Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lessons in Loss and Living

This is the second installment of "What I Learned at Camp Widow"....

Dr. Michele Reiss, author of the book, Lessons in Loss and Living, was one of our speakers at Camp Widow.  Here are some notes from her session:

  • Learn to cope with grace.
  • Never allow the burdens of grief to negate the blessings I have in my life.
  • The cup is half empty and half full at the same time. ( practical, but I had never thought of that.  Duh!)
  • Be flexible and roll with the punches, especially those I don't see coming.  (You would think that folks wouldn't punch a widow/widower when they're down...but believe me, they do.)
  • I did not have control of the circumstances that got me to widowhood, but I do have some control over how I play with the cards I've been dealt.
  • This is NOT the life I signed up for, but it is MY life.
  • Seek comfort and ways to cope; don't look for a cure.  (The cure is not out there...I promise.)
  • Create my own magic wand... (still trying to make mine to match my lovely widow tiara.)
  • I can visit the land of "OH, WOE IS ME," but I can not live there.  (There is an expiration date on all visits...)
  • Learn to cultivate optimism:  Pay attention to how I think; Count my blessings, not my curses; Be grateful (look for little things, when big things aren't there); See the capacity to remain in the moment.
  • Live a TECHNICOLOR life.  Life is precious and changes on a dime.  Live life to the fullest.
  • Loss is an inevitable life experience.  (Man...don't I know it.)
  • Appreciate what I still have despite what I have lost.
  • Set priorities with the life I still have...decide what is important and take charge of that.  (Okay...I'm still working on my list.)
This was a great session.  I'm coping, but not so gracefully and I am woefully ungrateful for my blessings.  I still look back with longing...and forward with fear.  But, I do know this.  I'm going to survive.  

I'm still working on a way to thrive.


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