Reclaiming Your Joy After Loss

Anticipatory Grief: The In Between

anticipatory grief Jul 15, 2020

Everything seems to be up in the air. Each morning when I wake up, I question what will happen now.  Questions fill my thoughts about all the people getting sick and maybe dying in the pandemic, people demonstrating because of people dying at the hands of the law enforcement who is supposed to protect us, and people dying who do not have access to adequate medical care because of the pandemic. And on top of that, the people I know who are dying right now are because of cancer. In all these instances, we as a culture right now are dealing with Anticipatory Grief. What does that mean, and what can we do?

Anticipatory grief comes before a death or a great loss. When you discover that someone you love has been given a terminal diagnosis, that anticipatory grief starts right then. Anticipatory grief can also occur when you just think of something that may happen. My dear Black friend who has four sons has bouts of anticipatory grief when she just hears about George Floyd or Elijah...

Continue Reading...

Are You Positive?

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2020

“It’s most important that you surround yourself with positivity always and have it in your mind at all times.”– Tyler Perry

Have you noticed how much we are like chameleons?  Here in Hawaii we have lots of chameleons, known as Jacksons, who look like small prehistoric creatures with horns. The first one I saw someone noticed on my lawn. I almost didn’t see it because it was the exact color of the grass. My friend picked him up and held him in front of his black shirt, and to my amazement, it started changing color, first to like a camouflage with many shades of green and grey, and then to solid black. This reminded me of how we all change to reflect our surroundings.

When I sit with someone grieving who is crying, generally, my tears start, too. When I am with someone sharing a funny story, we all end up laughing together. If I happen to watch a scary show, I usually end up with nightmares. If I watch the news about all the negativity our country...

Continue Reading...

Practice Joy!

joy Jun 24, 2020

I can hear you now. “I am grieving. There’s no joy in my life.” I can understand you feeling that way, but that’s not how you have to feel.

Right now, our country, and actually the world, is consumed with fear, despair, disease, and confusion. Where is the joy there?  We seem to have hit bottom, but let’s not stay there. The more we surround ourselves with the bad news, the more overwhelming it becomes, and the good news is, you are in control of what you focus on. 

Today, right now, let’s focus on what is good in your life. Give your attention to that, and only to that all day. No news on tv. No newspapers. No negative conversations.  This is easier than you think. Turn on some great music that makes you feel good instead of the tv. Smile at anyone who starts a negative conversation and say, “How about we talk about something that makes you happy today?”

Now that you have eliminated negative distractions, let’s...

Continue Reading...

Growing From Your Loss

Uncategorized Jun 10, 2020

When someone you love dies, everything changes. Initially you have deep yearning for things to go to how they were when you both were healthy and living the life you dreamed of. Now you know that not possible, and you may be struggling to know what to do now. That happened for me. I set my intention to be inspired with what my next steps were supposed to be.

My inspiration didn’t come all at once. Instead I moved forward one step at a time. I always loved writing, so that was my natural place to start. I wrote in my journal today. I didn’t worry about thinking of something to write about. I made lots of things that brought joy to my life in spite of my sorrow, and there was lots to write about. I still write things that bring me joy every day.

I also write gratitude lists which also have never ending inspiration. People grieving can easily fall into the hole of negativity, of poor me. When you focus on joy and gratitude, that leaves less space for sorrow. And I do still...

Continue Reading...

A Pressure Cooker Can Explode

Uncategorized Jun 10, 2020

I remember looking forward to 2020, knowing that the future was bright and amazing things were going to happen.  What a surprise that those amazing things were not the positive changes I was anticipating.  Our world and our lives seem to have been turned upside down as well as shaken around. Add with our personal loss on top of that, and we are cruising toward personal disaster – if we allow that.  The key here is to recognize what is happening and know that we don’t have to sink into it all.

As I write this, I am outside surrounded by singing birds, blue skies, green grass, trees, and flowers.  I am sipping a luscious cup of tea and contemplating what is most important to me right now. My joy at this moment is that my sister, who has been in the hospital all week, had a procedure this morning that shocked her heart back into rhythm, she can breathe easily, and she can go home from the hospital today.  I am so thrilled with this news, and it...

Continue Reading...

My Mother's Grief

Uncategorized May 27, 2020

My Mom and Dad were married for 54 years. They were 18 when they got married in a small California town during the Depression. They spent their time together until Daddy got drafted into World War II.  When he came home, they were closer than ever. They spent years together active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, including Daddy being in leadership in the State of California including being State Commander. This required visits all over California, and they drove everywhere they went. On so many long trips, they saw many accidents on the road, and Mom would report them to me in detail, always saying that she knew that she and Daddy would someday be in one of those accidents and die together on the road. I hated when she said that, but I knew that she said it out of deep love. She couldn’t imagine living without him.

On the Sunday before Veteran’s Day in 1989, Daddy was the keynote speaker at the big community event held annually to honor all the Veterans from our...

Continue Reading...

My Last Kiss

Uncategorized May 20, 2020

I remember clearly the last time I kissed Ron as he transitioned. I knew he was gone when no energy was exchanged between us. I was simply kissing what was already the memory of my love. Songs and poems are written about the bliss of a first kiss, but people rarely discuss the last one.

In grief people easily talk about missing holding hands and physical closeness, but sex tends to be taboo. This is unfortunate because the loss of deep intimacy commonly affects those of us who have lost a partner.  Popping us when you see someone kiss on television, or when you smell a fragrance reminding you of lost moments, or when you see a happy couple walking hand in hand, your reaction can range from tears to depression.

What can you do? First, recognize that what you are feeling is normal and should be expected.  If you have someone you can talk to about what you are feeling, then talk.  Don’t let fear or embarrassment get in your way. I imagine most of us may have a hard...

Continue Reading...

Surrender to What Is

Are you upset, angry, frustrated, or depressed about the pandemic and the way it is being dealt with in our country? Let me ask you, do any of those emotions serve you?  When you are spending time with emotions that aren’t doing anything to make your life and the lives of others better in some way, why using your precious time in that way?

I understand that everything is not as we would love it to be at this point, so why not do something about it?  For instance, if you are upset or angry about how the government is dealing with the whole pandemic or any part of it, get out your journal.  Make a list of each thing someone else is doing that you feel is wrong.  Write it all down. Don’t stop writing until you have covered everything that ticks you off. When you finish your list, take a breath, or a few. Relax and release all that negativity from your consciousness. 

Now, choose one item on that list to focus on.  How can you, just you, make a...

Continue Reading...

Coincidence?

Uncategorized May 13, 2020

Do you sometimes have an intense yearning to be with your loved one? I know I do. I’ve been wanting to be able to talk to him about all the results of the pandemic, just to hear his voice and his wisdom.  Before I go to sleep at night, I think about him hoping he’ll be in my dreams, but that’s only happened a couple of times.  Last week, my mind kept drifting back to him. Then, as I was watching television, our song came on as part of the show.

I remember the night when we discovered our song.  Be had been talking in bed, about to go to sleep, when he suddenly remembered he had something he wanted me to listen to. He retrieved his tape recorder (that’s how long ago it was!) and played for me Stevie Wonder’s song “As.”  Listening to the words together, we both knew it was our song. I always smile and feel good when I hear it, and the words will run through my mind for days.

The next night, a friend of ours who is intuitive...

Continue Reading...

What Would Your Do?

Do you have times when you drift into thinking that you want to go back to the way it was when you were with your loved one? You think of conversations, of things you loved to do together? I know I do this sometimes, but I always come back to knowing that I can’t go back, that things will never be the same. And at times that brings tears or longing, yet I know I can’t stay there.  It doesn’t serve me to dwell on what was or what might have been, so I have found a way to help me through.

We did lots together and talked about other things we would do together some day. I decided to honor him by honoring those things.  I started by making a list of things we loved to do together that I want to keep a part of my life. Then I added things I would do on my own that he would have supported me in and loved to see me do. Here’s my list.

Things we did together that I continue to do now:

  • We had a daily spiritual practice. We would meditate, write in our...
Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.