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Complicated nature of grieving is unique to everyone

I must express my thanks to Joan Wickersham for her perfect insight into the complicated nature of grief (“Grief disorder?” Op-ed, Feb 8). Of course we are individuals, and loss affects and tempers each of us in unique ways. To expect a uniform progression through the grief is not only unrealistic but delusional.

Two years ago I lost my mother, the woman who not only tolerated all my typical selfishness through teenage years but found it in her heart to continue to love me and her other children with a fierce dedication that was truly a gift. She was my mentor, confidant, and friend.

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Over those first few weeks of intense pain, I remember crying so hard I honestly thought I might have a heart attack. My husband tells me that over the last few months, my sadness has lightened, and I’ve found it’s been OK to see pictures and bits of video of my mom, looking both young and healthy.

I am blessed to have the support of a close-knit family, dear friends, and a group of middle-aged female co-workers who were similarly experiencing the loss of their own parents. We are all bound by these common and universal experiences and all unique in our responses to them.

Laura McNamara


The writer is a nurse practitioner.

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