When a Parent Dies
Finding Healing through Grief
I’m Toni. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to connect with me – and I’m sorry you find yourself in this place called grief.
Maybe you cannot imagine finding any sort of healing right now. Yet, you want to get to a more peaceful and happier place. You want to leap past the pain. Society is all too eager for you to “move on.” But grief demands we travel through it to find any true sense of healing. And that’s tough.
I’ve created this site to encourage you to authentically grieve. To take all the time you need. And to consider perspectives that will help you discover your own path toward healing.
Thank you for letting me join you on this journey. Now, let’s get to know each other better. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get personalized encouragement for this life after loss.
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Toni Lepeska is a Memphis journalist, essayist and contributing author to two books. She uses personal stories and hard-won perspective to help “adult orphans” find their own path toward healing. Toni loves dazzlingly blue skies, big dogs suitable for tight hugs, and a man who married her at a chaotic time – around the beginning of life without her parents. She spent the next eight years sifting through the contents of her childhood home. Wrestling a tangle of emotions, she rediscovered the sense of safety she’d thought was lost forever. She found beauty in life again – and you can, too.
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We know grief usually evolves, becoming less intense and feeling more survivable years after the death of a parent. But how does that happen? Can we do or not do certain things to slow down or speed up our journey? Well, in a way, yes. In this article, I want to share what changed my …
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You probably have a special memory you go back to this time of year, the season of the Grief Super Bowl, the annual apex of grieving. It’s likely a bittersweet replay. I go back in my mind to a little girl at a dining room table, feet on a trailer vent grate for warmth and …
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Are you living with an eye toward legacy? What is legacy all about anyway? I think those of us who’ve had a parent die have thought about this word at least a little. And maybe we’ve wondered where it fits into our lives. The dictionary says legacy is anything handed down from the past, as …
Please Don’t Say “Happy Mother’s Day”
Would someone please tell church leaders not to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to every woman as she arrives for worship service? Please tell them they need a new script for the grieving. My mother is dead, and I am not a mother. And I am not alone in feeling left out by that welcome at …
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I found the homemade Mother’s Day card inside a box of her things, and I read what I’d written as a teenager. “If I didn’t have you what could I do?” At her house among her things, I thought, This is the question I’ve lived with since she died.
Is Doing Grief Wrong Possible?
Give yourself credit. Even if you aren’t doing grief like your mother, best friend or neighbor. Even if you haven’t been out of bed in a week. Even if you still collapse in tears recalling how you missed your father’s last Christmas.