Couples Facing Illness or Death

What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

What do you say to someone whose life comes crashing down around him or her; whose life, as they knew it, is forever and profoundly changed?

The first thing to really recognize is that when someone experiences the death of a loved one, the loss is so pervasive, the pain so excruciating, that there are no words that will be particularly helpful or meaningful to hear.

You see, grieving is a wholly feeling experience. The intellectual recognition that someone has died is present inside us immediately, and is very different from the emotional recognition that someone has died; really getting that you will never see his face again; never hear her voice again; never be able to throw your arms around each other and share a bear hug.

The emotional recognition is a normal, natural and necessary process we call grieving.

Recognize that people who are grieving the loss of a loved one – even the death of an elderly person who had a good life and whose death was expected – are experiencing something that is incomprehensible. Inexplicable. Unimaginable. Inconsolable.

And in fact, sometimes people say the most stupid things to people who are grieving – even with the best of intentions.

Don’t Say This to a Grieving Person
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Touched by The Heart of A Woman

Mothers have been recognized in special ways for thousands of years, since Ancient Greece.

The month of May is the month that people in many parts of the world specifically celebrate Mothers.

As a tribute to women all across the globe, I am re-printing this wonderful and heart-warming poem written by Bonnie Ross-Parker. Ms. Ross-Parker’s contact information is at the end of this poem if you wish to contact her directly.

“The heart of a woman is as big as life. She initiates conversations with strangers in the bathroom. She recommends the perfect place to find the perfect dress to a woman she meets at the beauty salon. She clips coupons to send to her daughter-in-law. She smiles when she would rather scream, cries when she is happy, and often says “yes” when she means “no.”

A woman keeps the refrigerator full just in case someone stops by unexpectedly. A woman fights for what she believes in by supporting community endeavors with both time and money. She listens to friends, helps with homework, and gives unconditional loves.

Women cry over their children’s accomplishments, during a romantic movie, while reading sentimental cards at a card shop or when opening a special present. Women openly express happiness when hearing about the birth of a baby, an engagement, or a marriage. Women share their emotions from their heart.

Women remain strong even when they think they have no strength left. They comfort loved ones in mourning, visit friends and family who are ill, and offer hugs and kisses to soothe broken hearts. Simply put, women connect! They write letters, make phone calls, send e-mails and stay in touch. Women care!

Women are present wherever and whenever they are needed. They intuitively know where to offer their love and support. Women do more than give birth. Where a woman is there exists joy and hope. She brings compassion and companionship. She gives moral support. She acknowledges. She reassures. Women are mothers, daughters, wives, lovers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. They give, they guide, and stay grounded. They are amazing not only for what they accomplish, but for the values they impart. Women earn our respect every day not only because of what they do, but because of who they are.

When you are touched by the heart of a woman, and realize how wonderful she is, be sure to let her know.”

Poem re-printed with permission from Bonnie Ross-Parker
Web site: http://www.bonnierossparker.com

To Celebrate and Honor All Moms around the world this month, the dedicated team at DrJackieBlack.com would like to take this opportunity to say…

Je t’aime, Maman!
Te amo, Màma!
Ich liebe dich, Mutter!
S’ayapo, Màna!
Ya tyebya lyublyu, Mat’!
Ti amo, Madre!
Ani ohevet otach, Ima!
I love you, Mom!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

Intimacy Can Be Yours—If You Act on It!

Creating, nurturing and maintaining intimacy in long-term, committed relationships requires intention, deliberate choice and deliberate action. Nothing about creating intimacy and truly being intimate with another person is unconscious. Closeness is enhanced through purposeful sensitivity, tenderness and respect for each other.

Being congruent is a process in which you value yourself; you take ownership of your thoughts and feelings, and your resources and choices; honor and express your deepest knowing about yourself and be sure that what you say and how you say it match what you are feeling.

There are three good reasons that you and your partner might not always communicate effectively with each other.

First, most people don’t identify their feelings accurately.

Secondly, it is very difficult for most people to find the right words to express how they feel.

Lastly, if they do know how they feel and if they have a few words to accurately express how they feel, most lack the courage to let anybody know.

Does this sound like you or your partner? Identifying your feelings, finding the right words to express your feelings and mustering the courage to actually express your feelings to him or her really isn’t so complicated.

Don’t avoid saying what is in your heart or on your mind to say. Say it! It will go a long way to deepen your intimacy!

Don’t hide your worries because you don’t want your partner to know that you are not in control. Share them! Watch the intimacy between you soar!

Don’t dismiss your hopes and dreams because you are afraid he or she won’t share your excitement. Honor them! Allow your partner in, and experience the intimacy between the two of you intensify!

When you stay emotionally available and present, the intimacy you are building will deepen, and get richer and better. Create a safe and supportive place to tell each other the truth mindfully, responsibly and respectfully and always remember that the foundation of your relationship is built on good will and good intention.

So be intentional. Be certain that your deliberate choice and deliberate action send the unmistakable message that you are happy to be with your partner and that your life is better and richer with her or him than it could ever be alone. Take the time to truly develop, take care of and preserve the intimacy of your relationship, learn to roll with the ups and downs and you will enjoy the warmth and tenderness of the relationship you want and deserve.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

Are You Too Busy to Preserve the Intimacy?

Intimacy isn’t an automatic response. Intimacy isn’t a given because you love someone or feel loved by someone. Intimacy doesn’t come with a commitment or with a marriage license. The basic, fundamental element of intimacy is cherishing each other!

Creating, nurturing and maintaining intimacy in long-term, committed relationships is the toughest and the most worthwhile undertaking one can accomplish.

It requires intention, deliberate choice and deliberate action. Nothing about creating intimacy and truly being intimate with another person is unconscious. Closeness is enhanced through purposeful sensitivity, tenderness and respect for each other.

Intimacy is the result of celebrating each other; celebrating each other’s presence and celebrating being in each other’s presence!

  • Be appreciative
  • Offer acknowledgement
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Be the most ardent cheerleader
  • Be an enthusiastic supporter
  • Applaud your partner’s efforts
  • Extol his or her virtues
  • Be generous of spirit and open heart
  • Always remember to be encouraging

Be intentional. Be certain that your deliberate choice and deliberate action send the unmistakable message that you are happy to be with him or her and that your life is better and richer with him or her than it could ever be alone. Take the time to truly develop, take care of and preserve the intimacy of your relationship, and you will enjoy the warmth and tenderness of the relationship you want and deserve.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

Your Life Circle—A Celebration of You

Rituals and celebrations are ways to intentionally create meaningful connections with special and important events and people. Many of us already celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and various holidays including rituals we may not even recognize as such.

I invite you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and experiment with the idea of ritual by starting with a ritual blessing yourself!

Here is an example of a ritual celebrating YOU! Dr. Barbara Ardinger created this Self-Blessing ritual. You can find the complete version of this ritual in her book A Woman’s Book of Rituals & Celebrations.

The Instructions:

Spend a few minutes gathering twelve things or representations of things (photographs or symbols) that you believe make an accurate picture of you. These things can include your daily organizer, car keys, a favorite object from your grandmother or a book you bought yesterday.

Sit in the middle of the floor and arrange the objects around you. Behind you place three things from your childhood; things passed down to you. Before you place three things new to your life; recent acquisitions, evidence of new interests. To your left place three left-brain things; things associated with numbers, logical thought, order, business, rational, logical and intellectual thought. To your right place three right-brain things; things associated with art, creativity, comfort and luxury, feelings, the religious or spiritual part of you life, beauty and nature.

If you can, distribute these evenly throughout the four quarters. Don’t worry if you cannot and your circle ends up lop-sided.

Now light a pink or green candle and set it before you. Read the following blessing or tape it beforehand and listen to it:

I bless myself
–and these things around me
–these things that make the circle of my life.
I bless myself
–and my past
For in blessing my past
–and these things that I bring from ages past
I become who I am now.
Good or bad, cheerful or painful, my past is a blessing,
–for it has formed me
–shaped me
–held me
–released me
–thrust me into the present.
I bless my past in me.

I bless myself
–and these things to my left and right.
I bless myself
–in my present
–the two halves of who I am today.
For in blessing both my intellect and my emotions
–and these things I gather into the life I live now
I recognize who I am now.
–Left and right
–rational and spiritual
–words and images
–austerity and comfort-
I bring divisions together.
My present blesses me
–for it is how I am in the world
–how I think and feel
–how I act and live.
It pulls me out of the past
–and thrusts me into the future.
I bless my life as it is today.

I bless myself
–and the things that point to what is to come.
I bless myself
–and my uncertainties, my potentialities, my future.
For in blessing what is new in my life
I move forward what I can be:
–unknown but shown
–unpredictable but mapped
–potential to be fulfilled.
My future is waiting for me
–more of who I am is waiting for me to be reborn.
I bless my life as it is now,
–every day of my life.

Sit quietly for as long as you want to, feeling the energies of the things in the circle of your life. Contemplate who you have been, who you are now, who you are becoming. Realize that you are blessed in your life, that you are a blessing to other lives.

At the end, blow out the candle, put all your things into their proper places and go on with your day.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

 

Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
www.DrJackieBlack.com ~ DrJackie@DrJackieBlack.com

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com