Friday, March 30, 2012

Fab Friday

It's Fabulous Friday!!  It's hard to believe that this is the last weekend in March!

I'm ready for the weekend and I hope you are too!!

Go for it!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Electronic Meltdown

Yesterday was a day from electronic hell.  Every time I turned around some piece of equipment in the office needed attention.

Don't you just hate it when computers, cell phones, blackberries and xerox machines misbehave? 

I don't consider myself a tekkie kind of person at all.  I don't feel any desire to stand in line when I know Apple is going to be selling a new iPhone or a new iPad.  I am open to learning new things about electronic devices but I'm not very happy about it.  I'm of the mind that if it's working and it's doing everything that you want why does it have to change?

It just doesn't make sense to me how a computer can be working fine -- receiving and sending emails, printing out documents and all the other things that computers do -- and then the next day you walk in, log on and your toolbars are missing.  I usually know how to figure some of this out myself but not always.

My computer wasn't monopolizing all of the mischief.  The charger to the Blackberry wouldn't work so I went to Radio Shack to see if they had another one.  Thank goodness Radio Shack had them in stock but I also need a converter so I could charge a cellphone we sometimes use overseas.  Of course, Radio Shack was out of those and wouldn't get them in again for weeks.  Try CVS, the Radio Shack guy said.  So I did.  Wouldn't you know it?  CVS had the converters and they only cost $3.99.  Yeah!!!!

I'm the kind of person who turns something off because I think it needs to "rest."  I don't think that's such a crazy idea.  When I've been using the xerox machine and copying reams of documents, I can feel the machine starting to warm up.  Don't you think it's the machine's way of telling me it needs to take a break?  I do and I talk to the xerox machine as in, "Please don't jam.  This is a really important job!"

It's the little things in life that can make you happy.  I like to think that my computer and cell phone and I are all part of the same team, working together to get things done, not falling apart and needing attention.  So listen up all you electronics -- behave yourselves and do what you are supposed to do.  PLEASE?????!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my Dad's 85th birthday and I wish him the happiest of birthdays!!  He is the best Dad in the whole world!!

I love him very much and respect what he has done in his life.  He loves the beach and fishing and hanging out near the water.  Today he is spending the day down on Chesapeake Bay with my brothers and I know they will have a blast because they'll eat and do everything whatever they want.

He is quite a wonderful character (you never know what the mail will bring) and a great Dad who once held down three jobs to provide for our Mom and six children.  Not many people can juggle three jobs, let alone find the energy to do three jobs.  Underneath all of that hard work is a kind and generous man with a sweet soul.

He is sentimental to a fault and tears up (almost every time) he hears the song "Danny Boy." Yes, Dad, we know you want to go back to Ireland.

I am very lucky to have him in my life and I know my siblings definitely feel the same way!

Happy Birthday Dad!!! XO

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Anger of Losing Someone

Anger is a normal part of grieving.  It is.  When a loved one dies, many people feel angry first rather than sadness because they feel they are being left behind and also feel very helpless. 

Everyone says that life must go and it does but what do you do with the anger you feel?   Many people try to push the anger down and ignore it because the intensity of it scares them.  That's not going to work because eventually the anger will pop up at another time in a situation that has nothing to do with the person's death.  Intellectually you know that your loved one did not have control over the situation but that doesn't stop you from feeling something different in your heart.

Go ahead and feel the anger but you must not hurt yourself or someone else.  You have to find a way to let it out in a constructive manner.  Whether that means that you yell into a pillow, break dishes or rip clothes, feel it and express it.  Otherwise it's going to stay inside you and build up.  You may need to find a support group or go to a grief counselor to address it and work your way through it.

I found this very good first-person piece on anger and loss published recently by Hello Grief ( and thought I would share it:

Loss and Anger
By Victoria Noe
Posted By Hello Grief on January 10, 2012

Anger can be unattractive, there’s no question about it. It’s messy and unpredictable, sometimes loud and violent. And in a world where we like things to make sense, it’s often unacceptable. But never more than when you’re grieving. There’s a long list of people we can be angry with:

The person who died: why didn’t they take better care of themselves? Why did they take such a stupid chance? What were they thinking?

The medical community: why didn’t the doctor force them to take better care of their health? Why didn’t the paramedics get there sooner? Why hasn’t someone discovered a cure for cancer, etc.?

God: why did you make a good person suffer? Why did you leave those children without a parent?
Why them? Why now? Why not someone else? Why not me?

The family: why didn’t they make him go to the doctor? Why did they let her live alone?



Death is, after all, the great unknown. Despite stories of white lights and visions of deceased relatives, no one’s come back from any extended time in the afterlife. We don’t know what awaits us.

And we REALLY don’t know why people die when they do. We say “it was just their time,” and obviously, it was. As a friend, that sense of helplessness can create even deeper anger.

Many times when I’ve grieved I’ve been angry, although I rarely shared those feelings. Despite being one of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ famous stages of grief, it’s probably the least acknowledged.

Anger can be useful, but when turned inward, is more likely referred to as depression. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about white-hot, body-shaking, screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anger.

You’ve already realized that the grief you feel for your friend is being devalued because you’re not family. And that can add to the anger you already feel.

Even those who are also grieving are unlikely to accept your anger. Think of Sally Field melting down in the cemetery in Steel Magnolias, and the shock on her friends’ faces. The minister in The Big Chill – “I’m angry, and I don’t know what to do with my anger” – is much calmer about it, but the look in his eyes is anything but.

The problem with suppressing the absolutely justified anger we feel when a friend dies is that it will bubble up eventually. It will present itself suddenly and loudly and often in a completely unrelated situation. And that presents its own complications. Screaming at a barista who doesn’t know you won’t bring back your friend.

So, if you’re angry that cancer treatments and cures came too late for your friend…

If you’re angry that your friend’s family dismissed her threats of suicide…

If you’re angry that your friend drove drunk…

If you’re angry that an evil person chose your friend at random to kill…

Embrace that anger: accept it and embrace it. You’re angry because of the pain that your friend’s death has caused. That’s, dare I say it, normal. Frankly, it would be strange if you weren’t angry. You’re angry because you loved them and wanted them to stay close to you always. Selfish maybe, but normal and human.

So, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else, you have my permission to be angry. Then you can work on channeling your anger into positive action, to keep your friend’s memory alive every day of your life.

Guest author Victoria Noe created FriendGrief [2] to discuss the idea that there are profound differences in grieving the death of a friend, as opposed to a family member. While she writes on the loss of friends, her ideas can often apply to any individual who has suffered any type of loss.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Goals & Dreams

You are never too old to

 set another goal


 to dream a new dream
~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mad Men

The season premiere of "Mad Men" airs tonight and I can hardly wait.  It is my favorite television show and I am very curious to see where creator Matthew Weiner takes the endlessly interesting characters who work at the New York City ad agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Watching "Mad Men" is like opening up a time capsule and immersing yourself in all of the sophistication, controversy and change of the 1960's.

The writing is suberb and from the moment you step in to the offices of Sterling Cooper you know you are in for a great time of it.  People drink constantly during the day, smoke all the time, yet there is hardly any cursing.  There are no computers or cellphones but there are lots of face-to-face meetings (romantic and business) in hotel rooms.  No one has any tatoos or piercings but there are lots of sexy crisp white shirts on the men and beautiful form fitting dresses and suits on the women.  Everyone looks like they are pulled together even though they aren't.  And underneath all of this is the backstory of the 1960's -- civil rights, women's changing roles at home and in the workplace, the Vietnam War, drugs and the Space race with Russia.

I also like to watch "Mad Men" because my husband worked in various news rooms in New York City during the 1960's and I like to imagine what the city was like during that time.  I think it would be fair to say that it was a time of working hard and playing hard.  Watching Don Draper (played by the handsome Jon Hamm) and Roger Sterling (played by the witty John Slattery) is very similiar to watching two people play a game of chicken in terms of taking work and play to the limit.

So I'm going to start making the popcorn.  Check it out if you get a chance.  You won't regret it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Michele Woodward -- Managing Change

Michele Woodward

I'm always looking for people who have positive insight about life and its surprises.  An office friend told me about Michele Woodward and how she is a fantastic life coach.  I read her blog ( and have found that she almost always presents a fresh perspective on how to get out there and do whatever it is I need or want to do. 

Michele doesn't just talk the talk.  She has also walked the walk.  She is a divorced mother of two teenaged children, so her down-to-earth advice is not clean and dry theory; it's based in real life, rolling up your sleeves and being in the trenches experience.

I loved the following inspirational post from Michele's blog and I hope you do too!:

From Here To There
By Michele Woodward
March 11, 2012

I am rather smitten with the idea of transformation.

Utterly fascinates me.

It fascinates me how common things like today's newspaper gets recycled into tomorrow's paper towels.  Like how left over table scraps can become food for tomorrow's flowers.

Magical things fascinate me, too, like how simple trial and error leads to a new invention that changes the world.  Like the light bulb.  Or the internet.

To some of these things we say, "Yes, but..."

Yes, but nature's way of doing things - has nothing to do with me.

Yes, but that's somebody like Thomas Edison.  That's somebody like Steve Jobs.  Not somebody like me.

Rarely, it seems, do we say, "Yes, but...I can do that, too."

But it's more than possible.

You absolutely have the power to transform things.


An you can do it all by yourself, when you think about it.

You can transform the challenge of sickness into the relief of healing, just by talking about it in a different way.

As in, "I am on my way toward remission."

You can transform the stress of working with a difficult person into calm productivity, just by managing your own energy and being an advocate for yourself.

As in, "I am not jumping into that drama with him.  No, I am not."

You can transform your business from struggling to succeeding, just by focusing on your strengths and what really matters.

As in, "Despite the advice of marketing gurus, I know I am an introvert and not at my best in large networking events.  I'm going to meet people my own way."

It's daunting and a little confusing to think that you have any power to change anything.  Because so many of us have lived our lives believing we're at the mercy of others.  That power belongs to someone else.  That we're small, insignificant, unable.

But we're not.

I know you're not.

The power to transform -- to shift one thing into another -- is your greatest superpower.

And, if you open your eyes and see, you will find that you use this great skill of yours every day, in ways large and small.

Every time you open a door, turn a corner, start a new document, begin a conversation, you have the ability to transform one thing into something else.

And guess what?  The more you use this superpower, the stronger it will get.

The stronger you will get.

So begin today.  Begin by transforming where you are right now, to where you'd like to be.

And that's as easy as getting up from your chair and moving some place else.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bobbi Kristina

ABC News
If there is one thing I have learned during my personal experience with grieving, it is that we all grieve differently.  Each of us has our own path that we follow in the healing process and it takes different amounts of time for each of us to work through and find out what we are comfortable doing and saying when we are trying to adjust to the loss of a loved one.

I remember asking myself how I was going to live through this pain, how was I going to get over my loss and what the hell was happening to me.  Your loved one is physically gone but that person is still living in your heart and soul.  It might be very different for you, but I have found that grief tends to lasts as long as it takes you to accept and learn to live with your loss.  For some people, grief can last a few months.  For others, grieving may take years.

I started thinking about this while watching the recent televised interview earlier this month that Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, gave to Oprah Winfrey.  Many news stories speculated that it was too early for her to be talking in public about her mother's sad and untimely death because they thought she might not be able to handle it.

For someone whose mother died just about a month ago, I thought she was a very poised 19-year-old.  I also thought her interview was a gift to viewers.  When your mother is as big a celebrity as Whitney Houston was, reporters and photographers are around you all the time.  Still, it is not easy to go on television and discuss what you're personally going through and how you feel.  While she didn't have to do the interview, I felt that she might have agreed to do it because in talking to Oprah, who knew her mother so well, Bobbi Kristina might have also felt closer to her mother.

And that closeness, that connection, is something we all fight to keep.

"I'm doing okay," Bobbi Kristina said in the interview with Oprah.  "I'm doing as good as I possibly can."

Bobbi Kristina revealed very personal and intimate thoughts and feelings about her mother and discussed some of the things that can happen when you are still in shock from the sudden loss of a loved one.  "She's always with me," Bobbi Kristina told Oprah.  "Her spirit is strong, it's a strong spirit.  I feel her pass through me all the time."

Bobbi Kristina said that sometimes when she is in the house, the lights will flicker a little and she will look at them and say, "Mom, what're you doing?"  Oprah gently laid the foundation for discussing what a grieving person can sometimes experience when she told Bobbbi Kristina that some people believe "we're crazy" for believing in "visitations" from those who have died.  "I can hear her voice, you know, and spirit talking to me, telling me, 'Keep moving baby. I'm right here. I got you.' She's always with me," Bobbi Kristina said.

To take your pain and turn it into a positive experience is a gift to others in the same situation.  It doesn't matter whether you are a celebrity or not.  Feeling the loss of someone you love is a universal and human emotion.

Watching someone else trying to navigate grief can be helpful.  You feel you are not alone because the other person may be expressing the same confusion, pain and stress that you are feeling.  People respectfully watch a public person in the midst of grief to see what they are doing, how they talk about their feelings and how they handle themselves, many times giving hope to others so that they too can find positives in their lives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let's Get Physical

Steps behind the Lincoln Memorial

A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Or is it a healthy body needs a healthy mind?

Anywho, this past weekend was one great big package of fabulous weather so I took the ole bod out for some much needed exercise and it was great!  Any kind of exercise is always good but sometimes it's hard to find the time.  But when I do make time for it, I always feel thankful that I did.  In the beginning, I felt a bit like the tin man in "The Wizard of Oz," trying to stretch, warm up and get the kinks out of my muscles. Oil can please?

As much as I try to walk every day, I don't walk as much as I should and this year for some reason I feel particularly out of shape. I am from the "use it or lose it" school of exercise and I know that if I don't push myself to get going then I will find something else that will distract me from moving. Maintaining a certain level of energy and ease of movement has always been important to me and I don't take it for granted.

With my ipod charged up, I slowly walked for about 10 minutes and then worked myself into a gentle run. I probably ran for about a mile and I could have gone further but I didn't want to overdo it and wake up the next day with really tight and sore muscles. It felt so good to get the body moving and take in the fresh air and beautiful blooming flowers and trees.

Whenever I am feeling helpless, or as if my mind is running in a million different directions, I try to go for a walk or get on my stationary bicycle. I know that the act of moving helps me work through whatever I am trying to untangle.  If you're wondering why exercise is so beneficial, doctors say this is why:   physical activity releases endorphins, natural chemicals in your body that can enhance your mood, decrease stress hormones and improve sleeping patterns.  And that's not all.  According to Dr. Brian Clement, the body heals eight times faster when you exercise regularly!

Taking care of yourself is project number one and I hope this warm weather stays around to help me and you stay healthy, active and mentally postive.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Power

I love a day dedicated to the celebration of all things Irish!  St. Patrick's day is definitely all about having a grand time but there's a lot more to being Irish than hanging out in a bar and drinking green beer, downing pints of Guinness and slamming whiskey shots.
To me, it's also a day to pause, think about my peeps and take pride in my culture.  It's a culture rich in its ancient history and magical in its talents.  We are story tellers, dancers, weavers of thoughts and ideas and a people who have a lot of pride in their simple roots.  We have a way of looking at the world a little differently and there's certainly a humorous or witty twist associated with our point of view.  And we always like to break the rules a bit and shake things up.  Why be like everyone else?

Years ago when the Irish first arrived in Boston, there was movement against hiring the Irish.  To make sure the Irish got the message, businesses would hang the following sign in the window if they had a job opening: "HELP WANTED No Irish Need Apply."  A friend of mine found one of those signs on eBay and gave it to me.  I had it framed and it hangs in my office as a gentle reminder of the way things used to be.  I think you can safely say we've made a lot of progress since those days.

It's also a day when I am reminded of how I got my name.  When my mother was pregnant with me, she and my father went to the movies to see "The Quiet Man," starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.  The movie was filmed in Ireland and John Wayne plays the role of an American boxer named Sean Thornton who travels back to Ireland to escape controversy and reclaim his  roots.  Maureen O' Hara plays a firey Irish lass named Mary Kate Danaher.  My parents fell in love with the name as soon as they heard it and agreed that if they had a girl they would name her Mary Kate.

Flash forward many many years to 1989 and my late husband and I are traveling in Ireland.  We splurged and stayed one night in the spectacular Ashford Castle because "The Quiet Man" was filmed on the grounds surrounding the castle.  It was a memorable trip and we loved that every day at 4 pm "The Quiet Man" is shown on the hotel's television channel.  Sometimes when I am meeting someone new they make the connection between my name and the movie and they will repeat some lines from the movie to me.  It's a wonderful funny movie directed by John Ford.  I never tire of watching it and you should check it out.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I would like to share two wee items.  The first one is a traditional Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields and,

Until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

The second item is a favorite saying from a friend of mine:

 "Dress British.  Think Yiddish.  Be Irish."

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Hi My Faithful Readers,

I am going in a different direction today and I hope you are okay with it...

Whether you're cooking corned beef, cabbage and potatoes der boy or you're stewing some beef and Guinness, a freshly baked loaf of Irish Soda bread will lend a touch of the old country to your St. Patrick's Day celebration.

I grew up in a large family of six children and we ate A LOT of Irish soda bread.  My favorite way to eat soda bread is when it's still warm from the oven with lots of orange marmalade spread on it.  It is so delicious and easy to make because there is no yeast in this bread!

There are two schools of taste concerning Irish soda bread.  The first school (mine) prefers a pure and classic soda bread that is closer to what you would find in a pub in Ireland.  The second school prefers a soda bread that is sweeter, more like a cake, with raisins, caraway seeds or both.

Here is my tried and true recipe for Irish Soda bread.  You be the judge and please tell me how it turns out for you! 

Irish Soda Bread


2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter or regular margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter or regular margarine, melted


1.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly grease a small cookie sheet.
2.  In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  Cut in softened butter with a pastry blender or a fork until mixture looks like fine crumbs
4.  Add buttermilk; mix in with a fork only until dry ingredients are moistened.
5.  Turn out on lightly floured pastry cloth or board.  Knead gently until smooth -- about 1 minute.  Shape into a ball.  Place on a prepared cookie sheet: flatten into a 7-inch circle (Dough will be about
 1-1/2 inches thick.)  Press a large floured knife into center of loaf almost about half way through the loaf.  Repeat, at right angles to divide the loaf into quarters.
6.  Bake 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
7.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Brush top with melted butter.  Dust with flour, if you wish.

Makes 1 loaf.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life 101

Thank you Silver Pen for posting the following wisdom
 about life its' own self:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paying Respects @WTC

On a bright and beautiful Sunday morning this past weekend in New York City, I finally had an opportunity to visit the memorial site for the World Trade Center.

With my brother, sister-in-law and their 12-year-old daughter, we took a taxi to the 8-acre site in lower Manhattan where the infamous Twin Towers once stood.  The site is deceiving because construction fences surround the area and you can't see the two black stone squares containing the waterfalls or even hear the waterfalls from the road.  It just looks like a regular construction site.

Getting to the memorial site is a multi-step process that involves a free ticket (you need to go online to make your reservation and print out your ticket before visiting the site) and then passing through a number of checkpoints where your entry ticket is scanned and then a larger security stop where you and everything else you own is placed in plastic tubs and run through a scanner.  Once you complete this security process, you gain entry to the historic site where you can then walk freely around the memorial and remember that fateful day when almost 3,000 people lost their lives to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Walking towards the black stone squares, I began to hear the sound of water falling.   It felt as though the water was buffering us from the everyday noises of the city and almost acting like a curtain, shutting out all distractions.  It is hallowed ground and people automatically lowered their voices and were respectful of each other's space as they visited.  As I began my journey to a place of quiet reflection, I thought of the horror of that day.  My relatives and I started talking about the names carved into the black stone surrounding the waterfalls -- the first responders, the people on the planes, the workers in the towers and also the people in the Pentagon who died that day. 

As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says in the memorial's commemorative guide, the World Trade Center Memorial is "a reminder of the enormous loss suffered on 9/11, but (it) also is a symbol of hope for the future."  The hundreds of people who visited this past Sunday and future Sundays come to honor and pay their respects to the memories of those who lost their lives that day but we also come to see how this part of the city is recovering and rebuilding after the devastation of the Twin Towers collapsing. 

And isn't that what grieving and healing are about after all?  Your heart is devastated, you can't imagine any kind of future because your loss is so deep and so painful, yet you put one foot in front of the other and minutes turn into hours, hours into days and days turn into months and finally years.  It is a slow and steady process of allowing pain, anger, frustration and sadness into your life and then working through it enough to feel stronger, to rebuild and go on with your life.  It's about finding resilience within yourself.

I have found that it is possible to experience the loss of a spouse and to find my way to a different life.  There are moments when life is bittersweet but I think it is important to have faith and to be positive about your direction.  It is not a straightfordward process because one moment I found myself to be happy and then a wave of grief unexpectedly would cascade over me.  After nine years, I still struggle but I work hard to get on the other side of the pain.

I drew strength from the World Trade Center memorial, from the simple yet elegant design that draws you in and gives you a sense of hope and also from the names of the victims inscribed around the pools which are set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers.  I also found inspiration in listening to a video in the visitors centers that features people who survived 9/11.  Each heroic person talks about what happened to them on September 11 and how their lived dramatically changed.

In their own ways, these incredible people found an inner strength that allowed them to overcome their tragedy and gave them the will to carry on and slowly rebuild their lives.  Their message to all of us:  you must keep your heart open to love, for life can be profound in ways you can never imagine.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Emotional Spring Cleaning

I'm so happy that Spring is almost here!  I've already seen some cherry blossom buds tenderly opening and bursts of happy yellow and white daffodils in bloom around my neighborhood.  What a welcome sign that winter is finally coming to an end!  Part of my routine to get ready for this new and warmer season is cleaning the house and getting rid of items I no longer use or want. 

I take it as a healthy sign that every year as I open the windows, clean and change the house for warmer weather, I'm able to part with more things that once belonged to my husband.  I think it's okay or "normal" to keep a few precious items that belonged to your loved one when he or she was alive but not boxes and boxes of stuff.

In the beginning, I kept a lot of his clothes because I wasn't sure whether my son or others would decide later on that they wanted a particular item for themselves.  He owned a ton of ties and shall we say some of them were rather spirited and colorful just like him.  Yes, his ties were legendary.  For the most part, people eventually received what they wanted and now I have donated many items to a men's homeless shelter.  I think my husband would have liked this idea.

I still have lots of pictures, postcards and some letters written in my husband's handwriting because I find it comforting to look at his distinctive script.  I also saved his wristwatch and a few other personal things but that's about it for material possessions.

Holding on to a loved one's possessions is a tricky area because it can become unhealthy and the inability to give possessions away can hold you back from moving forward with your life.  According to Dr. Rita Freedman, grieving, for some people, can become a habit that is "just as compelling and satisfying as any addiction."

Freedman, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of several books, including, "Overcoming Loss: A Healing Guide," says that "letting go" is an active process that has many aspects.  It can involve letting go of objects, as well as anger, guilt and some of life's established routines.

"You may have some painful decisions as you start sorting heirlooms from junk, sweet momentos from simple clutter," Freedman says.  "To grow beyond loss you must carve out some new space in your life."

So as we spring forward this weekend and go back on daylight savings time, think about some of things you have been keeping.  Do you really need them?  Are there things you could discard?  Making this new space is scary but in searching for it you may find a new energy or new calm within yourself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moving Forward With Others

Award winning actresses Viola Davis (left) and Octavia Spencer (right)
in a scene from the Academy Award nominated film, "The Help"

"The person who tries to live alone

will not succeed as a human being.

His heart withers if it does not answer

another heart.

His mind shrinks away if he hears

only the echoes of his own thoughts

and finds no other inspiration."

          -- Pearl S. Buck

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Walking & Wandering

I was walking downtown the other day and started to think about what it would be like if I ran into my husband.  I know, I know.  There is no way that I am going to suddenly see my husband casually walking down K street or any other street near my office or my home but this is how your mind works sometimes after you have lost someone you love whether it's a spouse, a parent, a child or a friend.

Granted, my husband died eight years ago but sometimes when I'm walking my mind wanders and one thought leads to another and then I start to get thinking about things that happened years ago and then I just really want to see HIM; not his picture; or some mental image that I call up from memory.  But the real live person.  And even though I know that's not going to happen, for some reason my brain or my memory bank hasn't completely computed this concept of finality.

You probably are surprised that this whole "missing the person" thought process happens after all these years and I'm surprised too.   It used to happen a lot right after his death.  Now it comes and goes in a different way but it still catches me off guard.  Eight years is a long time and that seems like it would be enough time for your brain to wrap itself around this life changing loss don't you think?  I know you're nodding with me in agreement!

Oh well....I don't feel this way just about my husband.  Sadly, various friends and relatives have died over the last several years and every now and then I think of them and want to see them too.  The feeling of wanting to see my husband is stronger than the feelings I have about other people who have died but I think everyone reaches a point of thinking, "Okay you've been gone long enough.  When am I going to see you again?"

I think this may be one of the reasons why people find it hard to understand why you're not "over it."  It's because you don't get "over it."  It's not like the chicken pox or poison ivy.  You learn to live with it.  You learn to go with it.  You learn to put it in a mental box and lock it up for awhile and then bring it out every once in a while when you're feeling strong. 

The road to healing for me is winding and bumpy.  I know I am going in the right direction.  I am going forward with my life.  I am living my life, socializing, working, making plans but then a memory or a feeling will suddenly trigger my desire to see my husband.  Not my husband as he was when he was very sick but my husand the way he was when we first married.

I am always working on letting go of the way my life used to be because it is my life.  It's a life that I used to share with my husband but now that is gone and I work very hard all the time to push through to the other side of loss because you have to.  You have to accept and find balance.

But it's almost impossible to stop your brain from wandering.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Friday!

I'm feeling better as I recouperate from the cold and cough that kicked in at the beginning of the week so thank you for your good thoughts.  Plus it's Friday so that automatically doubles the goodness!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend and even if you don't have any specific activity planned, quiet time can be good and so essential in building up mental reserves.  Or maybe I'm thinking of my own need for peace and quiet and restful times. 

As we work our way through Friday and slide into the weekend, here's a beautiful poem I found on The Silver Pen ( 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Something To Think About

In the midst of your grieving, be patient with yourself and others


do something kind for yourself each day.

Be sure to ask for help when you need it.

You are loved!