Many of us will spend Mother’s Day remembering mom. How you remember her depends on your perspective and how you shape your memories. Do you feel your glass is half empty or half full? While there are facets of our lives for which we lack control, we do have the ability to choose how we view our past and it’s up to us whether we make peace with it.
My glass is half full and so are my memories. I find the older I get, the more I focus on the positive. I not only…Continue
Funeral and memorial services can be “by the book” with very little personal input or take-aways for friends and family, but, increasingly, eulogies may include some pointers on moving forward.
Here are some examples of how obituaries and memorial services speak to us and what we can learn.
Be an organ donor!
A celebration for the life of …Continue
Added by Susan Soper on March 19, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments
When I worked in education our office had a “Sunshine Committee.” All the money collected from coffee sales went into a sunshine fund. Any staff member sick, hospitalized, in treatment, or bereaved received a floral arrangement from the Sunshine Committee and the committee members sent cards too. The thoughtfulness from the Sunshine Committee permeated…Continue
When my children were young we visited my mom on Valentine’s Day. My mom lived in a retirement community and I knew many of her neighbors probably wouldn’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day so I thought we’d do something thoughtful. I had my daughters help bake and decorate valentine cookies and we packed them with ribbons. While visiting my mom, the girls walked…Continue
Added by Robbie Miller Kaplan on February 13, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
Q. I’m invited to a big party and have mixed feelings about attending. Part of me wants to attend, but I’m also afraid I won’t fit in. My husband died four months ago and this is my first big social event that isn’t strictly family. I’m worried about what to say and whether to mention that I’m a widow. Any…Continue
Added by Florence Isaacs on February 12, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
In reality, Brett is much younger – not much more than half of 90. She’s been writing award-winning columns for the paper since 2000, and when she turned…Continue
Added by Susan Soper on January 21, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
Q. My social life has changed noticeably since my husband died a year ago. I’m almost never invited to a dinner party anymore unless it’s family-oriented. Is it just me, or does this happen to other widows, too?
Actually, your experience is very common. It’s a myth in our society that friendships always stay the same – or last forever – or should. In fact, our friendships ebb and flow (and sometimes disappear) as we change, others change, or the situation…
Q. My husband died a while ago, and I’m thinking about taking my first vacation without him. Can you suggest trips or activities that might work? Are there special issues I should consider?
The answer is yes—and yes. We’re all different and have different needs, interests and preferences. But these are key questions to think about:
1) Should you go alone or with someone you know? Some of us feel comfortable vacationing alone, especially…
Q. My first grandchild was just born – 13 months after my husband died. He desperately wanted a granddaughter, and it hurts that he can’t share my joy at her arrival. How do you cope with this aspect of loss?
Sharing any kind of good news magnifies the pleasure, especially when the other person is just as invested in the event (and feels as deeply about it) as you do. When the happy news involves a new life, continuity, and hope for the future, it’s an…
Q. This New Year’s Eve will be my first as a widow. I don’t want to spend it alone. But I suspect the two couples my husband and I used to celebrate with will either make other plans without me, or ask me to join them out of obligation. What should I do?
The entire holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and extending through January 1, is a stressful time for most adults. Supposedly perfect families surround us, and we often have unrealistic…Continue
Every year when Father’s Day approaches, my husband and I pick up a debate that has been with us through 23 years of marriage. Is my dad’s fried corn better than his dad’s? Or vice versa?
It’s really kind of a moot point but a semantic exercise we enjoy annually.
When our two dads were still with us, both of them World War II veterans who knew their way around a kitchen or two, we happily…
Added by Susan Soper on June 16, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to find a silver lining in a tragic event – particularly the loss of a valued friend or family member. But time, the most enduring healer, and patient reflection can often point to something positive that resulted from a terribly sad time.
A little over a year ago, a college friend, Sally Chambers Bond, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. She was devastated. She was brave. She was hopeful. With courage and grace she took on the treatments we…
Added by Susan Soper on April 18, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments
During my siblings’ annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Bluffton, S.C. several years ago, my brother, Mike, pulled out a tattered, red spiral notebook he had discovered in a box. The distinctive handwriting was unmistakable – our mother’s script, written in a sort of back-slanted, left-handed style unlike any other. The pages were filled with her thoughts, life lessons and musings written about a year before she died at age 45.
My sister Wendy took the notebook…Continue
Happy Birthday with Hershey Bars
On my dad’s October 8th birthday each year, I buy 100 Hershey bars and just hand them out randomly to whomever crosses my path that day. The first one always goes to the sales clerk wherever I happen to buy them, and then I move on: the post office, a department store, gas station, the restaurant where I buy lunch, the pharmacy while filling…Continue
My dad died 14 years ago, on my brother’s June birthday. My friend Jane’s father died on her June birthday. Not surprisingly, when Father’s Day comes, it underscores the shocking and ill-timed departures of those guys we loved so much.
Even though at first we couldn’t really talk about our emotions, Jane and I have learned to share them just about every year since 1997 at our annual Dead Dads Dinner. Each May, when we know we’re heading into the blues that come with those…