Credit: Photo by tourist_on_earth at

" only the beginning. After a time it becomes something less sharp. but larger too, a more enduring thing called loss."           --Anna Quindlin



I talk to my mom all the time. While I'm cooking, doing the dishes, dusting, or just relaxing.  I tell her all about whatever is going on in my mind because she has always been the one person I could tell anything to.  The one who really cared about what I was doing and how I was feeling. The only problem is she doesn't answer me anymore: she passed away in 2007.  But I still talk to her all the time and can even imagine what she would say if she could.  It helps me with my problems and helps me to still feel close to her. This is one of  the ways I handle my grief.

Grieving is a very complicated process. We expect to feel sad, cry, miss that person, all the usual responses. What we don't expect is all the other issues that come up. When someone you love dies, your whole world changes and what was "normal" before becomes a new "normal." You find yourself thrown off guard and having reactions you never expected. You are having what you come to call "a fairly good day" when you see their favorite cookies at the supermarket and you start crying. You still want to pick up the phone and call them, only to catch yourself and remember you can't. Eventually, as time passes, some of these things fade a  bit, but there are always new things that pop up.

One of the worst things about grief is being expected to "get over it" by other people. You never get over it, you just learn to live with it. There is nothing wrong with seeking help in the form of therapy or attending a grief support group to help you. Anything constructive that helps you cope is a blessing. Learning your own techniques, that fit for you, are good too. Just as I talk to my mom, you will probably find things you do that make you feel better. Do them and don't feel that they are crazy or weird.

I also talk to many others who have passed, like my dad and my uncle, my first husband, all of my pets and friends. It has never seemed odd to me, but I'm sure there might be people who think it's crazy. That's their problem, or they have never lost anyone. The main thing I've learned is to go with the flow of grief. I talk with the passed (as I call it), cry, remember funny times, look at photos and anything else that makes me feel better. Grief is very debilitating at times, so do whatever you can to help yourself and embrace your  rituals.You have a right to grieve in whatever way you want to. Conversations with the passed have been one of my ways to cope. I hope it helps you too.