we're taking a little time off

We're taking a short break (wish it was on the tropical island in that photo).

Look for our next post next week, on Wednesday, September 9.

Until then, please check out our past posts for tips and support.

Take care.

Laurie and Ruth


reflections: quotes for getting through the days; part 4

1) No obstacle will ever leave you the way it found you.
- Anonymous

2) The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief –
But the pain of grief
Is only a shadow
When compared with the pain
Of never risking love.
- Hilary Stanton Zunin

3) Suppressed grief suffocates, it rages within the breast, and is forced to multiply its strength.
- Ovid

4) I have learned that some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet are those who have suffered a traumatic event or loss. I admire them for their strength, but most especially for their life gratitude – a gift often taken for granted by the average person.
- Sasha Azevedo

5) Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
- Bernard Baruch


reflections by deb edwards: how i cope with thoughts about what happened

Our recent post Can't Stop Thinking About What Happened, inspired these reflections from contributing writer Deb:

I was with my husband when he died at home. For the longest time, every time I thought of him, it was in those final moments.

Over time, I learned how to "redirect" my thoughts to happier memories, but it takes a real effort. I put pictures of my husband close by so I could focus on the positive; having that visual reminder really helped me. If you are lucky enough to have children or grandchildren, they are a great source of happy memories because that is what they remember.

It is true that in the beginning you are preoccupied with the details of death and it can be very overwhelming and all-consuming. This is where I learned the "art of compartmentalizing", a big term for breaking it down into more manageable pieces and having the ability to "switch gears" and do something else.

You don't have to do everything at once. Take a break: go for a walk, call a friend, pick some flowers, or read until you feel ready go back to the tasks at hand.

Give yourself time to do everything you need to, but limit the amount of time you spend doing it. Ask for help if you need it (this was a tough one for me).

Time is a great healer, but it doesn't mean that I love or miss my husband any less because I am not thinking about him 24/7, and though I do have my "grief attacks", I am able to think of him in a happier, more comforting way.

And as always...remember to breathe and be gentle with yourself.

Deb Edwards


we're on opentohope.com this sunday

Since discovering an excellent bereavement website and blog by another mother/daughter team of psychotherapist/authors (who knew?), we’ve become contributing writers to their site.

This coming Sunday, August 16, “Too Much, Too Little; How to Balance Your Need for Support” will be the Feature Article of the Day on http://www.opentohope.com/.

The Open to Hope Foundation and it’s network site, The Grief Blog.com, cover a variety of types of range of losses, from the death of a family member to the loss of a pet. Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley also host a popular syndicated radio talk show, Healing the Grieving Heart.

We’re excited to be a part of these sites and hope you’ll take a look at what they have to offer.

If you have any ideas for what topics you’d like us to cover on our own blog, please let us know.


how working affects young widowed survivor benefits

We came across SocialSecurityHop.com, a useful site that addresses some common questions about survivor benefits.

A question from a young woman who had been widowed and had to support young children was of particular interest:

My husband passed last year and I am collecting Social Security benefits for myself and my small children. Can I go to work part-time without losing these benefits? I am no where near retirement age but I am the caretaker of the my children. If I can, HOW MUCH am I allowed to make????????

According to SocialSecurityHop, you can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But, if you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced. The specifics vary from case to case, but in one instance, if you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2009, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earned above $14,160.