Archives for October 2012

The Joy Diet

“… true and false desires ‘taste’ completely different. … false desires taste of fear; true desires always taste of love. The emotions that underlie your wants, the logic you use to defend them, your goals in obtaining them, and the results you’ll get from them are all redolent of these two different categories of emotion.” – Martha Beck,
The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life

Create Your Life

“Most of us live our lives as if we’re watching a movie – one that someone else is writing, producing and directing. We sit back with our popcorn and jujubes and say, ‘I wonder how this will turn out.’ Well, guess what? The answer lies with you. You’re Sam Goldwyn. You’re in charge.”
– Gail Blanke, Between Trapezes: Flying Into a New Life with the Greatest of Ease

When we’ve been knocked off our feet because of a loss, it is hard to believe that there is any choice to be made. But when we completely feel what it feels like to experience the absence or the change of circumstances and when we express our grief, mourn our loss … there is always a “Now what?” The answer to “Now what?” can be as simple as getting dressed or making oatmeal. It may be answering the question, “What will the holidays look like?” We get to decide and create what happens next.

“You’re in charge”.

Best, Lynne


“Sometimes forgiveness is perceived as being soft on the perpetrator.

… forgiveness is not about letting anyone off the hook or excusing someone else’s responsibility in an action, or forgetting the offense. It is about the freedom that follows for the forgiver when resentment, regret and anger are cast off.”

– Victoria Ruvolo, Robert Goldman, JD, PsyD as told to Lisa Pulitzer, No Room For Vengeance: In Justice and Healing

Sometimes there is unfinished business; someone dies before a situation is rectified or reconciled. A rift or estrangement can add to the weight of grief and exacerbate the pain of a loss. Authentically feeling and acknowledging the pain is crucial. And then what?

Forgiveness is a choice. It involves saying “I’m done” to an imperfect past. Forgiveness frees the person doing the forgiving.


Faith and Feelings Coexist

Grievers who have a faith background sometimes find themselves feeling conflicted about their emotions. They argue that they shouldn’t experience strong, negative reactions if they believe ~ that he’s in a “better place”; she’s “no longer suffering”.

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with; the sense for example, to go for a walk.”
– Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Faith and feelings can co-exist.


Legacy After Loss

We want the lives of our loved ones to matter. We want people to know that there was meaning and purpose in the life of someone who died. There are times when something positive comes of tragedy; sometimes we make sure that a legacy is sustained in their absence.

“Dale was gone, but his influence was not. As big as Dale had been in life – and he had been very big indeed – he had become even bigger in death. His memory was everywhere, and the tragedy of his passing had forced virtually everyone in the racing world to change. Not all of those changes had been welcomed, but they had worked together for good. Our lives and our sport had improved and in some mysterious way Dale Earnhardt had been responsible.”
– Darrell Waltrip with Nate Larkin, Sundays Will Never Be the Same

What have you written, created or done in honor of someone precious who has died?


Grievers Fight Illness

It is common for Grievers to experience a diminished immune system so, as simple as it sounds, take good care is an appropriate admonition.

The 10 Commandments of Health
By Dr. George W. Calver

Eat wisely
Drink (water) plentifully
Eliminate thoroughly
Bathe cleanly
Exercise rationally
Accept inevitables
Play enthusiastically
Relax completely
Sleep sufficiently
Check up occasionally

Dr. Calver, the first doctor appointed to counsel senators and representatives of the U.S. Congress, prepared this list. He placed it on a wallet card along with this: “Give 5% of your time to keeping well. You won’t have to give 100% getting over being sick.”

Take good care ~ Lynne

Pet Loss and Grief Expression

Author Allen Shawn recalled the tears and sadness that seemed over-the-top after the loss of a pet.

“I guess this just confirms, once again, that emotions are essentially physical forces, and, if they seem to express themselves at the strangest moments, it is because, like physical forces, they must sooner or later emerge and will eventually succeed in finding a vulnerable link in the chain of your defenses. If the floodtide is dammed up it will break into a million little rivulets, each seeking egress, and once an opening is found, all the waters will pour through it.”
– Allen Shawn, Twin: A Memoir

He realized that loss experiences are linked and cumulative.

We don’t learn to reconcile disappointment and loss in the moment so we learn to carry it with us. We get used to the weight of it …

Learn more about reconciling loss experiences by visiting On this site, find out if there’s a Grief Recovery Specialist in your area. The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program is a tried and true program established more than 30 years ago.

Warm regards,


Feelings: Our personal guidance system

“Feelings are the primary feedback mechanism for the human being. Feelings come from within. No one can make you feel angry, sad, afraid, or anything else; others however, can certainly trigger the cause of the feelings you hold. … the cause of pain is internal.” – Dr. Michael Ryce, Why Is This Happening to Me … Again?!?!

Feelings are our emotional guidance system. They point us to what is out of harmony in our lives and what needs tending.

For more on “Why is this happening to me, again?!?!, visit

Blessings, Lynne

Faith After Loss

“Do not judge the journey by the path you’re now on.”
– Mike Dooley, Choose Them Wisely: Thoughts Become Things!

Take stock of where you are on the “path”; on the road of your grief journey. It can be difficult to place your next step if you don’t know just where you stand. Be honest about your loss experience. What are the obstacles in the way? If they are clear-cut, can you take a step? If an impediment is complicated, can you break it down or ask for help?



Common Responses of Grief

To help schools support grieving students, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) compiled a list of common responses to grief that include emotional (for example: anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt, relief), cognitive (for example: distraction, attention span, decline in performance, memory problems), physical (for example: illness, sleep disturbance, crying and sighing, eating disturbance, heaviness), and social (for example: changes in personality, changes in relationships, withdrawal, acting out, aggression, regression) grief reactions.

The intensity and persistence of all grief reactions should be monitored. Professional support might be indicated if severe reactions are noted.

Though there are common responses after a loss experience, it is important to note that relationships are unique and responses will be as distinctive as the bond between two people.

Resource link: