The Taboo Against Trauma | Maria Shriver

There is an unspoken taboo in our society: a taboo against trauma.  We expect normalcy from ourselves and from each other, and when life does not cooperate, when accidents, separation, illness, old age and death intrude, we try to hide from them as much as we can.

If we do react, we hope it is short-lived and we try to keep it private.  We value our routines and grow intolerant if grief intrudes.

Mourning, if it needs to exist at all, should show discretion, we think. We have lives to be lived, after all.  Mourning is messy, unpredictable and unbecoming.  We act as if we would be better off without it.

The problem is that this is totally unrealistic.  Trauma happens to everyone.  Who could be spared?  By denying it, by soldiering on as if it is not happening, we further traumatize ourselves.

via The Taboo Against Trauma | Maria Shriver.


Spiritual Landscape of Aging: A Tragic Loss

[Exploring Life] It is with a heavy heart that I find myself writing about this tragic loss; Andy Blackwell, a vibrant young man of twenty, suddenly and unexpectedly died in an accident. Andy is the son of one of our friends. Although I only had the pleasure meeting Andy on a few occasions, I was immediately impressed by his exuberance and love of life; his spirit was both unique and uncommon. Even though I did not know him as well as I would have liked, I feel compelled to write a tribute to the life Andy Blackwell… [Continue reading…]


After a Death, an Extreme Form of Grieving –

There has been a great deal of talk about categorizing “Complicated Grief” as a mental disorder – even though it is not clearly defined. I wonder if this leads to the possibility of taking a pill for grief – an uncomfortable thought…

In an age when activities like compulsive shopping are viewed as disorders, the subject of grief is especially sensitive. Deeply bereaved people are often reluctant to talk about their sorrow, and when they do, they are insulted by the use of terms like disorder or addiction. Grief, after all, is noble — emblematic of the deep love between parents and children, spouses and even friends. Our sorrows, the poets tell us, make us human; would proper therapy have denied us Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”?

Diagnosing a deeper form of grief, however, is not about taking away anyone’s sorrow. “We don’t get rid of suffering in our treatment,” Dr. Shear said. “We just help people come to terms with it more quickly.”

via After a Death, an Extreme Form of Grieving –

Death Café serves up tea, cake and conversation about dying | Toronto Star

This is a good idea – creating a safe forum to talk about death and dying openly…

On Thursday Toronto held its first Death Café, part of a global movement in which people embrace their own mortality by lounging around, eating cake and talking about dying.

via Death Café serves up tea, cake and conversation about dying | Toronto Star.

The Word We Hide

This is an important topic – death and dying are deeply inspiring topics – to hide them is a source of suffering…


No one dies anymore. And no one is dead. Last week, when I wrote about my parents’ deaths, the emails started up. It seems, according to the emails, that “death” and “dead” are no longer politically correct. If you only knew.

No one is born to stay. It’s not a dirty word.  You might prefer “pass,” “pass on,” “go home,” “go to their eternal reward,” or “shuffle off the mortal coil,” but all those things happen after the body dies.

What death is, however, is taboo. We hide it from our children. We pretend it doesn’t exist in our house. We die in hospitals. Death is more taboo than sex in our society, and because death is not as much fun as sex, most people buy into the “let’s not look at it and it will go away,” school of thought.

Several generations ago, children attended their grandparents at their…

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Agenomics – Elderly, Suicide and Money

A growing threat to our elderly community…

Late-in-life financial problems is one reason why suicide may be increasing in older populations.  An article in the Independent (UK newspaper) provided an example of a 68 year old man who, due to job loss, experienced increasing debt and suicidal tendencies.  A charitable organization helped him manage his debt.  It’s this support that he attributed as keeping him from killing himself[4].  Increasing debt and even bankruptcy in older age groups is a new and increasing trend.  This worrisome combination of aging populations and debt suggests that more needs to be learned about elderly suicide and its association with money.  The new Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act will hopefully shed light on the dire effects of financial difficulties later in life.

via Agenomics – Elderly, Suicide and Money.

More seniors dying in bedrail accidents, reports show – Manitoba – CBC News

More grim news regarding the care of our seniors…

More seniors have died in Manitoba after becoming trapped in their bed rails, despite years of warnings from U.S. and Canadian health authorities.

Eileen Stratton died at age 84 at Golden West Centennial Lodge. Bed rails are believed to have played a role in her death. (CBC)

CBC News has learned in the last 2 ½ years, four Winnipeg nursing home residents died following a bed rail entrapment — one in 2011, two in 2012 and one in 2013.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), which oversees personal care homes in the city, said in three of the four cases, the residents were found dead in their beds, while one died several days after the incident.

“It’s horrifying to think that happened to someone you loved,” said Nina Logan, a Winnipeg woman whose mother died in a nursing home in 2004.

Her mother suffocated when she became trapped between the mattress and a bed rail.

via More seniors dying in bedrail accidents, reports show – Manitoba – CBC News.