A friend of mine who had traveled to Liberia, Africa, shared with me that when a woman is widowed in Liberia, an older widow is sent to stay with the younger widow... to help the younger widow through the difficult adjustment. By sharing our experiences and our strategies - in a positive manner - we can create a similar "virtual" community where we help and support each other ...... as we to adjust. Please feel free to add your positive suggestions in the comments section following each post!
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If you have lost someone very recently, please start here.....
Early On for tips for the very beginning.

See also how to use this blog on the right column --------->>

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

The highest tribute
to the dead
is not grief,
but gratitude.
~ Thorton Wilder  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Social Security

If you are due benefits from Social Security, contact them right away to at least set an appointment.  I thought I had to wait until I had the death certificate and that held up benefits for several months.  I will post additional information on Social Security shortly.  

Their phone number is: 1-800-772-1213

One day at a time,
Penelope

Saturday, January 12, 2013

One Year


As the one year "anniversary" approached, the lead up to the day can be as bad, if not worse than the actual day. There are many things  one can do to remember your loved one on the anniversary. I am again going to suggest the web site esdeer.com for further reference on additional ceremonies and remembrances. 

What I am sharing in this post, a dear friend sent via email about a week before. I am sharing it here as I found it brought me some measure of Peace. My sons gave me a candle for my birthday, so I used that one.  I did not keep the candle burning over night or when I was away from home for safety reasons.  
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In the Jewish religion, a remembrance of the deceased is held on the Yahrzeit, which is the day prior to the anniversary of death. A candle is lit at sundown and left to burn for 24 hours. The loved one is honored & remembered in this way. After one year of mourning, the bereaved are supposed to return to a "normal" life. However, the Yahrzeit candle is lit each year.

The "day before" can actually be worse than the actual day for holidays spent without a loved one. The same is true of the anniversary of death. By beginning the remembrance on the day prior to the anniversary of death, we allow ourselves to grieve instead of waiting in dread of the actual day.

I hope this may also bring you some level of Peace, as you pass your first "Yahrzeit."
One day at a time....
Penelope

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

This applies to ALL of us.........

Promise me that you'll always REMEMBER:

You 're BRAVER than you believe and 

STRONGER than you seem and 

SMARTER than you think.

- Christopher Robin to Pooh 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Getting Through the Holidays

This is from Maureen Hunter.  She has the web site Esdeer.com.  I find it to be a wonderful, down to earth grief resource, written by someone who has been through it.

One day at a time,
Penelope
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We're just about to hit December and I know for the last few years I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up in January.

For myself (Maureen) early December is the anniversary date of my son's death, something that to date has always tinged my Christmas with a forever sadness. It comes beside all the festivities in the shops and the bombardment of adverts on the TV and in the letter box. It has taken me a long time to look forward to a time of year that changed our lives forever so suddenly, but it's happened. Last year I noticed a shift and this year much more so.

So for our 6th Christmas this year there will be a proper tree once more. There will be more decorations, there will be joyful anticipation and happy moments. Of course they will sit themselves, as they always do at such times, around the missing and sadness of the physical absence of someone who has our heart always. And amidst all of that we will do what we always do, find ways to honour and remember our beloved Stuart on the day.
 
It has taken me much to get to this place and it has not been easy.
 
Today I'd like to share a series of short videos I recorded last year about the holidays and what we can do to get through such a difficult time. If you haven't seen them already I hope they help you in some small way.

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I am posting the videos below along with the links in case you are unable to view them here.

 


Video 1: Knowing what to Expect
 

 

Video 2:  Getting back to Basics
 



Video 3: What are Your Non-Negotiables this Year?
 



Video 4: New Traditions

 
  
 
Video 5: Remembering with Love




Thursday, November 1, 2012

They will remain forever

a part of your heart and soul
No matter where you are 

and what you do ~ there they are.  

Connected always 

by the invisible threads of love in your heart 

and by their invisible presence in your soul ♥

- Esdeer.com

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Basics/Early On


Here are some basic suggestions for the very beginning, but are useful throughout the grieving process.....  In everything I write, these are suggestions.  Always do what you think is best for you and your family EVEN if it is different than what I am suggesting. 

1 - Sleep ANY time you feel like you can EVEN if it is at odd times.

2 - Eat as often as you can remember to.  If someone offers to bring food - - let them!

3 - Take things one day at a time..... don't get too far ahead. Some things will fall into place as time goes by like if one needs to change where to live or their work situation.

4 - With that in mind, try not to make any major decisions in the first several months.. or even a year if possible. 

5 - Choose one or two important thing(s) a day to get done... most of the rest can wait.

6 - With regard to children - ANYTHING is normal right now and kids grieve differently than adults. My kids desperately just wanted things to be "normal." There will be more about this over time.

7 - When people offer help either accept it - or if it doesn't seem helpful at the moment, I would say, "Thank you, but I don't really know what I need right now. Would it be ok if I gave you a call when I figure that out?" That keeps the door open to ask them for something later if need be.

One day at a time,
Penelope

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Be Gentle on Yourself

This is a quote from the site Esdeer.com:

Sometimes we want to rush through our grief, get it out the way and over so we can get back to our real selves again. It's how we often have coped with life, being in control and in charge. Getting things done. It can take some reshuffling in our heads and hearts to realise there is no a-z formula for grieving and no going back to who we were. Everything is different now. So be very gentle on you as you come gradually to this knowing ♥
- Esdeer.com

One day at a time,
Penelope

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Year/General

I just finished the post on making decisions during the first year.  There are so many things  that happen for the first time during that year.  I am not completely through it, myself, still having the holiday season approaching.  

I expected certain days to be challenging - my birthday, the children's birthday, Father's Day.  All of the major holidays of course, our anniversary, his birthday.  Any other dates that have special meaning in your lives... maybe the day of your first date for example.  There will be more on these specifically in a later post.

The things I did not expect, were to feel sad at the change of seasons - the first cherry blossoms on our tree out front, the last day of school, the leaves changing in the fall and  the first snow fall.  My husband was a big football fan, especially the Gators.  One of the last things he did was watch a Gator game.  They won that game!  I have not been able to watch or follow football this year.  Each of these, mark the passage of time.  Each  remind you that your spouse is not there to see it.  

I want the tone of this blog to remain positive and helpful, but I feel it must also be honest.  My intention in sharing this is to have you be prepared if this happens in your life.   It may not.  

Someone, a few months ahead of where I am, recently shared her experience.  I hope that she will post it in the comments section as she shared it so eloquently.  Paraphrasing what she said.... When one has a loss in their lives, there is a hole in your life where your loved one used to be.  Over time, once in a while, gratitude and joy start to fill that space where the pain resides.  It comes from the fact that this person was a part of your life.  I can see this with my husband.  We accomplished a lot together, we have 2 beautiful children and although we had our ups and downs like any relationship, we had a good life together. For all of this I am grateful.

One day at a time!
Penelope  

First Year/Decisions

It is almost cliche to say don't make any big decisions during the first year.  Sometimes this may not be possible.  You may have to take a job or may have to move for financial or other reasons.  If this is the case, do what you need to do.  

If a decision does not have to be made right away, then my suggestion would be to postpone making it until you feel capable of doing so with a clear thought process.  In many cases this make take a year or even longer.  At the time of this writing, I am only 9 months into this myself, so I cannot really answer that adequately right now.  It seemed by 9 months things would get better and easier... the same length of time to grow a baby, right?  There will be more on this in a later post.

I was recently faced with a rather large decision.  As always, I can only share my experience.. .and hope that others will also in the comments. I found myself changing my mind from the morning to the evening and doing the same thing the next day.  Fortunately, I do not have to make this decision today.  This drove home the point to me, of why people tell you to wait.  

One day at a time!
Penelope