How To Transform Grief Into Hope

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Grief has been very much on my mind lately.  I’m not doom and gloom, but I believe I’m coming full circle in understanding the structure of grief, and most importantly how grief can be turned into healing.

As we go through life we lose friends, relatives, parents, looks, youth, wealth, health, jobs, reputation, possibilities, opportunities, love and at the end of it all, life itself. Wanting or not, loss is part of the human experience. Denying it leaves us in limbo.

Great grief takes away the ground from under our feet. We falter and look for support. It hurts and often feels like it’s going to swallow us whole. It also announces a period of mourning, introspection and the possibility of growth.

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A Year Of Good Deeds

February 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

My friend Claire Pascal started a blog called A Year Of Good Deeds.

Claire is a very special woman.  She’s a writer and a teacher.

When 9/11 happened it touched her so profoundly she went to Yale to study theology. She needed a different kind of knowledge to understand or at least to cope better with devastation.

My friend Claire looks at life and people with profound respect and understanding.  She’s kind to others as well and to herself.  She’s fallen many times without ever losing her heart.  And for that she has my admiration. It is not easy to fall, truly see oneself down, get up and still be opened to the world.

As Claire writes about herself she lets us in her humanity and we are all better off for that.

Below is Claire’s statement about the birth of her blog.

A HAPPIER LIFE

So my life fell apart. I couldn’t deny my alcoholism anymore, a dear friend died, and then my marriage tore apart–wrenching and painful. To recover from the wreck I’ve become, I’m conducting an experiment: I will do one good deed a day. I’m hoping this helps me peek out from my miserable self-absorption and perhaps do a tiny bit of good for the world. Will this make me or anyone else happier?

A THOUSAND CONNECTIONS

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I just got back from an AA meeting and I stand corrected about the saying: “Give 100% expecting nothing back.”  Here’s the more accurate version:  “Give 100% because it’s free and fun expecting nothing back not even a thank you.”  A tougher version.  Now I have to have fun while I’m giving without expecting a reward.

Good deeds today:  Flowers for my AA sponsor.  A thank you note to the woman guard at the entrance of my condo complex.  She’s the only female guard and she always waves and smiles at me when I come home late at night from work, which is often…Continued

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The Magic Of Touching

January 5, 2011 by  
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Many years ago when I moved to New York from Brazil the thing I missed the most was human touch.  In Brazil, when you meet someone you give them one kiss on each cheek. You hug and hold hands of family members and friends.  And when Brazilians talk to each other there is a lot of hand on hand and hand on shoulder action. So as a newly arrived Brazilian in the US, I had to resort to going to get manicures just to have my hands held.

As I think about it when we were babies; touching and holding is how we communicated and experienced the world.  As we started to walk – an adult holding our hand – gave us the courage and the safety to take those first steps.

When we were kids we touched, pushed and hugged our friends.  When we started dating holding hands became a whole new experience.

I wonder when in this country we become hesitant to touch each other.

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What The Fox Said

November 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

To talk about my husband in past tense is extremely difficult. When he passed away everything in my world changed. I’ve never lived alone before. It’s never been just me. To wake up all alone just doesn’t seem natural.

When my husband retired he took over everything. He managed our finances, the laundry, even taking my clothes to the cleaners. He went to the grocery store. He did all the cooking. I would wake up to coffee and breakfast on the table. Everyday he would cut up an apple for me to take for lunch and he would always drive me to work on the first day of teaching at each new semester. There were lots of days he drove me to work just because; just because he wanted to talk and for us to spend more time together.

The life that I lived blinked off the screen. My world of us, we, ours… that world doesn’t exist anymore.

I feel like I have been dropped off in space. I don’t know how to function, how to just be. I have to relearn, to rewire the way I think. How do I live as one? How will I know what to do? Who will listen to me late at night when I have a bad dream? Who will I talk to about all the little things I used to talk about with my husband?

What do I do with all the time I have since he isn’t here to share this journey with me? How do I learn to live without the man who walked beside me for over 20 years?

Antoine De Saint-Exupery offered wisdom in “The Little Prince” that has stood the test of time. This book teaches the secret of what is really important in life. There is one quote that really speaks to me and I often remind myself of the message. “Good-bye” said the fox. “Here is my secret: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eye.”

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