content.

By Harriet Hodgson

Anticipatory grief is a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event happens. When my husband’s aorta split at the end of October I felt intense anticipatory grief. He had three operations in less than a week. During the final, 13-hour operation he had a spinal stroke and his...


I am thankful for the brilliant teachings contained in “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers” by Annie Kagan.  For me, Billy’s teachings are not just about life, death and the afterlife; they are about recognizing that every life has value, regardless of what is seen on the surface. With that being said, I am dedicating this piece to all of the chemically dependent individuals whose stories...



I have become so fond of the color that represents my pain.

 The color of despair and sorrow,

 the very depths of my unhappiness.

 Black represents me in so many ways.

The hole that becomes big enough to consume my entire body,

 black knows no boundaries.

 An endless fall to the very bottom of a cave,

black shrouds...


What is the “right” way to grieve? Is there a right way to grieve?  What is it?  We understand that when someone we love dies it is normal to grieve, it is a natural response to the loss.  But what does it mean to grieve, how are we to do it and how do we know that we are doing it right?  Many well-meaning people will tell us how to grieve...


She had broken wings.
I do not know how they first got broke.
The wings of a sweet little angel.
I met earlier than expected.
She tried to fly on her own but could not.
She needed help.
Love could not mend her.
My love did not break through.
It took a stronger love to rescue her.
From herself.
"She flutters and tries to fly but falls to...


In November, it will be 35 years since my father died by suicide. He is still with me as much as he ever was, and paradoxically, he is also more absent than ever. My emotional relationship with him has changed and evolved more during the time since he died than it did when he was alive, and I daresay that I understand him better than I understand any other human being I have ever known. And at...


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