November 12, 2019
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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year….

December 18th, 2014 by judytalks

For most people.

For someone who’s grieving. it’s awful.

It’s difficult to be joyful when there are tears streaming down your face, and there’s an acute ache in your heart.

The secret is to let it happen. People who love you will understand, and the rest don’t matter right now.

Besides, it’s not healthy to suppress your feelings. Grief has to be felt and expressed. It’s the way to heal.

This Holiday season, try adding one new tradition to your life. You can designate a remembrance to your loved one – like a new ornament for the tree.  Or just start something that sounds interesting – like making a gingerbread house.

When Good Tidings are all around you, it lifts your spirits, if only for a moment.

Have a wonderful season of joy.

Judy

 

Do You Hear What I Hear?

December 7th, 2012 by judytalks

It’s the season to be jolly – and busy – the time of year when everyone spreads good cheer. Busy people are sometimes grumpy people, but this year I’m hearing sounds of laughter, singing in malls, offers of helpfulness, and acknowledgement of the simple pleasures of the season.

I’m a grief writer, so I’m always concerned about those who have lost a loved one, and find the Holidays difficult. There are many good ideas for giving yourself or someone else comfort while also celebrating with friends and family. There are articles on various websites, including mine, that offer personal ways to experience joy along with some sadness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

This year, start a new tradition or gift of giving in your loved one’s name.
Make or buy an ornament with the person’s name and/or picture for the tree.
Write a letter or card, telling that person how much they are missed.

Remember that the Holidays will never be quite the same, but your celebration needn’t be without peace or joy. Memories are bittersweet. Have a gift under the tree for your loved one, and one for yourself from him or her. Love doesn’t die. Nurture your spirit and the spirit of the Holiday.

Season’s Greetings,
Judy

Count Your Blessings

November 20th, 2012 by judytalks

The turkey is defrosting in the fridge, the house is almost cleaned, and one more trip to the stored should wrap it up. My guests this year are from our Flying Solo group, all missing loved ones and all anticipating sharing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

This is the beginning of the holiday season, a time when those who have had a disaster, a death, or are far away from loved ones may find it difficult to count their blessings. Perhaps just being alive is all you can name.

It’s been said that traditions keep a society stable and secure. That’s a tall order for a turkey to deliver, but I believe it’s true. Remembering the celebrations from your childhood can give one a sense of belonging and peace. Yours may have been a quiet family that enjoyed the food with little conversation, or it may have been a yearly opportunity to hold noisy conversations. Regardless, connecting with family and friends maintains ties that are hard to break, especially in the wake of tragedy.

There will be many this Thanksgiving who are bereaved and may want to be alone. Invite them anyway, for coffee and dessert, if not a whole meal. Ot call them sometime during the day and just chat. It’s hard to celebrate without that irreplaceable person in your life. You can always invite them for dinner the next day for turkey sandwiches and leftover pie.

Count your blessings, even if it’s only one or two.

Happy Thanksgiving

Judy

The Year In Review

January 11th, 2012 by judytalks

I looked back over my posts of the past year and realized I set some important goals, particularly about learning and giving more. I have certainly learned much in 2011, not just about the grieving community, but about managing loss in whatever size and shape it appears.

Loss and change are household words for almost everyone. They characterized America, challenged problem-solving skills, and drove fear into the hearts of all ages.

My family was certainly not spared, but we have not only survived, but begun to thrive in some important areas of life. No, no one’s making a lot of money, but we supported, commiserated, and advised one another as the economic axe fell a few times.

I’m old enough to know that life’s a bumpy road, so you better have a strong stomach. What inspires me is the growth of neighborliness, the determination to reinvent the wheel, and the charm of people laughing at what is clearly a headache in their daily lives.

I wrote a great deal in 2011, including Kindle downloads, articles, blog posts, and outlines for more of the same. The grieving community is looking for information to understand and ease the pain of losses of all kinds. I hope to continue meeting those needs.

Learn More Write More Give More
It connects and fulfills.

To a satisfying New Year,
Judy

The Gift of Giving

December 12th, 2011 by judytalks

The time of year for gift giving has arrived. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday and I never will. Couldn’t get me near a mall! But the joy of remembering those we love and who matter to us prevails. I like to spend some time and give thought for the gift I give each one on my list. Spending money is an option. But a sincere and heartfelt gift is often the one you make for a close friend or family member.

The gift of something homemade is usually kept for a long time. Children make gifts in school or at home and the parents keep them in a box for years. I have ornaments on my tree that were made in the 1970’s and ’80’s. Some show signs of wear, but they’ve held up amazingly well. They don’t glitter or shine, but are familiar remembrances to my family of their growing years.

The baked goods we make every year, and only this time of year, speak of tradition, and remind me of the years when my children “helped” me in the kitchen. Eggshells in the batter (they pulverize instantly and there’s no getting them out), too much salt, forgotten flavoring, and lopsided banana bread managed to be consumed, at least a little. One year we had peanut butter cookies sprinkled with red and green sugar, and they tasted great!

Whether you shop, bake, cut and glue, or just invite folks over for cider and conversation, the gift of giving brings warmth and joy, and keeps us connected.

Happy Holidays
Judy

Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2011 by judytalks

It’s Thanksgiving, the day to gather with family, friends, or quietly be alone to remember the good things in life. It’s hard to give thanks when there’s loss all around us, but the support of friends and the comfort of simplicity is something to celebrate.

Have a wonderful day.

Judy

Season of Holidays

November 8th, 2011 by judytalks

Summer blazed out of Arizona in a day, and brisk autumn was upon us the next. The cold, crisp air is refreshing to me, a native midwesterner, but I prefer to have the seasons merge more slowly, so I can get used to different temperatures.

With autumn comes the Season of  Holidays, celebrations of a wide variety, and all having their respective traditions, from costumes and candy to the spiritual traditions from different faiths.

A common tradition of most holidays is gift giving. In the purest sense, this is a sincere offering to someone important in your life, as a gesture of love and friendship. As we all know, however, the giving of gifts can become a mad rush to buy things for everyone and anyone, often the only real expression of the keeping of the holiday.

The difficult economic problems may actually have a positive influence this holiday season. Handmade gifts, or better yet, the gift of yourself in time spent with or for another can be a blessing, and may even become a tradition. The possibilities are endless for helping someone, and exchanging gifts of helpfulness can start or deepen a friendship.

The origin of most gift giving traditions for celebrating a holiday was about simplicity and goodwill. Our whole country needs large doses of goodwill right now. Let’s all make this the most joyous Season of Holidays ever.

Judy

Life-giving Nutrients

September 18th, 2011 by judytalks

What nourishes you? What keeps you healthy, helps you to grow, and piques your sense of satisfaction?

Food for mind, body, and spirit are different in kind but have similar components. What you take in should nourish you, do you no harm, leave you feeling well, and satisfy your hunger.

We have some control over what we feed our bodies. We can make choices from an abundance of foods, some of which will not meet the criteria mentioned. But what about nourishing your mind and spirit?

There’s a saying, “Do you eat to live or live to eat?” Hopefully, you do both. There’s health and joy in that.

I take great care to eat only foods that are good for me. Staying well is mandatory. But lately I’ve given thought to what I allow to seep into my mind and spirit. Junk food abounds. Empty calories, toxic ideas, corrosive opinions, and just plain “spoiled food” surrounds us day and night. Time to take control over what I feed myself.

It’s hard to stop eating potato chips when you crave salt. It’s also hard to stop watching junk TV when you want to relax. It’s difficult to walk away from conversations that give you a belly ache instead of inspiration. Reading, always a great pleasure for me, should also meet your standards for quality. When you realize you’re always hungry for intellectual stimulation or a soothing of the soul, it’s probably time for a change.

I’m composing a “diet” especially designed to nourish my mind and spirit as carefully as I choose foods for my body. My hunger for health and well-being in all aspects of life is not being fed. Time to act. I can make better choices. No more junk food. Period!

Be well,

Judy

It’s a Wrap

September 1st, 2011 by judytalks

I’ve just about finished formatting my first ebook. Whew! For someone who remembers home milk delivery, it’s quite an accomplishment. I think I’ve read through the instructions at least four times, but now I’m looking forward to uploading an image for the cover and sending it off.

My book is about managing your money, a departure from my usual topics of grief and loss. However, the enormous numbers and varieties of loss we’ve experienced have prompted me to address financial security. The loss of anything dear to you causes grief and there is a sense of mourning that takes place. I’ve had material on this subject in my computer for quite awhile and it seemed like a good time to develop a clear theme and offer it as a practical guide.

It’s always satisfying to complete a project. Most of mine become labor intensive because I’m continually doing research, in case I missed something. This topic, everyday money management, had me looking at papers, articles, and books from both men and women in several fields. Business owners, financial planners, money gurus, and social commentators have all shed light on the what and why of good planning, especially for women. When I lost my husband, with three children living at home, I had to learn quickly how to earn for the present and secure for the future. Experience is, indeed, the best teacher.

Wrapping up my first digital project lets me breathe a sigh of relief – until the next project. I think I’ve mastered most of the essentials, but there’s always “try, try again” if you don’t succeed the first time. I also know when to call the grandchildren.

Wishing you well,

Judy

Simmering Summer

August 23rd, 2011 by judytalks

It’s still super hot here in Arizona and we have another month or more of triple digit weather. Though I try to find ways to escape the scorching sun, it reminds me that I always loved summer. As a kid growing up in the Midwest (Wisconsin), sunshine couldn’t come too soon. It meant no school for three whole months, lazy days, vacation with family, and endless hours to goof off.

Although I always had a summer job, I never felt any pressure to get things done. Time moved slowly, schedules were kept to a minimum, and I could just go with the flow most days.

Whatever happened to that luxurious sense of easy living in warm weather? Just going on vacation for a few weeks takes endless preparation and an urgency to fill every day with meaningful activities.

I’ve accomplished a lot this summer, things that needed to be done. Lifestyle changes, focused projects for my writing, and some important business goals. I feel I’ve jumped a hurdle and landed on both feet, but somehow I forgot to lie in the grass and watch the big, puffy clouds of summer move across the sky.

I think summer was invented to give us respite from the endless tasks we perform and the rigid schedules that have to be met most of the year.

All too soon, cool breezes will brush across the landscape and there will be a chill in the air. I’ll be able to sit on my screen room in the morning, sipping coffee and watching fall put in its appearance. Meanwhile, I’m going to hold on to the last rays of blazing heat and remember going barefoot for three whole months.

Have some dream time,
Judy

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