August 1, 2021
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Where Has All The Comfort Gone?

March 20th, 2015 by judytalks

Time has passed. The Holidays are over, and everyone else’s life seems to go on with all the daily and ordinary things they do. Yours seems to stand still. People you talk to just assume that you feel better, that you are nearly “over it” and your brand new life lies ahead, clear and straight.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Is there a disconnect somewhere?

The answer is yes. The disconnect occurs because comfort comes in rushes at first, everyone wanting to help and console you. The sadness and shock of losing this most necessary person has you in its grip.  You still can’t imagine how life can go on.

Staying connected is difficult during bereavement. Family members are at different stages of mourning. Friends are busy with lives that haven’t been as disrupted as yours. Everyone wants you to feel comforted, but knowing what that takes, long-term- is far from their minds. Ours is a society that moves on.

It is up to you to maintain those close relationships. Stay in touch by phone, email, or in person. When someone invites you to an outing, meeting, or social gathering, go. Whether you feel like it or not isn’t the issue. Being with caring and relaxed people is the beginning of learning to live alone.

Comfort has all kinds of faces and isn’t well-defined. Just getting out there helps you to take a look at the world again and see possibilities. Old friends may bring new friends. New groups, hobbies, or interests develop while you’re testing the waters, surrounded by people you can trust. They are there to support you. Let them.

I wish you well,

Judy

 

The Face of Grief

November 6th, 2012 by judytalks

When you look in the faces of people enduring loss, what do you see? I remember the face of a mother whose young daughter had just died. She stood on our porch, surrounded by neighbor women, unable to grasp what had happened. As we held her, I could see a blank stare give way to deep grief, and waited for the sobs to begin.

The loss of a person causes deep pain and a sense of isolation. When that loss is felt by the community, both the pain and the burden of recovery are shared but it isn’t always possible to detect the fact of grieving by simply looking at someone. Most of us are good at putting on masks, unable or unwilling to let our deepest feelings show. Though comfort and solace is needed and wanted, having to talk about our emotions is difficult. Even though you may not see the telltale signs of anguish, just knowing that something has happened may prompt you to offer condolences.

What should you say? Of course, a simple “I’m sorry” makes an immediate connection. Most grievers know that people are at a loss for words, but extending your sympathy helps bring them back into the world that seems so far away.

Grieving people have told me that they feel like reality is far away and they are unable to participate in what goes on around them. That feeling can last a long time. Any effort that reaches out and includes them is helpful, though they may not fully participate right away.

When you come face to face with someone grieving, say a few words of acknowledgment, perhaps taking their hand or giving a hug, and if you know them well enough, call a few days later and chat or extend an invitation. They may accept or not. The face of pain can come and go, but knowing you’re thought of helps the healing process. More openness in our society on the subjects of death and grief will ease the pain just a little for those coping with loss.

Judy

A Lightbulb moment

March 3rd, 2012 by judytalks

I’ve been writing books, articles, and my blog for several years now, and it occurred to me that I’ve acquired an abundance of information on grief, loss, and living alone. Much of the information came from my own experiences, but many great ideas have been passed along from others who are in the same boat – living alone and trying to solve everyday problems.

Believing that sharing what you know is the best way to connect and comfort one another, I decided to start a group in the community where I live called Flying Solo. This wealth of problem-solving ideas and experience was meant to be passed along to the many individuals who struggle daily with all kinds of problems, from making a budget, fixing the plumbing, or just coping with loneliness.

I see the ripples my work has produced in print and on the internet, and I am pleased and eager to make ideas and support available in person. All kinds of connections are equally important, and will help grow the seed I planted – to bring awareness to the need for healing and new life following loss.

Check my blog for progress on this endeavor, and please continue to read my articles on www.ezinearticles.com, www.scribd.com, and www.article-niche.com. You can also fine me on www.authorsden.com to purchase a signed book.

Thank you to the many readers who leave kind, insightful comments and seek information on my website, www.survive-strong.com.

I wish you well,
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

Opportunity to Connect

January 18th, 2011 by judytalks

I’m always looking for ways to connect with people of all and any ages to share grief experiences. A few months ago I discovered a wonderful opportunity to work with children who are mourning the death of a loved one.

New Song Center for Grieving Children offers a training program to become a grief facilitator, and I will begin training this Saturday. I am eagerly anticipating this new venture in my life. Working with young children has been a source of great joy for me, as a preschool teacher and as a volunteer in a variety of organizations. I am looking forward to this opportunity to again connect with youngsters.

The subject of grief is ongoing in our society. Though the immediate impact of the violence in Tucson has begun to subside, the pain, grief, and adjustment have just begun. No one is ever the same after such trauma. We can learn how to help one another, whether friend, family or stranger.

Listen, really listen when someone expresses feelings or ideas.
Comfort by acknowledging their situation.
Support by helping with simple, everyday things.

Follow my new venture with New Song. I’ll post often.

I wish you well.
Judy

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