May 27, 2020
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How I’m Thriving

August 7th, 2014 by judytalks

I recently published an e-book on Kindle entitled From Surviving to Thriving Finding Comfort Following Loss. I became a survivor in January, 1991, when my husband of 27 years died.  I remember the pain and confusion of those early weeks and months when I wondered if my family and I would survive at all. I began journaling and have continued to write about the fact of grief and bereavement.

We did survive. In fact, we have all thrived. My four children are independent, productive and thoughtful people. I have managed to rise to the cause and make a good and satisfying life for myself. That’s where the thriving comes in. Grief and loss change everything. Feeling powerless, bewildered, and afraid, grievers look to everyone and everything for comfort and support. We search for answers to tough questions, and ways and means for moving out of darkness and back into the light of day.

You will never be completely free of the fears of survivorship. You will never be completely pain-free. But you can take back power over your own life and build a new life, by design, not accident. I am thriving today by doing things that I love – creative writing, quilting, spending time with family, and interacting with others who are in transition from surviving to thriving. Comfort and ideas come from unexpected places.

Gratitude is a great healer. I keep a journal for recording those things, people, and happenings for which I am grateful.  May you find what you seek today and begin or continue your own journey toward peace.

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

A Time to Tweak

June 29th, 2011 by judytalks

Awhile ago I wrote about developing a marketing plan for my latest book. (see The Year of Magical Planning). For the most part, that plan has given me opportunities for reaching the grieving community with comfort and support. Recently, though, I’ve tweaked it to give myself larger chunks of time for covering the ongoing aspects of bereavement. Mourning doesn’t start and stop at fixed points. The papers I’m writing are posted on www.scribd.com under judywriting and will be continued in a series. These papers help you to manage the difficulties of grief, while taking care of your inner self. Many thanks to you who have already checked them out.

Taking joy in your work has to allow times for tweaking. A fresh approach, a new idea, or a newly discovered avenue for reaching your audience renews your spirit and keeps you on your toes.

Please visit my website, www. survive-strong.com for resources that offer you comfort and hope. I wish you well.

Judy

Comfort When You Need It Most

May 10th, 2011 by judytalks

Mother’s Day was last Sunday, a holiday I used to share with the opening day of fishing when I lived in Minnesota. My late husband was an avid fisherman and, as we had a cabin on a lake, itched to start fishing every year. Whoever declared Opening Day of Fishing to fall on the same day as Mother’s Day is beyond me, but I usually told him to “just go, have fun, and bring home dinner.”

He’s been gone for twenty years, but I still have a hard time thinking of how to celebrate being a mother on the first Saturday in May, so this year we spent the day putting on our solar screens. I live in Arizona now and it seemed like the right time.

Sometimes things just present themselves at an opportune time and it seems wise to go along with it. My last post mentioned my endeavor to maintain balance in my work and my life. It’s slowly taking shape and I’m relaxing with a more focused view and more realistic approach to what is truly meaningful and how to best help others with their grief and loss needs.

I discovered a good website for posting short papers (and other writings) and have begun a series of papers that address the troublesome aspects of loss and healing. If you are in need today, or know someone who is, please check out my first paper on www.scribd.com and look for The Deep Impact of Loss. It’s a simple, clear guide, written from experience.

I wish you well.

Judy

Keeping Your Balance

April 25th, 2011 by judytalks

What a year this is proving to be! I’ve been busy since Jan. 1, sorting out writing projects, enjoying book fairs and awards (mine and fellow authors), and riding the roller coaster that is creative writing and publishing.

Balancing the inner self when all around you is whirling is a lifelong task. You probably have your favorite ways to calm the storm and I have mine. Quiet reading, a long walk, yoga, and enjoying friends and family top my list.

I’ve added a couple of very effective ways to keep my inner self relaxed, which, in turn, keeps me more focused and efficient.

Trying to control the universe just wasn’t working so I gave it up. The higher power I call God can do the job better, so I quit. It’s harder than I thought it would be.

Expressing gratitude has become a mainstay on my daily to-do list. Feeling grateful and expressing it are not the same. Saying it, writing it, extending yourself are ways to give back for gifts received. And they help maintain balance. As I count my blessings, I can only say Thank You to everyone who has supported me, listened to me, put up with me, and given encouragement. Here’s to both feet planted firmly on the ground.

Judy

The Creative Spark

March 31st, 2011 by judytalks

I recently had the privilege of speaking to a wonderful group of Girl Scouts who were getting their Writing Badge. Ranging in age from kindergarten to 4th grade, (the youngest were there for the experience), each girl had completed several writing exercises.

We talked about a variety of topics dealing with writing, including genres, author habits, and the benefits of just keeping a journal. All in all, I enjoyed the experience and learned much from them. They like to express themselves and they appreciate a chance to share ideas.

Whenever I have been encouraged, I work harder and devote more time and energy to the project. Support can make the difference between continuing or giving up.

I’ve said before that I love being around children; they’re honest, enthusiastic, and imaginative. However, adults also need to be encouraged. The creative spark can be applied to writing, music, art, sports, and to the task of creative problem solving. LIfe’s ups and downs require sweat and tears. Would that we will always get that extra push when we need it.

Judy

The Year of Magical Planning

March 12th, 2011 by judytalks

A Child’s Grief was published in January, 2010. Even before the manuscript was edited, I began putting together a marketing plan that would inform and encourage grievers and those who help them to become educated about death, grief and loss.

To date, I have reached many, many people. Groups, organizations, in-person discussions, and online social networking has spread the notion that death education doesn’t have to come after the fact in our society. We can learn how to help ourselves and others.

I am gratified to see more openness on this subject, more willingness to talk and listen, more groups and centers that address all the aspects of recovery and healing.

My recent 1st place book award from Reader Views 2010 Book Award contest has given me pleasure and encouragement that I am living my passion. Keeping you informed about bereavement is my heart’s desire, motivated first because I am a survivor, then, as an educator and writer. My most recent endeavor, to become a grief facilitator for grieving children and families strengthens my resolve to forge ahead.

Please avail yourself of the resources on these personal and important subjects on my website, www.survive-strong.com. When trauma strikes, the more you know before hand, the better you will emerge from the awfulness that is mourning. I wish you well.

Judy

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