Mourning Coffee with Tracy Lee

Recent Articles

Swifter Adaptation Becomes Reality

I received a very heartfelt email this week from a reader in California. Her words were very kind, touching, and full of hope. I have re-read her message several times and thought others might benefit from her bravery. Without revealing her identity, this reader suffered multiple significant losses within a short time frame. Her story pierces my heart with anguish. Continue Reading →

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FIRST YEAR DEATH ANNIVERSARY

I called my friend this morning. This week marks the 1st anniversary of her husband’s death. Even though I am a grief counselor, I suffer grief just like everyone else, and I try to avoid it, just like everyone else. My friend and her husband are my and my husband’s best friends. We traveled to Florida last year to bury him. 

My friend’s name is Carrie. Continue Reading →

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KEYS TO SUCCESS

I am a survivor of significant loss. The past year of my life has been challenging, filled with sadness, and riddled with overwhelming internal insecurity of self. I have questioned my parenting, my discernment, my commitment, and my strength. I second guess my decisions, both personally and professionally. Grief does that. Continue Reading →

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Recovery Techniques

It is often surprising to me who will recover quickly from the loss of a loved one, and who will not. It seems logical to me that highly functioning survivors, rather than those who are somewhat less functioning, would recover swiftly and efficiently. After all, that is the way of highly functioning people; they attack, analyze, and conquer their battles with vigor. Interestingly enough, I have noticed over the years that highly functioning people accel in certain areas of life, but not in all. Occasionally, I find that they try very hard to ignore the pain and reality of grief. Continue Reading →

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MORTICIAN MISSION

Currently, I am under the care of a physical therapist. As she teaches me the error of my physical movements and improves upon my daily mechanical functions, we chat about all sorts of things. Last week, our conversation turned to our applied fields of labor. She is, as she calls it, a “traveler.” In laymen’s terms, she is a traveling therapist, substituting, or filling-in, for therapists who are currently on vacation or switching jobs. She is presently working at my area hospital due to understaffing issues. Continue Reading →

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A HERO RETURNED

Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

In 2018, President Trump met with Dictator Kim Jung Un of North Korea. Their meeting was a historical event for our two countries to meet and hash out old and current issues plaguing not only our histories but our futures. Among the many noteworthy topics of concern and discussion was that of bringing home American POW/MIA’s from the Korean War. As we know, American troops band together as a family while serving our great nation on distant and domestic shores. When a soldier is injured or killed, other soldiers will risk themselves to ensure that the troop is retrieved. Continue Reading →

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SELF-ESTEEM

The problem with grief, well actually, there are many, but the one I shall attempt to address today is that not only is grief an assault on your heart, but it is also an assault on your self-esteem.  Loss, when it is someone with whom your identity is attached, attacks the very core of who you are. Your self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-identity are all suddenly called into question, internally. Suddenly, you don’t know who you are, what your purpose is, or if you can even survive in the new reality of your life.  It is an all-out attack on your survival. We have seen in the past that one person’s death can cause another’s. For instance, consider Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher; a case of mother and daughter dying just days apart. Continue Reading →

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The Growing Threat of Complicated Grief

I taught a continuing education course at a University in a neighboring state this morning. My course was centered on grief, in particular, the role of funeral service within the grief recovery experience. When I was a funeral service student, my professors would always talk about the need for funeral service to evolve into something more modern; otherwise, they said, it would become obsolete. There were ideas about celebrations, facilitations, new methods, and new products. It was somewhat apparent that some instructors had forgotten that the profession was funeral services, not retail funeral merchandising. Continue Reading →

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Where Are They

I thought back to the time when I first entered Funeral College; I too, had a moment of reflection. I wondered, does the soul maintain life, or does the body maintain the soul? It was a perplexing question for some time; however, eventually, I settled on a philosophy that worked for me. Just as pre-planning your vacation, or your burial, makes things run much smoother, so does exploring and settling your core beliefs. GRIEF BRIEFf 73

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Religious beliefs are often called into question at a time of loss. Continue Reading →

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Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder

Complicated grief disorder has been redefined as persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). Persons suffering persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) experience an extreme yearning for their deceased loved one over an extended or prolonged time. This grief disorder is unusually disabling and often accompanied by destructive thoughts and behaviors. These survivors are in pressing need of assistance from professional intervention as their experience destroys their ability to resume a healthy life on their own. GRIEF BRIEF 214

BEREAVEMENT

Bereavement is the period of time spent adjusting to loss. Continue Reading →

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