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Families and In-Laws

June 27th, 2012 by judytalks

Robert Frost once said “Home is the place where, when you need to go there, they have to take you in”. Families can be a port in a storm or the last people you’d contact in a pinch. In-laws fit into this picture because they become part of the extended family.
Flying Solo, my Wednesday group that meets to share information and support, spent the last meeting discussing this very topic – families and in-laws. The range of ideas and opinions was large, with some memories that brought tears, and others that evoked anger and resentment.
Have you ever had a serious squabble with a family member or in-law? What were the points of view, and who took sides? How was it resolved, and did anyone win? Arguments can split family members, sometimes for years. This often happens when there’s a death in the family.
Comforting one another following a death is difficult. Everyone is grieving, and energy levels are low. When someone dies, each one grieves the person they lost, and though they may be related by blood or marriage, each loss is personal and individual. We miss who that persn was to us, and so we comfort on that basis. But a surviving spouse has different needs than a child, sibling, best friend, or co-worker.
Why do people do unkind and unjust things to one another? Often, the ego wins out over loyalty, fairness, and devotion. Lifelong hurts, painful memories, and notions of favoritism lie buried beneath the surface, ready to erupt when defenses are down. A death changes the whole family dynamic and threatens the security of “us”. Overlooking past debts, stepping aside for another to move ahead, or offering the last smidgen of dessert to the “baby” of the family no longer seems relevant. “I have to think of myself, my family, and my rights” becomes the mode of operation, and that comfort zone of knowing “they have to take you in” is diminished.
Practicing the concept of letting go can ease a hurtful situation. This approach is advised by both pratical and intuitive persons who have seen and perhaps experienced the ravages of painful resentment. It doesn’t condone and it doesn’t erase debt, but it does allow you to see everyone for who they really are, including yourself. We’re all in debt to someone, we can all give thanks. Try letting it go and breathe a sigh of relief.
Kindest regards,
Judy

Closure – Mixed Emotions

June 15th, 2012 by judytalks

What feelings do you have when something meaningful in your life comes to a close? Do you ever feel that there is a permanent end to an event or phase of your life? I contemplated this thought as we finished this season at the grieving center where I am a facilitator. Those families that close their participation will probably never completely be “finished” with their grief. And the families returning will use this break to enjoy summer vacations, but thoughts of their loved ones will still be present.

What is it that we want or expect from “closure”? Answers to questions may never come. Relief from pain is never complete. The ideal answer seems to be that we can put some things in life to rest , so we may rest. Saying goodbye allows you to start saying hello to the new ideas, possibilities, and people you encounter. It’s hard to move forward when you’re dragging a huge sack of rocks behind you.

We have a closing ceremony for those leaving, to acknowledge the work they’ve done and the healing that has taken place. Why not devise you own small ceremony for those hard to let go of things? Sound silly? If it’s crowding out room for new beginnings, give it a proper send-off and express gratitude that it’s done. Living in the moment is the attitude of choice for many. I’m trying to make it mine consistently.

Wishing you the best,
Judy

Recovery – Acknowledgement

June 9th, 2012 by judytalks

Whenever I Google the word Recovery I get websites about ships at the bottom of the ocean or addiction programs for rehab. The kind of recovery I write and talk about has to do with the loss of someone or something dear to you. It’s something irreplaceable that causes you deep grief and sadness.
When you lose something that can’t be replaced, there’s more than sadness. The range of emotions runs from anger and confusion to a sense that you’ve lost yourself. Nothing is the same, nor will it ever be.
Recovery takes time and it requires a choice on your part. The beginning of healing is the acknowledgement that life can and must go on. Until you reach that point, you may remain in a state of isolation from other things and people who were dear to you. Reconnecting is also painful, because it seems that you must let go of the person or thing you have lost. But, in reality, you take it with you, forever a keepsake you may revisit any time.

I wish you well,

Judy

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