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About MartyT

  • Rank
    Grief Counselor
  • Birthday 02/10/1943

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Profile Information

  • Your gender
  • Location (city, state)
    Sarasota, Florida

Previous Fields

  • Your relationship to the individual who died
    mother, daughter, friend
  • Date of Death
    5/26/67, 9/3078,10/06/93
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:

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  1. I am so very sorry to learn of this tragic loss in your family, my dear, and my heart reaches out to you. I want to share an article which I hope you will find helpful, as it could have been written just for you: Supporting A Sibling in Grief ♥
  2. Marg, my dear, I know you've not asked for my advice or input, but I feel compelled to share this article with you. Take it or leave it ~ but know that I, for one, do not think you are obligated in any way to put your own needs and that of your granddaughter aside so that you are "left with a bare minimum for three of us to live 10 days," or required to be "supporting five people now," or to find yourselves holding your breath at the end of the month, hoping you'll have enough to survive. That does not sound like a healthy approach to your own life, or a responsible way to care for your granddaughter, who is still a minor and truly dependent upon you for her care and livelihood. You are not a bank, but in effect you are allowing these other family members to regard you as such. I wish with all my heart that you can find a way to say "NO" without feeling guilty. If you cannot do it for yourself, I wish you would do it for your granddaughter. Is this the example you wish to set for her? Here is the article: Boundaries: Why You Must Learn to Say 'No'
  3. MartyT

    Distant Dad After Mom's Death

    If the quotes you've shared with us are any indication of the sort of advice you're getting from the adults you know, my friend, then you are wise to "never speak to another adult again" ~ at least, not to THOSE adults. Telling you that things could've been much worse is totally irrelevant, has nothing to do with you, and completely discounts what you are experiencing! Telling a motherless teen whose dad is ignoring or neglecting his children that he needs to "give Dad space" serves only to do the same. Besides, how are you supposed to know what that means ~ to give Dad space? You are not the parent in this situation, and it is not your responsibility to be taking care of your father (or your little brother, for that matter). It is your dad's responsibility to be taking care of you. The fact that he is still mourning the death of your mom is no excuse. He owes it to his children to take care of his grief in such a way that he still can take care of you ~ and that may mean that he needs the support of a qualified grief counselor. You shouldn't be placed in the position of doing a better job of parenting your little brother than your father is doing, but it seems as if that is exactly the position in which you find yourself, and for that, I am truly sorry. I hope that when you get away from home and begin your life in college, you'll discover that not all adults are as uncaring and as insensitive as the ones you've been exposed to so far. I hope that at your business school you will find a teacher or a school counselor who has some experience with grief, and the profound effects that parent loss and absent parenting can have on a child. Meanwhile, I hope that you will do some reading yourself, so you'll have a better understanding of what is normal in grief and what you can do to cope with it ~ as well as how you can support your little brother under these less than ideal circumstances. See, for example, Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of A Parent ~ a book you can pick up at your local library, or you can find it on Amazon. You might find one or more of these articles to be of interest as well: Teen Grief: Mourning the Death of a Parent Helping Grieving Children: A List of Suggested Resources
  4. We are fortunate that nowadays, no matter where we live, so many grief resources are as near as the keyboard on our computers. Many are aimed specifically at single dads and young widowers like yourself. You'll find a number of such online resources listed in this article, Resources for Young Widow(er)s, which I hope you will find helpful. (See also some of the links included at the base of the post.)
  5. MartyT

    Distant Dad After Mom's Death

    Dear one, you don't say whether you have any close relatives whose support you can rely upon, but I hope for your sake that one or more of the adults in your life are there for you. Are your teachers (and your brother's teachers) at school aware of your home situation? I imagine that, given your age, you are close to graduating from high school and maybe preparing to leave home for college ~ and I imagine your concern for your younger brother is affecting whatever choices or plans or dreams you may have to begin making an independent life for yourself. I am so sorry that you're in such a difficult and challenging situation. If there is a guidance counselor or a teacher at your school whom you can trust, I urge you to make an appointment with that person and share what you have written here. This is way too much responsibility for you to be bearing alone at your age. You need and deserve the guidance of an adult on whom you can depend ~ but first you need to let someone know what is going on in your family.
  6. Dear one, I can only hope that Marg's wise and tender words will offer you some measure of comfort, and reassure you that what you are feeling (especially this early in your grief journey) is normal. That is to say that it is quite common for someone in your circumstances to think that, as you say, you cannot live without your beloved. I understand that your country does not offer much support for someone in your situation ~ but that does not mean that you must bear this pain all alone. You've already found your way to this warm and caring group, and I hope you can feel our collective arms around you. I urge you to listen very carefully to the wisdom that is shared here, because it comes from people who are traveling the very same path that you are walking now, and many have felt as you are feeling now. I also urge you to do some reading about what is normal in grief, so you'll know better what to expect in the days and weeks ahead. You might begin with this: Thoughts of Suicide in Grief I must emphasize that our site is not intended for individuals who are in crisis and actively contemplating suicide. If you truly believe that you are in danger of harming yourself, please read this first. If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please know that The International Association for Suicide Prevention maintains a database of crisis centers throughout the world, and other international suicide helplines can be found at Befrienders Worldwide.
  7. MartyT


    You may find these articles to be of help. (Note the additional links at the base of each.) Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song Taking Time to Mourn a Mother's Death Guilt In The Wake of a Parent's Death Helping a Grieving Parent
  8. You say that you feel haunted and the pain never goes away. I'm so sorry, my friend, and I can only imagine how challenging this is for you. The loss you are mourning is one of the most difficult to endure, because it is an ambiguous one. You don't know if you've really lost this woman or if one day she will come back to you and how you would feel if she does. So you don't know when and if you "should" be mourning the loss of her. This is a form of complicated grief, and the feelings are the same as if your person has died, such as sorrow, longing, denial, anger and guilt. But because she hasn't really "died," your grief is complicated by your need to keep hope alive, which constantly interrupts or delays the mourning process and makes it far more difficult to resolve. It's like harboring a wound that cannot heal. As one expert in this field states, "With ambiguous loss, there is no closure; the challenge is to learn how to live with the ambiguity (Pauline Boss, About Ambiguous Loss)." If interested, you can read more about this unique type of loss and watch an interview with Dr. Boss here: Unresolved Grief: When a Loved One Is Missing
  9. I love what you share with us about your man, Marg. I know I would have loved him too. On your thoughts about counselors of the grieved losing sleep and worrying about them: While I care deeply about each and every one of you and take very seriously my responsibilities as a grief counselor, I cannot say that I lie awake at night worrying about you. In all my years of being with you and others like you, I find that the bereaved are some of the strongest, most courageous, most honest people I've ever met, and they (you all) have my most heartfelt respect and admiration. You all are my favorite role models and in so many ways my greatest teachers. I think some people are more capable than others in their ability and willingness to tolerate another person's pain and sorrow. I also think that ability and willingness stems from having had our own first-hand experience with pain and sorrow. Some of us learn very early on that loss is a part of life, and based on our own past experiences with our own losses, we know that we can and will find ways to survive it. My experience with grieving people teaches me that if we stick together and comfort and support one another, if we share what we have learned along the way, if we act as guides and offer each other a safe place to land, we generate the hope that we can survive it too. ♥
  10. Wonderful, Anne ~ thank you! And of course, I agree with you completely! ♥
  11. Thanks so much for your comment, Kay, and for your taking part in Emma's survey. If a high school student is this interested in learning more about grief and what the bereaved consider to be supportive (or not), I think she deserves as much participation as we can offer.
  12. You may find this helpful, Tom: Continuing Bonds ~ No, Not Municipal Bonds
  13. This invitation comes to us from a high school student who is eager to learn more about grief and the effects of online grief support: Grief research Hello! My name is Emma and I'm a junior in a high school in North Carolina. I'm writing a research paper about the positive effects that online communities can have on grieving people. I'm not bereaved myself, so naturally I'd like to hear from people who are. However, I also know that the Grief Healing forums aren't really my space, and I don't want to intrude on your community. I'm still learning about grief and the grieving process and I absolutely don't want to end up being insensitive or hurtful, so I'm emailing you. I was wondering if you would be willing to make a post somewhere with a link to my survey so that forum members can respond to it if they choose to. The link to the survey is here: https://goo.gl/forms/v6a4AVI5Akm4Ccxm1 Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read this email. I just really feel that I can't write my paper without getting the opinions of people in an online grief community. Thank you!
  14. From our friends over at What's Your Grief? (Note that a $10 registration fee will be charged for attending this online webinar.) Online Webinar April 23, 2018 7:00pm – 8:30pm EST Register