Cleaning out your closets No Comments

With the longer days of summer upon us it might be the right time to tackle the organizing of your spouse/partner’s personal belonging. “Cleaning out your closets” presents a significant challenge for most widows – the overwhelming thought of going through your deceased loved ones belongings and trying to decide what do with the items is by far one of the hardest pieces of widowhood. When referring to “cleaning out the closets”, it is not just the bedroom it includes the home office, the work office, the garage, the basement and the pile of papers that have accumulated…

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A New Answer to the Grief Question, “How Are You?” No Comments

“How are you?” became a dreaded question. Four family members, my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law, died in 2007. My daughter and former son-in-law died from the injuries they received in separate car crashes. Family members and friends couldn’t believe the story and I couldn’t either. Suddenly, our twin grandchildren were orphans and my husband and I were GRGs, grandparents raising grandchildren. Recovering from multiple losses takes longer than recovering from one…

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Getting Through Special Occasions After a Loss No Comments

I will never forget how difficult it was to get through all the special occasions after my husband died. There were just so many “firsts,” whether it was Thanksgiving, Christmas, new babies being born, and yes, Memorial Day. Whatever the occasion was, it was hard. What I learned from that was you just have to do what you need to do to get yourself through it. For example, it had been our tradition to drive 50 miles away to the cemetery where my husband’s family graves were. We did that every single year, rain or shine…

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The “I Didn’t Realize It Was That Long Ago” Response to Your Grief No Comments

Grief throws off your timing. After a loved one dies you may go backwards in time and be overcome with memories. Then the opposite happens. You look ahead and wonder how you will survive. Every day you think of your loved one. Indeed, you may feel stuck in grief. The sixth anniversary of my daughter’s death was in late February. I wasn’t prepared for the tears or a friend’s reaction.When I mentioned the anniversary she replied, “I didn’t realize it was that long ago.” Six years didn’t feel long to me…

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You Can’t Think Your Way Out of Grief No Comments

I find it difficult to believe that I was 40 years old before I found out that I had a choice in how I thought and how I felt. Up until then, if “A” happened, I automatically did “B.” Yes, I was living on automatic. Then one day a friend of mine said, “You know, you have a choice. You don’t have to get angry when she does that.” Wow! Talk about a light going on! I’d just never thought about it that way. Since then I’ve learned that what we experience in life is actually what we are thinking and feeling about what happens around us. If we can control – or at least change – how we respond…

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When Grief Subsides….What’s Beyond? No Comments

Grief a major part of a widow/widower’s life. Although everyone works through grief in their own way, there are still some similarities. I’d guess the majority of widow/widowers go through various stages of shock, denial, guilt, anger, depression, and hopefully acceptance. But every journey will also be unique. Once we work through our stages of grief and accept our loss, the grief begins to subside. Then we have to decide what we’re going to do with our life. There are endless possibilities of new goals and dreams for our future. Each one of us will have a different story to tell…

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Tuning in to Your Body When You’re Grieving No Comments

We all have an inner guide, and oftentimes it speaks to us through the signals the body sends us – signals of comfort or discomfort. Author Tom Robbins calls those signals “yuk” and “yum.” So how does that work? For example, say you’re driving down the street and you aren’t sure which way to go. Listen to your body! Or if you’re in the grocery store and you can’t decide between this product or that one. Listen to your body! As we practice following that signal on the little things, we develop a trust…

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Finding My Deceased Daughter’s Purse: Grieving Again No Comments

The lower level of our house gets lots of use, especially in the winter time. We watch television there and work in our home office. Fourteen years ago we had new carpet installed and it had become worn and dirty. “Sorry, I can’t get it any cleaner,” the cleaning man said, and I believed him. It was time to install new carpet again. Before the crew arrived we had to clear out closets and cull legal papers. In 2007 four family members died and we took in items from three estates. My husband was managing these estates…

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Where To Go From Here: Recovering From A Loss No Comments

Even though I’d heard the expression, “Whenever a door closes, a window always opens,” I didn’t see how that could apply to my life after losing my husband, but it did. Then, not long after my husband died, I lost both of my parents, too. I was just feeling so lost, with no sense of direction. Not knowing what else to do, I started asking, “What do You want me to do now?” The first door that opened was the opportunity to study with Dr. Deepak Chopra and other highly recognized teachers…

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How to Release Regret No Comments

I was talking with a man recently who’d been caring for his dying father. “I left him to take care of some personal business,” he said. “I knew I shouldn’t have gone because something inside told me not to go. But I didn’t listen. My father died while I was gone.” Regret. The word originates from Old French— regreter, which means “bewail (the dead), feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity.” “If only I’d been a better sister, brother, wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, or friend…

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