This blog is for all of those who like me are beginners in this horribly long grief process and face the challenge of trying to be gentle with ourselves while living in this stupidly harsh warrior culture that ignores the grief process entirely. Death is messy and unsexy. Americans don’t like it. So we have been taught zero coping skills to deal with it.

This blog is to dispel all of that bullshit and share with you the few things I’ve learned about grief that no one ever told me. Little gems like — You’re going to feel like shit for awhile. And then you’re going to feel like crap for bit longer. And then, when you think things should start looking up, inside your heart will be a big o’ pile of poo.

In other words, be patient.  Accept your grief. Embrace it. Make it a bath. You’re going to be together for a long time, you crazy kids. And through your bond, you will eventually feel grieftastic. Just you wait and see! (Note: I am still waiting.)

Just a little background on me…

I’m a professional journalist and award-winning author. My work has appeared in NewsweekPremiere, Match.com, Back StageThe Hollywood Reporter, and numerous other publications.

I moved home in 2009 to take care of my mother who was dying of Stage IV breast cancer. From there, I looked after my grieving grandfather and father before moving back to Los Angeles to rebuild my life a year later. That’s when my grief process truly began. –  Nicole Kristal


10 Responses to About

  1. vidablogg says:

    My mother passed when i was only six-seven years old. Today I am twenty seven, and I must say that I’ve never gotten over losing her, the pain still feels like it happened yesterday…I am yet to feel grieftastic, therefore, I can relate to how you feel and your outlook on grief. My deep and most sincere condolences. Nice blog.

  2. dswidow says:

    My husband died 3 months ago today. I’m finding out that while there are different details the feelings are the same. My best to you.

  3. I appreciate your honest expressions. My mom passed away in 2008 after a 6 year battle with breast cancer. She was only 61. I don’t think you ever get over it. I live outside the U.S. so I’m 3000 miles from my family. I call my sister often, she lost her husband back in July. She told me that when other’s ask “how are holding up”?… she just answers, “I’m hanging in there” because as she said, no one really wants to hear the truth. She had a doctor’s appointment soon after his death and she told me that she almost broke down in the doctor’s office because when she filled out the paperwork, she didn’t know how to respond to the question about marital status… she couldn’t bare the thought of choosing, “widow”…. so she quickly skipped over that question. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with grief.

  4. Tandi says:

    Hi Kristal

    Wish I would have come across your site a few years ago when my brother died. It was a nearly indescribable journey. As you know. The folks who helped me the most were ones who had been through such grief themselves. I am not the person i was before Scott died, but I can say I have come back to living again and that feels like a major accomplishment. (One I needed a lot of help with). (I love talking about him, check out my blog post about him called “I will remember you, or a shopping list is no substitute for a brother” at thesongiliveby.wordpress.com. ) And all the best to you girl.

  5. I love the way you just come out and say everything so bluntly. I’m tired of these things being sugar coated with lies. Ive lost people to liver, pancreatic, and other cancers. I lost my great grandma when I was in junior high, my papa my sophomore year of high school and several great aunts and uncles in between. Today I went to my grandmas funeral and I’m only a freshman in college so this is a lot for an 18 year old to go through. But I look forward to reading your blog and actually see I’m not the only one hurting. I’m so tired of people acting like the pain just goes away.

  6. Barbara says:

    I found your blog through you being freshly pressed. I like your description of how Facebook rekindles relationships. I had some really intense relationships as a teenager, and then I changed countries and never saw those people again. Seeing them on Facebook and catching up on ‘old times’ is fun, but there then comes the quiet period after we have caught up, and we wonder now what…….

    My sister died of a cot death when I was 3. I wrote about her in my blog on October 29th this year. Her 40th birthday.

    I cried rivers writing that post, and then accidentally deleted it on her birthday & had to rewrite a much less sentimental version.

    I spent years wondering why the pain never changed. I didn’t think of my sister as often, but every so often I would sob my heart out in raw pain at her loss. That still happens sometimes. So the pain doesn’t get any less…. Just a lot less often. And in the spaces life gets really really good. Don’t feel guilty about not being in pain 24/7. Enjoy the freedom from it


  7. Reading your blog, and particularly your post on this day, has hit so many chords, on so many levels with me. I lost my best friend (for the last 50 years!) a little over a month ago, and while we talked and saw each other regularly, it was primarily through Facebook that I was able to locate and notify most of her old friends. Unlike my relationship with Jane (who was one of the most brilliant, funny, and loving person I’ve ever known), I have had contact with only a handful of those friends, and even then such contact had been very brief. I felt like I hardly knew most of them any more and wasn’t even sure if they would even remember me. But I knew that if I hadn’t reached them, it would be years before most of them learned the news, and I felt like I owed it to Janie as she deserved to have people grieve for her and for her family to know how many people loved her.

    As someone who rarely calls or writes to anyone, especially over the last 10 years, it was very hard to send those posts, private e-mails, and telephone calls but I am so glad that I did! In the past when I lost people I loved (my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers, various friends) I always kept my grief to myself, trying to be stoic and hold myself together so that I could be strong for everyone else. All I got out of that was being accused of being cold-hearted and uncaring, and getting so bottled up inside that it only made my already frail health that much worse.

    But my experience with reaching out to as many friends of Janie that I could find, has been the most wonderful experience! I found people who appreciated being remembered and having an old friend (or just an old acquaintance or even just someone they had heard about but never met) be there to share memories of our friend and to muddle through the whole range of emotions that come from losing someone because she could not believe or accept that she was loved or had any value to offer. It hurts that neither I nor the many others who tried, could save my friend, and I don’t expect that I’ll ever stop missing her, but the love and release that I received as a result of reaching out to others has been one of the greatest blessings.

    I wish those blessings on you, Nicole. Thank you for sharing your own grief in such an open, articulate, and meaningful way.

    * This is a page I set aside on my blog as a permanent memorial for my friend and for her friends to post their thoughts to. Jane was also part of the LA/entertainment field for many years – perhaps you may have crossed paths at some point. http://icondoit.wordpress.com/memories-of-jane

  8. Indeed – you don’t just get over it, you’ve gotta get through it and there is no shortcut…
    Thanks for your honesty, great blog 🙂 even if the topic is … life.

  9. disconcerted72 says:

    First, thank you soo much for the follow! I appreciate it. 🙂

    Secondly, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have lost a parent. I’m one of the few lucky ones that still have their parents. On the other hand, however, I have a first-hand knowledge of losing a family member to suicide and have watched it impact my family in horrendous ways. So, I can’t help but appreciate the insight you give on grief and that there really is not “getting better”, but rather a welcome distance between the event as time would have…

    This is a profound blog, I believe.

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