Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Room For Change:Try, Try Again or TRI TRi Again.

As time "slips" by in my healing from loss of spouse and I find my way to enter again into life, there seems to be more and more sliding from slide to side.  Trying to find my footing on a path unexplored.

It was easy being a mother, wife and co creator of a family life.  Two daughters, two cats, one dog and two parents under one roof.  Consensus was not always the order of the day but we worked as a team, dreamed as a team and lived together for 23 years.   When my husband died, the girls and I felt unstable and ill suited to carry on, but the four sided box of stability, the four of us was now down to 3.

Stepping outside the collapsed box did not appear to be any advantage at all. I knew the corners and lengths of the sides even though sometimes the lid blew off of it.

From a 4 sided structure to a 3 sided structure.  3 Women.   All in grief.  All in different ways.  All apart from each other , no longer under the same roof.    We were each expecting more of the other one, but in our own grief, finding support for the other was a mysterious path.

The triangle is a strong base of support .  Think about the three legged stool or even the Holy Trinity.  Three is never four, but three can support itself and more in grief.

I was so attracted to the number three. One the first Easter without him,I went away without family, but with old friends to the ski country.  They skied, I read and had my own Easter vigil.   I did purchase three porcelain eggs with tiny black metal feet coming out of them.  Each of the feet going a different direction.  Each egg aligned in a different way.   The eggs were "birthing" themselves and there was pleasure in their playfulness.

One spring day, the dog's tail wacked one egg to the floor.  It shattered.  Feet still intact.   I was upset and frustrated.   Okay, what can I do.?  Throw it away or reassemble it.   Life after loss is like that.  It is time to reassemble, taking with you what works and throwing away what does not serve you anymore.   I did not want to be angry so I glued what I could and put "Her" back with the two other chicks on the ledge.

What was the lesson?   Guess the best I could come up for myself was this..... You have no cracks nor scars if you have chosen to go no where, chosen to love no one or chosen to be loved inside and out.

So in your loss, in your grief... whatever shape your life has been, there is a shape that will support you.  The wonderful thing about shapes is that we can morph with them.   May each step your take, each fall you make and each thought you think bring you closer and closer to what is perfect for you today.

Blessings.  Susan

Friday, March 4, 2011

Room For Change: Exploring Your Own Legacy

Daunting change, confusing change with deep underlying love,  Lori Hedderman's new book, Preparing Your Children For Goodbye: A Guidebook for Dying Parents, is released.

At first one would wonder," Why a guide book for my acknowledged and pending death? It is total loss of my family structure, semblance of order and just let memories be what they may! " The attitude of  "let's not talk about it" may prevail or simply "I do not know what to talk about."

What Hedderman's book does however is not forced, not prescribed but rather showcases opening ways to leave meaning and messages behind for your children.  Ways to guide and support them in your absence and creative ideas to supply them with your personal history and thoughts.

The format is open, fresh and non threatening.  This journey is not a solo one and the book engages others in this process as well. Not only are activities suggested but great resources from other organizations are referenced to gain further information on legal, ethical and emotional resources on end of life issues.

Lori's ideas resonate for any parent, whether terminally ill or not.  What do you wish your children knew about you?  What are your dreams for them and how does that compare with dreams for yourself at their age? What have you done with no regrets?  What have you not completed in your bucket list?

My mother, in her mid seventies, picked the book up and though not terminally ill( and with a children in their 50's) found questions she wanted to answer and share with us and her grandchildren.  Life review, your legacy, is never too late or too early to contemplate.  It can open greater avenues for discussion, communication and exchange, in times when words may carry a heaviness.

This book is an inspiring resource for counselors, parents and caretakers of children and adolescence.  You will gain insight into children and their response to coping with death and may even open your eyes to your own perceptions.    Preparing Your Children For Goodbye is available on Amazon. This book advances the ability to address your own amazing legacy and help others to the same.