When Back-to-School is a Time of Grief

By Rebecca Hensler, Founder of Grief Beyond Belief Back to school. The words have so many meanings for so many people… For educators like me, it’s back to the joys and struggles of the school year. For retailers, it’s a season of school-supply and dorm furniture sales. And for most parents of kids between six […]

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The Grieving Nonbeliever’s Bill of Rights

by Rebecca Hensler, Founder of Grief Beyond Belief Many Grieving Person’s Bills of Rights are now available on the internet, usually modified from The Mourners Person’s Bill of Rights by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition. One thing the various versions have in common is a passage that […]

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I Don’t Want My Birthday

By Rebecca Hensler In the world of grief support, we talk all the time about those difficult days: The anniversary of our loved one’s death (which we at Grief Beyond Belief don’t euphemize as their “Angelversary”), their birthday, holidays, wedding anniversaries and back-to-school. But we rarely talk about how we feel about our own birthdays. […]

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It’s the Least Wonderful Time of the Year: What Do the Grieving Want During the Holidays?

By Rebecca Hensler It’s that season again. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” sings the supermarket loudspeaker, describing, “everyone telling you be of good cheer.” As if that’s a good thing. As if it’s okay to tell us how we should be feeling, just because of the season. At Grief Beyond Belief, the […]

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When I came into this room

by Deborah Gitlitz When I came into this room, you were already here. When the fierce winds pushed me in, and the door slammed shut, you looked up from your tables of quiet fellowship and you greeted me. You know who you are. I knew who I was. Now I am becoming again. I never […]

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Grieving Through Art

Art by Laura Mathes-Orr; Text by Rebecca Hensler Grief Beyond Belief community member Laura Mathes-Orr, a beginning glass artist, has kindly allowed us to share this beautiful representation of her grief. She writes, “I’m calling this piece “Loss”. It represents how I feel. Just over a year ago my mom ended her life and her […]

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Remembering My Mother: Day-to-Day Ways to Cope After Facing Tragedy

by Adam Durnham My mother died more than three years ago. I’m almost embarrassed to say that most days, I don’t even think about it. It’s not even that I don’t think about her death. I just don’t think about her at all. I go on with my own life, carving out my career path, […]

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Seeking Professional Help During Bereavement: What Recent Studies Have to Say

By Jacob S. Sawyer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology at Penn State Mont Alto Many wonder if they are grieving the “right” way. This can be especially true for those who believe in a linear, stage model of grief. The most well known example of this is likely the Kübler-Ross model, which begins with denial […]

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Grief and Suicide

by Rebecca Hensler [Content notes: The following entry involves discussion of suicidal ideation, suicide prevention, and a death by suicide, all in the context of grief. As always at Grief Beyond Belief, please keep comments free of religious or spiritual content.] The following is entirely the personal thoughts of the author, except where cited through […]

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Atheist Grief Research

By Jacob Sawyer, Ph.D. Most know the phrase that nothing can be certain except death and taxes. However, despite the universal experience of loss, death, and grief, relatively little is known about specific factors that influence one’s experience during bereavement, at least from a scientific lens. Research around death and dying (or thanatology, as it […]

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