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Jun 22, 2021Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

This is one my favorite of your pieces Katie. It's tender & funny AND contains really good, practical advice for the grieving. Love it. xx

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That means so much, Emma. Thank you!

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Jun 25, 2021Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

First off, you look beautiful in all your 'trash can photos'!!

My daughter, age 40 died unexpectantly just 14 months ago. When I meet new people and they ask how many children I have, I always include my daughter. Sometimes I feel guilty not telling them 'the truth' that she's gone. Sometimes I go into great lengths to describe her as if she's still alive. Either way I feel awkward and sad. Am I protecting othe? I'm still strugggling with this.

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Oh Janet, I'm so sorry. I think that the awkwardness fades a bit as you work through your grief and accept that this is part of your story. But this is a tremendous loss and it will take time. Whatever the case, please try to be gentle with yourself. I think anyone would struggle in that situation. I'm sending you so much love. xo

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Thank you Katie...

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Jun 22, 2021Liked by Katie Hawkins-Gaar

I needed this! Thank you for writing it. It's relevant for a lot of situations—not just in dealing with whether to share grief.

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You’re right! I’m so glad it was helpful.

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My dad died by suicide almost 20 years ago and this is still an issue that's on my mind when I meet new people. It is especially complicated because I feel comfortable telling almost anyone that he died, if it comes up in conversation, but it takes a while for me to feel comfortable telling someone how he died. As tone deaf as people are about death in general, people are even worse at talking about suicide and I HATE feeling pitied, which is a common response. The worst is when someone I barely know asks how he died (which is why I would generally say this question is not a great idea) and I feel like I have to tell them when I don't want to. Some of my family members just lie, but that makes me feel like we are caving to the stigma. Then again, sometimes I just don't feel like using my trauma to make a statement. On the other side of the coin, sometimes I'll tell someone early on that he died and then realize months or years later that someone I'm really close with doesn't know how he died but it never comes up in conversation again and I have to awkwardly bring it up--"remember how I told you that my dad is dead, well...." hahaha. This happened recently with my boyfriend after being together for 6 months or so.

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