Categories
Faith/Religion Grief/Dispair Healing Mental/Emotional Health

Joy Comes In the Morning

WSN: Death, Disease, Divorce

By Cynthia Mascarenhas Waits

The single biggest challenge one is faced with after experiencing the death of a loved one, the crippling emotional and physical ramifications of a disease, or the devastation of divorce is the decision to “move on” or “move forward.” While many extraneous factors come into play, our inherent inability to “let go” keeps us tethered to the past rendering our efforts to “move forward” ineffectual.

In every relationship, especially in marriage (yes, even in a “perfect” marriage), we cause each other pain – sometimes intentionally and at other times inadvertently. Our past experiences appropriately influence our future behavior, statements like “I do not want to go through that again,” “I will not let anyone else treat me like that again,” or similar “guard your heart” statements govern our decisions. There is wisdom in that attitude so long as it is balanced by guarding against the “root of bitterness.” We build fortresses, safe havens, unscalable walls designed to keep us protected, but these also serve to keep us in fear and isolation; they obscure the view of all the abundance of life God has in store for us. Self-talk becomes our Jiminy Cricket, hostility and contentiousness become our armor, and sarcasm becomes our sword. Yup, we are ready to take on anybody who even remotely triggers our fears; we approach future decisions with this mind-set.

However, let us turn to something that has been validated, tried, and tested over the centuries – the Scriptures (eat your heart out Jiminy Cricket!). Quit the self-talk, which is influenced by a negative attitude (albeit for legitimate reasons). Go to the unchanging truth.

We are called to break down strongholds, tear down our fortresses, and take captive every thought. Not easy to do because it calls for you to take off the armor you are wearing, to be vulnerable, and rely on the armor of God.

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

It calls for obedience, which would require us to cast away all our thoughts, fears, and insecurities, and “seek” the will of our Father, learning to hear Him and obey Him. Not easy to do until we quiet the voices in our heads and the trepidation in our hearts.

1 Samuel 15:22 – …. To obey is better than sacrifice.

It calls for us to recognize what is going on – God has a plan for our lives, a plan which involves His glory is reflected in how we live. We will have to give up our ‘right to be happy’ by our definition of the term ‘happy’; it calls for a paradigm shift in our sense of self-worth. It takes knowing that you indeed are called to live in a love story (we are the object of God’s infinite and unconditional love), but there is a mighty effort to keep you from reaping the rewards of this love – a battle for your future. Know the enemy and know what weapons to wield.

2 Corinthians 10:4 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

I pray you might embrace the fullness of life God has in store for you, notwithstanding the trials and tribulations you have and continue to experience. Death, disease, and divorce can steal your joy and shatter the prism through which you view life; remember you have an ally who desires that your life be a reflection of His glory; take up the armor He offers and embrace His promise.

No matter how dark the night, remember this: Joy Comes in the Morning!

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Cynthia Waits (Mascarenhas) is the Founder of Walk with a Widow, a ministry to widows worldwide; You can also find us on the web. Walk with a Widow Group is a support group on Facebook, serving almost 500 widows from over 13 countries around the world.

Cynthia and her husband David Waits, are subject matter experts for Joy Comes in the Morning #Death #Disease #Divorce, which can be found on Facebook. We hope to help you in your journey of finding Joy after a season of despair. Joy Comes in the Morning!

Categories
Giving Support Healing Moving Forward

Trust your instincts.

Jim Winner

WSN-MO: Some Winning Thoughts by Jim Winner

Good morning, brothers! You may recall my last article. It was about changing residences in Florida. It spoke of hard but necessary decisions, the need to face those decisions head-on, and make them. Since that last article, I have officially become the owner of a condo on Turtle Beach in Sarasota. I am excited at the prospect of this opportunity, but I am also mindful and aware of the changes this decision represents. I know there will be many adjustments to the newness of the area, situation, environment, etc.

I picked up the keys to the condo exactly a week ago. The first time I opened the door and walked in as an owner, I experienced a welcome sense of calm, a spirit of freshness, and a feeling of peace.

I walked out on the lanai, sat down, and looked out on the beautiful Sarasota Bay. I listened to the sounds of the water and wind. It was at that moment I knew beyond a doubt that I had made the right decision. I felt at HOME. It just felt right—every day since it feels more and more right. I am content with my decision.

As each of our collective journeys unfolds, we will ultimately face many individual decisions. Those decisions will impact people, places, and things in our lives. Most of all, those decisions will affect you. Some of the best advice I’ve seen from members of this group has been not to make any major decisions during the first year of the journey. I believe that to be wise and sage counsel. Let yourself grow slowly into this new season of life—approach significant changes in your time. As we’ve all heard time and time again, everyone has a unique timetable. When change is right, you will know. Don’t second guess your instincts. If you’re not sure, talk to someone you trust. Allow yourself to embrace and accept your new reality and new normal.

As you start to gain confidence in your new normality, look for areas where you can make changes. Make small, subtle changes at first; try new things. Start new routines. Learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Invest in self-care. As you feel more comfortable with yourself and your thought processes, be mindful of things you can do to create a new path for yourself. It’s brutally hard. Life’s important decisions are hard. The easiest decision to make is no decision. More often than not, however, that decision does more harm than good.

Let me encourage those you who are facing decisions and choices to trust your instincts. No one who cares about you wants you to stop living. People who love and care for you want you to continue to live. They want you to regain the ability to live a healthy and happy life.

We have all survived one of life’s most dreaded events. There’s a lot of wisdom gained through that experience. Trust that wisdom; trust your instincts. Wishing you all a happy and healthy day.

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Jim Winner’s thoughts appear every other Thursday. You can write to him by Private Messenger.

Categories
Grief/Dispair Healing Loneliness Moving Forward

Starting Your Day

Nyle Kardatzke

WSN: Widow-Man with Dr. Nyle Kardatzke

“Oh! How I hate to get up in the morning!” Irving Berlin

I’m finding now, ten years after my wife’s passing, that I’m having a more challenging time starting my day productively than in my earlier years of widowhood. It’s a lot harder than when I worked full time and got up at 5:30 most mornings for exercise, reading, and prayer. My advancing age must be part of it. The unreal conditions of the COVID-19 crisis and political tumult in 2020 may be taking away some of my reasons for starting early.

Starting the day is a challenge for many men and women after the loss of a spouse. When you awaken in the morning after a night in bed, you may feel shaken when you remember that you are alone. It may take some practice to discover the best way to get yourself out of bed, especially if your wife usually awakened before you.

Just getting up can be a problem. I sometimes pray before even getting out of bed, asking God to guide me and shape my day. That little prayer of humility and dependence on God is sometimes all I can manage. I have found that he does answer that prayer, and he makes my day more effective than it would have been. I give him thanks each morning for the previous day, the life he has given me, and the sleep I had in the night, even if it was imperfect.

If you typically eat breakfast with your wife, you may find it hard to eat breakfast alone. Since she left home early, I usually fixed yogurt and fruit for my wife to take to work with her, and I ate a fried egg on toast while leaning over the kitchen sink. In the years since she died, I usually sit down for breakfast and often eat after 9 a.m. I never eat at 6:30 and dash off to work now.

If breakfast is a problem for you now, one solution may be to find something nourishing you can eat quickly when ready to eat, such as a granola or protein bar with a coffee or orange juice. A high protein shake can reinforce your simplest breakfasts. If you are a bigger breakfast eater and can cook, it is a good idea to continue to have your oatmeal, pancakes, or bacon and eggs and start your day strong. Many men choose to eat breakfast out, even if they are not widow-men. If doing so gets you up and out of the house in a better mood, do it.

If you function well without breakfast, accept that as a gift and start without food.

Healthy morning routines are essential. Exercise in the morning can help your day go better, even if you do only a little. Walking is the ideal exercise, especially if you do nothing else.

Personal care is vital in the mornings, perhaps especially when you don’t feel like it. I shave at least every other day now in retirement, which makes me feel fit and presentable. Don’t let yourself “go to seed.” You will notice it, and so will others. The intentional practice of morning personal care routines will help you start your day well.

As part of my morning routine, I take time to pray, read a chapter in the Bible, and often write in my journal while I have my first cup of coffee. I don’t write in my journal every day, but I do it often enough to follow some of the important threads of my life: my children and grandchildren, other family members, crises in the world, and memories of my wife. It takes only a few minutes to make a journal entry, and it can be as helpful as a conversation with a friend.

Reading something substantial in the morning can strengthen you and prepare you for the day ahead. I suggest you read something of more lasting value than the morning news. Many men find solace in the Psalms or other parts of the Bible. Find something that inspires you and an amount of reading that is natural and helpful for you. Not all of what you read will seem meaningful each day; just keep reading and watching for gems that you will uncover.

You are in a new world now, and your path into each day has changed. Some mornings will be difficult. On other mornings you may feel anticipation and hope about your new life. Build on the good days and remind yourself that the down days are natural and to be expected. Then go and take on the day.

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Look for Dr. Kardatzke’s insights to appear in his column named after his book, WIDOW-MAN, every other Wednesday. You can write Dr. Kardatzke at thewidowman@gmail.com

Categories
Grief/Dispair Healing

WHY DO I FEEL SO STUPID?

LArry Ahrens

WSN: Coffee and Conversation with Larry Ahrens

This grieving process is very devious. You can feel hopeful and blessed one day. And empty and sad the next. Every man in this forum knows what I’m talking about.But nobody told me that grieving would also make you feel kind of dumb.

I didn’t see this coming. I’ve been around electronics my whole life. I got my ham radio license when I was 10 years old and I built my own ham radio set-up in my bedroom – much to the chagrin of my younger brother who shared the same room.

I’ve been operating my own audio studio for many years. I work in broadcasting. Dammit – know what I’m doing!

A few weeks ago, I upgraded my studio computer. The old one was fading fast and I needed more computer power to do my work. True to form, my procrastination in this grieving process kicked in and the new computer sat in the box for almost a week.

Finally, I decided to stop using the new computer as a doorstop, open it up and get everything installed. That meant dismantling the old studio connections and setting everything up new. That’s when it hit me. Grieving makes you procrastinate, it makes you soft, it makes you unmotivated. And it makes you stupid.

For the life of me, I couldn’t reconfigure my own studio without looking up help on YouTube. I struggled with it. I was having real difficulty figuring out what wire went where. Truly this is something I used to do with great speed and skill.

This isn’t about age or losing cognition. It really is part of grieving the loss of my wife.

She was my inspiration. She was my muse. Life with her seemed so easy and natural. It was almost as if nothing could be wrong or go wrong. When you feel that way your innate skills and expertise are at a fine-tuned edge. You can accomplish anything – or so it seems when she is present in your life.

The studio is hooked up and it works very well. But it didn’t have the same satisfaction or feeling of accomplishment as it would have if she was here. There’s a shallowness now to what used to be so meaningful.

It’s going to be OK. But for now, I’m a bit off my game because she’s gone. Hey, I like that. A “bit off my game” sounds better than stupid. So, let’s go with that.

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Larry Ahrens is a radio (KDAZ 96.9 FM) and television (KCHF-TV) personality in Albuquerque, New Mexico where his show, “Coffee and Conversation” is broadcast-ed. Larry’s articles appears every other Thursday, right here, on WSN-MO. You can send private messages to him on Facebook.

Categories
Grief/Dispair Guilt/Shame Healing Moving Forward

Too Much Chaos

Jeff

WSN-MO: Jeff Ziegler – Widowers, Wounded, Warrior, Waling and Walking

Over the last two years, I have found that on numerous occasions, I have “bitten off a lot more than I can chew.” It has been challenging to take on some things I have chosen to do—mostly to distract myself from my grief, making it even harder to swallow. No more.

Things are starting to give, and I have begun to learn the power of saying “no” to somethings (especially those that distract me from my grief and feelings). Unfortunately, I am still a novice.

It seems I have always given everything I have to others, and I have come to realize that sometimes it is just impossible to satisfy others. It is draining emotionally and spiritually. And I recently discovered that it is incredibly difficult to give more love than I have to offer—especially when I am not truly ready to give my everything.

So, I am going to ask you: What have you been doing to distract yourself from your grief?

Have you ignored it? Have you spent a lot of time watching TV, that is a favorite? Have you focused on your job so that most of your day is avoiding thinking about your late spouse or partner (another crowd favorite)? Or maybe you are actively surfing dating websites, looking to fill that late spouse or life-partner size hole in your life?

I have done all these things over the last two years, as well as spending too much time on social media (specifically that book of face platform). But I have now realized that none of the numbing, avoiding, and distracting changes the way I feel about my true self or my grief. It is because I have come to accept my grief.

I have also accepted the feelings of guilt for wanting to live a long life when my wife did not have that chance. And I know that I choose to be happy. Possibly I will be able to fully commit to being in a relationship and love someone again.

Unfortunately, I feel that jumping into a relationship—even the “thrill of the chase” that led to it—was simply a further distraction from the grief. The ladder turned into a chute, and I somehow ended up back to square one. So now, I am focusing on herding the cats (in my head and my life).

Over the last few months, I’ve worked with a bunch of men of all ages to create and launch a program designed to help widowers start to move forward in life after their partner died—especially those who are feeling stuck in life (which may be more men than you think). It was an eye-opening experience for me as much as for the other men.

I mean, let’s face it, guys, we have always been labeled “sissies” if we show emotions, right? So why on earth would we want to do that?

Well, here is a novel answer: because exploring and talking about emotions makes you feel better. Truly. I have been miserable dealing with and thinking about all these things over the last two years, and yes, distractions made me forget (at least for a moment) that my wife died. But the reality is, they have been distractions from the feelings.

Exploring the emotions, getting in touch with them, speaking about them, showing them (raw and otherwise) has been cathartic. Release of the pent-up anger, frustration, guilt, and fears has been a boon for my mental health.

Now it is your turn. What are you doing to accept your grief today?

If you are going to distract yourself, first take 5-minutes and sit with your emotions before turning on that TV. Or take 10-minutes to sit quietly and think about all the wonderful things you and your spouse or life partner used to do together. It will make you feel a bit better, no matter where you are in the grief process.

I have found that we sometimes forget to sit and think about our feelings. And that is when we fall into the trap of feeling secure that the grief will not overwhelm us, and then it does.

And that is when the chaos ensues. Now, where the hell are all those damn cats?

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Jeff Ziegler can be seen every two weeks here on WSN-MO. You can write Jeff at jeff.ziegler@ymail.com

Categories
Dating/Relationships Family Grief/Dispair Healing Loneliness Moving Forward

God, Football, Sex & Gold-diggers

Fred-18

WSN: Widower to Widower with Fred Colby

Admit it! How often have even the most devout of us have chosen to attend a football game (or other favorite sport or activity) instead of attending church? Or instead of spending time with your family? Or instead of honoring a previous commitment to a friend?

If you are a churchgoer, you might be accused of violating the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The non-believers among us might question on whether they have their priorities straight? Are you choosing to place immediate personal gratification before things with more real long-term worth?

Whether we are religious or not, most of us can all agree that during our marriages, we gradually developed a set of values that are important to our sense of self and well-being. These might include such beliefs as:

• Love is better than hate

• Truth is better than lies

• Honesty is better than deceit

• Compassion is better than indifference

• Helping others is better than self-indulgence

So often, we can easily be distracted from these core beliefs, which are essential to our well-being.

When we lose our faithfulness to these beliefs and values, and when we choose to adopt contrary values, we put ourselves at risk and endanger our relationships with those we love and have learned to depend.

Sex, in particular, can entice us away from those long-held beliefs which have served as our foundation for years. In the wrong hands, it can blind us and turn us to less ethical or honorable practices.

During our most vulnerable time (first year of grieving), an experienced gold digger can easily manipulate us and even get us to do things contrary to our beliefs. If our new friend is just feeding our fantasy or appealing to our weakest inclinations, rather than encouraging, supporting, and helping build us up… this is the time to stop and think about where this is all going. Is this really what you want?

There also are many women (and men) who are just plain desperate because of finances, loneliness, or lousy living arrangements. They, too, can cling to you like a raft in rough seas and drag you down with them if you are not careful. So slow down and ask, are my priorities straight? Are her priorities straight?

When I started dating again, I sat down with my two daughters to explain why having women in my life also were important to me and to let them know that I would be careful. I was fortunate that they did not get angry or resent me for this; one suggested that her husband (a former Secret Service agent) would background check my new friends!

A good woman or new best friend will help us to continue our growth. They may even challenge us (without being overbearing) to be better! Remember when your wife did that? Maybe we resented it sometimes, but after a while, we often realized that they were just helping us to be our best selves.

If you find yourself in a new and healthy relationship, you will learn that it is a two-way street, just like your marriage was. That is, you will have opportunities to help each other grow, to support each other, and to encourage each other. This kind of relationship can make your later years wonderful and enjoyable, rather than destructive and painful.

So if you find yourself drawn like a moth to the flame of new relationships, please learn to pause (I know this is not easy during the early deep grieving phase) and think about what you want in a new relationship and what feels right. You could save yourself from much more pain down the road.

© Copyright 2020 Fred Colby

All rights reserved

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Fred Colby is the author of Widower to Widower, which is available on Amazon.com. You can find Fred’s column appearing here on WSN-MO every other Tuesday. Widower to Widower is available through your local bookstore, my website, and Amazon.

Categories
Faith/Religion Healing

Help from a Higher Power

herb-16-1

An Excerpt from The Widower’s Journey – Chapter 5

(Aside: While Chapter 5 may be one of the shortest chapters in my book, The Widower’s Journey, it is, in my view, the most powerful. It also receives the greatest number of favorable comments from readers. I pray it serves you well.)

This chapter was written for those who seek to help their healing through spirituality. I’ll share views and stories from our team of contributing widowers on the role their religious and spiritual beliefs had in their journeys, and how it eased their grief. Readers will also be introduced to our team of religious experts, including two Christian ministers, one Rabbi, and a Roman Catholic priest. Though I found comfort in my faith and will encourage widowers to renew and deepen their faith to help their recoveries, this is an honest look at religion. Some widowers will openly express their anger toward God and their reasons for discontinuing the practice of their faith.

Just as we said in Chapter 2, there isn’t one path to working through grief, there is no one path for healing through faith. As Rabbi Alexis Pearce tells us, “spirituality is a very delicate, personal and intimate thing.” So if you’re reading this book to help a widower you know, and you feel religion might do him some good, suggest it gingerly. Maybe invite him to play a round of golf in your church golf league, or ask him to help you with a church volunteer project.

The Bible speaks plainly on the help God gives those who grieve. Pastor Doug Fultz believes God is especially close to people who are heartbroken. He quoted Psalm 3:19 to me: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” which comforted me. And the Bible calls upon the religious community to help those who have lost someone dear. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). And we of faith

are comforted that the Bible assures us that someday we will be reunited with our loved ones in heaven.

I cannot put into words the role of faith in healing our spiritual wounds better than Pastor Ken Hagin. Pastor Hagin says that at its most powerful, faith helps us establish a personal relationship with God. “It is within personal relationships that we experience loss, and consequently, it is within personal relationships where we find comfort and, more importantly, personal peace. God wants to be the provider of the peace that is being sought; so as we continue on our journey through the most difficult times in our lives, we need to remember it is not in the inanimate rules of religion where one finds comfort but through a personal relationship with God.”

I learned how widowers found many different ways for their faith to help them. Widower Quentin Strode, a man of religious strength, says: “Through the tough times, based on my religious beliefs, I know I will see my beloved Shanda again.

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The Widower’s Journey is available on Amazon.com in paperback and all digital formats.

Categories
Finding Purpose Giving Support Healing Moving Forward Uncategorized

All Dressed Up and Nobody to Love

Terrell Whitener
If you have followed my writings over the years, you may know that I am a glass half full type of person. Long ago, I learned to own what yours to earn and move forward with life. The year 2020 has been unlike any other I have experienced in my 63 years on this earth. I probably have spent more time reflecting on my life more profoundly than any previous year. There is perhaps no other aspect that I have reflected on more than taking a deep dive into the current “state of my own private union.” Let me explain that statement. As a person who works from home, still follows strict social distancing protocols, and lives alone, 2020 could have created many challenges. First, I am pleased to be employed. A little over a year, I was “unretired” by a great opportunity that came my way. Returning to the workforce gave me a nice balance of intellectual challenges and social interactions with others. Returning to work also made the time that I spent solitarily at home far less than without the opportunity of going to the office. Then came COVID. Just when I had a new rhythm to my life, I am thrust back into solitary confinement. I am very thankful that over the years, I have made my home a place that is appointed with most of the amenities I need to entertain myself. While I miss seeing family and dining at restaurants, I am not having as tough of time adjusting as many people I know are having. I have taken a deeper dive into listening to more music, turning off the TV, participating in zoom chats and meetings, and have even indulged in ordering my groceries online. But as human nature goes, I often wonder what it would be like to have someone to share this more intimate of times. I am, however, very happy to report that I have not jumped into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I am so very happy for those of you that have found love again. I will continue to live vicariously through you until my lightning bolt falls out of the sky! While standing by in wonder, I have also grown to appreciate the relationship I am forging with myself. I have engaged in a deeper level of self-care, more generous than I have provided for in years. I have contributed to a soon-to-be-released book, and I have spent more time dealing with my health. I have discovered I spend too much time on social media, but I have learned to live without attending baseball games. Any travel plans have been placed on hold, but I have resolved to check travel off my bucket list as soon as I can safely do so. I attend church services online, and I have created a very primitive home gym. I cannot help but wonder what it would have been like sharing this time with my Robyn. It would have been tough on her, as she was a very social person, and while she loved me, she did not like me underfoot excessively. It would have been a challenge, to be sure. While the title of this article is All Dressed Up and Nobody to Love, it may have started with thoughts tinged with a bit of melancholy; it has been transformed into a story of empowerment and discovery. I have realized in this process, that despite the obvious love that I have for family and friends, I have discovered a new love, myself. Meanwhile, while fate takes its time in revealing itself, I am going to continue to concentrate on growing with my new love, me! As always, I welcome your feedback. I also continue to be grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you all. Until next time. __________________________________________ 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; there you will find all my social media contacts or through the Widow Support Network.
Categories
Grief/Dispair Healing

Grieving Men Returning to Work

Ron Kelly

No matter what personal devastation may come in life, the world continues to turn. For so many of us that means returning to work after the loss of a loved one. As men, we also have an inherent trait for control of our environment, and the loss of a loved one was something we could not control.

The workplace, however, can represent a place where we might still establish our influence on responsibilities.

“When you come to work, leave your home life at the door.” We hear that all the time. Yet, nothing could be farther from the truth. Even before your loss, you went to work each day carrying all the motivations and demotivations taking place in your life. Now, however, you have the burden of painful emotions. Some of these you’ve never felt before and others you’ve never experienced at such intense levels.

The most important thing you must always do is be easy on yourself. You have a lot going on in your mind and in your heart. Expect to be more distracted and less productive for some time to come. If you’re feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, or unfocused, let your boss or teammates know that you need a little time before completing the task at hand. Don’t resume anything until you’re sure you can do it safely and with total competency in your own abilities.

As for well-wishers, be understanding with those at work. Many will be unsure how to interact on your return and may act awkward or uncomfortable. Those co-workers absolutely want to be supportive, yet are uncertain how to approach you. And, if they do, unsure of what to say. If they do say the wrong thing, just remember the words are not spoken in malice.

Some co-workers may say nothing at all. On top of general concerns about feeling awkward, they’re not comfortable with mortality in general. When they consider your loss, it mentally puts them right in your shoes and brings thoughts of what it would be like to lose someone of their own. If a co-worker had lost a loved one in the past, he or she might have some unresolved grief issues, and facing your loss may bring back incredible pains they’re not willing or prepared to deal with.

As you move forward through your grief, know that many at work will quickly get over your loss. In just a short period, it will seem that your loss is all but forgotten. It’s not your co-worker’s fault. They don’t go home with you at the end of the day. On another hand, it may well come from you putting on an act that you are doing well, right? You’re wearing a Grief Mask that disguises your pain.

It is well worth repeating that when returning to work after your loss of a loved one, you must be easy on yourself. Take your time and feel your pains no matter where they hit. Try to remember that, as men, we have many inherent instincts and traits residing within our very DNA that may unconsciously drive us to take certain actions. Sometimes we’re ready. Sometimes we’re not.

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Look for Ron’s column every other Wednesday here on WSN-MO. R. Glenn Kelly can be reached at rglennkelly@rglennkelly.com

Categories
Grief/Dispair Healing Uncategorized

Love, Roses and Marilyn Monroe

LArry Ahrens

One of my wife’s favorite books near the end of her life was “Joe and Marilyn” by C. David Heymann. Susan was fascinated by the tumultuous love story between Marilyn Monroe and baseball star Joe DiMaggio. We would often sit out on our patio sipping wine while Susan read several sections of the book to me.

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were only married for nine months. Joe was very obsessive about her and was by all accounts a very jealous man. The story goes that when Marilyn was filming the movie “The Seven Year Itch,” he was opposed to her shooting that iconic scene where her white dress billowed up over her head while she stood on the subway grate.

Yet through it, all Joe became the one steady influence in her very crazy life. Soon after the divorce, when she got sick once, he was the one next to her at the hospital. They had gotten close again towards the end of her life, and he was the stableman by her side. He wanted to marry her again, but she died an untimely death.

But the one thing my wife Susan loved was the true romantic story behind roses and Marilyn’s life and death. Marilyn was found dead in her house, and there was no family to call their own but him. Joe flew from New York to LA, identified her body, and had a small, private funeral for her. He even designed the headstone. He was inconsolable at the funeral.

Joe was never going to see her again, but he fulfilled a promise. Many years ago, Marilyn had told him that she wanted roses sent to her every week. Joe did so when he honored that promise. From Marilyn’s death in 1962 until he died in 1999, he would send fresh roses to her grave a few times a week. She had said, “Six fresh long-stemmed red roses, three times a week … forever.”

To which my wife said, “Go ahead and send me roses now while I’m alive!” Then she would break into a huge smile, and we would laugh and have more wine.

Through the remaining two years of her life, I did bring her roses many times. I just brought six red roses to her grave yesterday.

For Joe, Marilyn was the love of his life, and till his dying breath, he kept her preserved in his heart. People can only hope that they find a love like that at least once in their life. I am so lucky that I found that kind of love as well.

Joe and Marilyn. Larry and Susan. Our love transcends life and death.

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Larry articles can be found every other Thursday here on WSN-MO. You can send private messages him on Facebook.