Skip to Content

Grief and Death

Meriah Nichols on Grief and Death

Grief and Death

I think death is the most familiar type of grief for most of us. It’s what we expect when hear the word, “grief.”

All of my death-related grief posts are on this page. They are mostly of my brother and my grandparents.

Following those posts will be my overall post on what helps with grief; tools and ideas that I have found to be helpful in moving through the process of grief.

My brother, for those of you who are new to this blog, is Dana. He was shot by 4 masked guys (who have yet to face justice), a victim in a senseless robbery. Dana was in a coma for 3 weeks before he was declared brain dead and removed from life support.

Dana was a year older than I, my only sibling and my best friend, closest confidant.

The Posts About Dana, My Grief & Death


news on my brother Dana

To the Edge of the Woods

There is nothing like a crisis for making social media meaningful. I mean, day in and day out, it’s just an information clearinghouse and news board. Then something huge happens and reading each and everyone’s comment of love and support means the world to me, when all I want to do is crawl into a …


I lost it yesterday morning. I mean, I really lost it. Moxie was hiding inside the dresser drawer, scarfing down popcorn after I told her countless times to get ready so we could go downstairs (in the hotel) and get breakfast (which would be over in 10 minutes). The boys seemed to have acquired her temporary deafness, …

The Problem with Belief

A belief is only a thought that you keep thinking. If you think anything long enough, it will become a belief. And, as everyone knows, whatever it is that you believe will become your reality. So the trick to changing things in your life is to focus on thinking thoughts that you WANT to believe, …


In the middle of a flight or fight.

Golden Boy

My memories help keep me strong – and writing helps too.

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

Well. It turns out that Dana had been really into this one particular TED talk not so long ago. It was called, “Dying to Be Me” – Dana absolutely loved it and made his daughter Yu Han watch it. I put it on and watched it today in his room: (it’s captioned through corrected YouTube …

He is Gone

Dana has gone.

The Rabbit Hole

tunneling sides of grief.

A Bathtub

I’m having a hard day. Everything is reminding me of Dana, and of Dana being gone. It’s hitting me in every direction. That song? He’s gone. That movie? He’s gone. That joke? He’s gone. That book? He’s gone. He’s gone, he’s gone, HE IS GONE. With him goes the only person (besides Grandma) that I …

Proof of Heaven?

Eben Alexander’s “Proof of Heaven”

Pinched Off

Dana has been gone for 3 months.

Walking Through Water

My brother has been gone for 4 months I've developed a routine: I wake up in the morning, go and light a candle for my grandparents and for my great-aunt Ruby and place it in my shrine. I light another for my brother, Dana, which I carry with me to the couch. I wear Dana's [...]

It’s Been a Year, Grandma

a love letter to my Grandma

beef, beans and grief

I got into a conversation with the woman sitting at the table next to us at Beef & Beans, a summer event of American awesomeness at our local grange. I had never met her before, but Mikey told me that her husband did the wiring for our addition, before Dana left. "I liked what you [...]

“An Invocation for Beginnings”

An Invocation for Beginnings -     When I am gone and buried, I'd like a screen put on my gravestone and have this playing from it. originally published in April, 2012. 

If I Had Known Then What I Know Now

Trigger Warning: guns, violence, death. Grief. I am astonished at how aimless I remain, Dana. I’ve been waking up even earlier than my usual 5 in the morning, often at even 3:30. I get my coffee, my laptop, candles lit. Meditate. I get online, ready and raring to work, and then… I lose focus. I [...]

Seeing Spider Webs

a post on living with intention

A Morning Routine For Wellness

I think the concept of us being the creators of our lives is powerful. So powerful that it takes the passive and helpless and flips it. It was the one thing that truly changed how I feel about disability - about being deaf and having C-PTSD, about my daughter Moxie having Down syndrome. Feeling that [...]

Here’s Why 2017 Didn’t Suck

To my friends, it looks like 2017 sucked for me. Breakup of a 10-year marriage, right?! Leaving the Lost Coast. Grieving the death of my brother, Dana. I mean, I lost my home and my marriage in 2017. Added to that, my closest friends don't live close to me, so I didn't have much support [...]

Full Circle

When we first moved to Hawaii from Fiji, Dana was 14 and I was 13. We were too young to work in America - and we were both pretty upset about it, as Fiji had had no such "child welfare" rules. Being suddenly dependent on our (broke) parents was awful. Dana turned 15 (the legal [...]

Like the Ocean Flows

It’s not that I’m sitting around in misery each day. I’m not. Overall, I’ve never been happier in my life. It’s that when the pang comes, it comes so hard that it’s impossible to not write about it, or express it in some way. That happened this morning. I woke up – I had a …

“Don’t Be Scared of the Dark,” He Said

This is a post about grief. I had been crying so hard and so long that I couldn't open my eyes properly. They were puffy, swollen up so that seeing through them was a chore. I also didn't understand why this in particular was hitting me so hard. I was turning 45, you see. All [...]

The Impact of Disability on Siblings : The Story of Dana and Meriah

Here is the story of growing up with my brother Dana, first published on March 12, 2012. Dana left this world on Labor Day, 2016. ________________________________________________________________ I went through the windshield of a car when I was four years old, back in the day when seatbelts were charming accessories. The glass shredded my face, the head-on collision …

Here’s What Will Help You With Your Grief

A mostly-material smorgasbord of things that have helped me with grief.

On a Blue Butterfly We Will Fly

This is a post about missing my brother Dana, and birthdays. When you have lost someone you love, I think it's impossible to move through the world the same as you did before you lost them. Everything takes on new meaning - the feather that you see by your foot, the rainbow that bursts from [...]

The Truth About Bullets

On guns, grief and the truth the stories don’t tell

Understanding the Connection Between Flowers and Stars

This is a post about grief. I'll never forget driving to the Bay Area from Redding. Dana had been released from this life. Mom, Dana's daughters and I had dealt with the Sheriff's office for hours - since Dana had been shot in Humboldt county, and since the bullets were still in him when he [...]

Resources to Explain Death and Grief to Person with Down Syndrome or Intellectual Disability

things that help with grief | image of a woman with light hair with hands clasped, looking down into the light

What Helps With Grief

This is a long post about what helps with grief, any grief. The tools that I talk about in here are applicable to all types of grief, including grief from death.