December 18, 2017
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When Bad Things Happen

July 24th, 2012 by judytalks

The recent shootings in Colorado leave everyone reeling and wondering why this happened. In fact, it happens all too often. Suddenly, twelve people are dead, leaving loved ones in shock and grief, with no answers and little understanding of how to mourn.

Comfort when you need it most is offered by those around you, but the healing process takes a long time. Emotions can change in a matter of seconds, and practical problems, such as planning a service and managing daily living, need attention. It’s too confusing, too much to bear, yet we power through and hope for the best.

I applaud those who mourn and extend my deepest sympathy. What friends can do is continue to stay close and, especially, to listen. Mourners need to talk. Help with the practical things, share your own feelings, and give feedback but not advice.

I wish you well.

Judy

Have You Written Your Will Yet?

July 19th, 2012 by judytalks

When my husband died at the age of 59, he didn’t have a will. Like so many of us, he thought he had pleny of time for end-of-life concerns. I had to go to probate court because we had minor children at home, and, because there was no will, handling all the legal and financial paperwork was a nightmare. Soon after, I had a will made and I began journaling. My journal became my first book, No Time to Grieve A Survivor’s Guide to Loss and Healing.

Death education, end-of-life issues, and “grief talk” is unpleasant to most of us. But getting your affairs in order is a reasonable and considerate thing to do. Funeral directors have told me that the legal and financial paperwork is an overwhelming problem for most families and survivors. The shock and pain of loss is more than enough to handle. When the documents you need are nowhere to be found, it adds stress to already overburdened emotions.

Twenty-one years ago, when I became a widow, resources were scarce for the bereaved. Today there are books, articles, websites, and groups that are dedicated to helping with this difficult time. Those of us who are committed to the grieving community understand and offer comfort and support. Search the web, visit libraries and bookstores, and look up local groups. You and your loved ones have everything to gain from taking care of things – and them – now, so you can relax and feel confident that their mourning period will be devoted to personal and emotional needs, without the headaches of looking for papers.

My best wishes,
Judy

Knowledge is Gold

July 8th, 2012 by judytalks

What is your approach to problem-solving? Do you gather information you may need ahead of time, just in case? Do you wait for a snafu and then ask people for advice? Or perhaps the time to deal with a calamity is when it happens and you tear your hair looking for answers.

Most of us come predisposed to follow one or another of these problem-solving methods. Whether or not there’s an ideal way is not the question; how you manage and get through the crisis is what’s important.

Accidents, critical illness and death strike when you least expect it. The devastation it causes to mind, body, and spirit makes gathering information more than difficult. You simply clutch at straws, unable to think straight anymore. That we manage at all is remarkable, but it’s not necessary to heap more distress and anxiety on ourselves.

Knowledge really is gold. Start to accumulate information on the effects of crisis, trauma, illness, and death that ultimately hit all of us. There is an abundance of books and articles on websites, social media, author and grief sites. Store up some gold for yourself to spend when you need comfort and support. And, while you’re at it, encourage those you love to do the same.

Judy

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