Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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You Never Know

Do you ever get discouraged?

I’m quite sure it’s a normal part of the human experience. Now that I’m in my 50’s, I think things that I probably thought in my 40’s, maybe even younger. Why am I still dealing with this? Do you ever just stop worrying about certain things?

Recently with adding job re-design and hunting to my life, I find myself in the place where I was a couple of years ago – exhausted. Most days I leave a lengthy list of things that I don’t get done that get cut and paste into tomorrow. I know I’ve been productive all day, there just is more to do. Lots more.

Lately I haven’t been sleeping well either. Last night I was still awake at 3:45 am, knowing I had to wake Frankie at 5. I ended up skipping an important seminar in the morning and slept until 11. Then the most productive part of my day (usually) has been lost and the rest of the day is spent playing a hopeless game of catch-up. The only reason I’m blogging now is because I forgot to confirm an appointment so by the time I remembered we had to reschedule.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not looking for a pat on the back. I am just trying to be realistic here. Does anyone really care about blogs? Does anyone even have time for them? Most weeks I love writing because it helps me process life, but sometimes I stare at a blank screen and wonder if I should bother.

Then I get something unexpected. This time, it was an email from an old friend several states away. I met her through my first husband, so you know that was quite a while ago. I don’t even remember the last time we spoke.

Anyhow, she reached out to tell me she was hurting terribly. She has read both of my books and been following my blogs for years now. That has enabled her to keep up with the basic gist of my life. She has now lost both of her parents and gone through a divorce after 35+ years of marriage. Many of those losses were piggy backed cruelly on top of each other. My heart broke for her.

I had no idea she even remembered who I was. I certainly didn’t know she had invested so much time into following my story. I was humbled and honored all at once. Again, it is not about the pat on the back. It is about the reminder that as we conduct our lives, we really have no idea whatsoever who is watching. We don’t know who we are impacting – for good or bad. Reminds me of the verses in the Bible where it talks about how we might entertain angels, not knowing we are doing so.

Thank you my friend for being the life jacket I needed this week. You gave me purpose when I was feeling discouraged. If you are reading this, please know I look forward to talking soon. It will be my honor to walk through any part of your journey with you as you navigate the difficult waters of re-inventing yourself after tremendous loss. I love you!


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Taking a Break

It was kind of funny last weekend when I went to see my therapist. He hadn’t read my blog, but he might as well have. He said all the things I predicted he would. Guess when you know someone for 15 years you do get to know them pretty well.

He opened up the possibility that perhaps there is something in the way I communicate that somehow invites people to comment (good or bad) or judge my thoughts and actions. He reminded me (as I predicted) that I actually have a pretty decent head on my shoulders and should be confident most of the time that I’m right on target. He also reminded me (as I predicted) that while I do have a ton of awesome support, I also have a relatively high level of critics in my life.

He also suggested (to my surprise) that maybe I should take a break from blogging every once in a while. I guess it’s obvious really. When you blog, you completely put yourself out there and anyone in the world can read it and comment if they would like. Duh.

I think my plan is still to blog on Thursdays. I get texts and emails from some of you when I’m late so I know I have some faithful readers out there. But if I don’t have good blog content in my head, maybe I won’t try to force it.

The goal is always to get more comments. I want to be brave enough to keep encouraging everyone to comment, good, bad or otherwise. But let me add a twist. I invite all of you to be brave enough to share your own stories. It really is a vulnerable thing to write about personal things. I know I make it look natural, especially after publishing two very personal books. The truth is, it really isn’t easy and it really does take courage to take a stand and put it out there for the world to see and disagree with.

If I’m honest, the challenge is directed more at those critics out there that usually have something to say about my negativity or attitude, those who corner me in person to let me know they didn’t like my blog or disagreed with it in some way. While I welcome everyone to “share their own story,” I especially invite those of you that find my blog an occasion to let me know how you think I’m screwing up. Come on. You are brave enough to tell me what you think. Be brave enough to put your stories out there.

I know this is a different flavor than what I usually do. But I think Scott is right. I need to figure out some new ways of communicating. I will make a few blunders along the way, so forgive me. And write away!