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One Last Kindness
By Billie Criswell

To some people the thought of cleaning up after a person has died, especially when that person was taken at a young age or of unnatural causes, is a horrifying one. Indeed, there are many people who make their living doing this for families who find themselves unable to do such a thing. This was precisely the conversation I found myself engaged in with a friend recently. My friend works with a clean-up and restoration company and they recently expanded to include crime scene clean up a la “Sunshine Cleaning.” (A movie where the two sisters clean up crime scenes.) Read more

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COMMENT (1) | addiction, drugs, loss, relationships, siblings
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Ailynne
By John Edward Casteele

It’s a moment like no other.

Seeing your child for the first time on an ultrasound is a major event in any expectant parent’s life; you can actually see that little living piece of you, knowing that he or she is real. Unfortunately, not every child shown on an ultrasound is actually all right.  My girlfriend and I had to learn this the hard way.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm.  Everything that you could possibly ask for in early spring.  It was the day that we were scheduled for our first ultrasound, and we were both nervous and excited.  The image of my child came up on the monitor and I was blown away… until the woman running the machine told us that something was wrong.  She wasn’t picking up a heartbeat, and the baby’s heart should have started beating a few weeks ago.  The image on the monitor that my world had briefly revolved around tore my world apart. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | children, grief, parenting, relationships, renewal
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Life After Murder, Life After Suicide
By Diane Schachter

On July 19, 2005, the unthinkable happened.  Marlyn and Ian Ferguson’s 27 year old son Graeme was murdered.  To lose a child to murder is devastating, and for Marlyn and Ian, moving through this proved to be the biggest challenge of their lives.  Marlyn went through an array of feelings: Shock, disbelief, anger, disappointment, confusion, regret.

Despite her pain, Marlyn was open to talking to others about Graeme’s death.  She found that talking about it eased her pain and gave others who had also lost a child, strength.  Marlyn soon came to realize that although regular grief groups are helpful, there is a unique set of feelings for those whose loved ones have died because of homicide.  Marlyn explains,   “The Homicide Group came out of a need to offer something that wasn’t happening.”  In 2009, through Valley View Funeral Home in Surrey, British Columbia, Marlyn launched support groups for Homicide and Suicide Loss. She can be reached at 604-506-8866. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | grief, healing, murder, suicide
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Through A Dark Secret And Tragedy To Renewal
By Adam German

I was driving to a Halloween party on the 31st of October 2001, when my cell phone rang.  My stepfather said he had received a call from the police that my mother had been in an accident, and I needed to turn around and head back to the house to pick him up.  From there, we needed to go to a hospital in Pennsylvania.

I knew why she was there, but he didn’t.  According to him, she was in Buffalo visiting family.  According to me, she was in Pennsylvania visiting her lover.  She was cheating on my stepfather, the man who resurrected a sense of family from the debris left behind from my father’s abusiveness and neglect. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | depression, healing, infidelity, loss, parenting, renewal
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