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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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September, 2000


A member of my extended family died last night. And I am struggling with what I struggle with every time someone dies: feeling helpless. The people who are left have a tremendous amount of pain. I want to help my family to be okay, to come to terms with this, to have peace. But I know that it takes time to mourn and grieve. We need to allow those that we care about that time.


Which is where that helpless feeling comes in. It hurts to see those that we love be in pain. We want to make it better. But we can’t. The only thing that we can do is let them know that we are there to be a shoulder to cry on, a person to vent to, a friend to help in what ever way is needed.


We often have the delusion that we have control over our lives. Death is the ultimate out of control experience. So, once again, I feel helpless. There is nothing that I can do to change the situation. We don’t want to face that. There must be something I can do, we say to ourselves! So we bake cookies and send plants or avoid the mourners. Now, the first two choices really can give comfort to those who are grieving. But please do not avoid those who are in pain. They need to express their feelings.


So I say to my family, I am sorry. If there is any thing that I can do, please let me know. I am here for you. Please take the time that you need to grieve. Know that I love you.



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