by Terrell Whitener
For those of us that are sports fans here in the United States, we have just turned the page on the calendar to include a very important date, American Football Season!!!! It’s something about the energy of crowds, the pageantry of the colors and tradition, the beginning of the slowing down from the hustle and bustle of summer that ties in with what I call in my book The First 365, the “seasons of grief.”
To be successful in American football, you must execute a plan successfully to win the game like any other sport. Our grief in many ways requires that we do the same thing to learn to live a healthy, happy, and productive life. Yes, it will never be the same again for many of us, but the calendar moves on, and so must we in many ways.
So how do we develop our plan for moving forward with our lives? Though we have many similarities, seldom are the plans identical for each of us. To start with, only we lost our spouse or partner. That by itself gives us a unique thumbprint in the book we knew as love. So, let’s look at what one of these plans comprise.
Protect the Truth
While others have their opinions about our relationship with our loved ones, your truth is the most important as time goes by.
Not everyone in our lives respected or thought well of our relationship. Jealously, disapproving family members and friends sometimes made the waters of our lives uneven at times. The perceived slights after the passing of our loved one, the hurtful comments, and at times the outright lies can be difficult to experience. But as I referenced in a previous article, I chose the be the “curator of our love.” I own the only authorized edition of our love story; my story is the most important in my existence.
Live a Life of Purpose
I believe strongly that men respond best when some modicum of structure exists. Often, we must maintain discipline in our thoughts, be intentional in our activities, and remain accountable for our decisions.
For myself, I have tried to adopt the concept of intentional living. I will pick up the phone more often to check on a friend, the word I love you flows more easily than it used to toward those that matter in my life. While a bit more disciplined, I have tried to loosen my grip on this thing called life.
Allow for Adjustments
Newsflash, we may not get it right on the first attempt. There will be misfires along the way. It doesn’t mean we fumbled the ball, but the game is seldom over even if we did. There will be trial and error in our efforts to re-shape our existence. The most important thing to do is to “stay in the game.”
Never Give Up on the Belief that it Can Get Better
Word of clarification to start, I did not say better than it was, but it can get better than the current state for many of us. For those that have found love again, I wonder if you spend any time comparing your new love with your previous love or do you just love. We are best served by thoughts that life can and will get better. That is my glass half full view of the world. I will miss Robyn for the rest of my existence, but there are more laughs to laugh at, excellent sites to see, and happiness to experience. I will often reach for her hand only to remember that it is no longer there, but the fact that it was at one time there will make me smile.
So, plan we must move forward, we must and remember we will. The plan is essential; the plan in your own unique way is a must in our lives to remain fully alive. Until next time brothers.
Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at my newly redesigned thedebriefgroup365.com, where you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network.