Decluttering

Decluttering Today, I spent part of my day decluttering the kitchen and reorganizing my toolboxes. It was a bit cathartic. I threw a load of things out. And it got me thinking about how cluttered I have been feeling in my mind of late. Clutter is a funny thing. We “collect” knickknacks, and we display them so everyone—especially us—can see them. From little magnets we bought on that visit to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, to the owl candle holders that came from someone who thought they were cute. Whatever you have lying around the house, taking up space, have...

Resilience (Part 2) – Building Resilience

In my last blog, I talked about what resilience means, and how I define the three kinds of resilience. In this instalment, let’s take a little time to learn about how we can start to build resilience. We can learn how resilience helps us to become stronger and more self-accepting of our faults and our mistakes. Resilience is not simply being able to bounce back from setbacks, tragedies and injuries. It also includes being able to learn from the mistakes we make. It also helps us to accept the consequences of our mistakes with grace and self-love. Being resilient is...

Resilience Part 1 (How to Strengthen Yours)

I have been doing a lot of work on resilience lately. We have all been told that the concept of resilience refers to one’s ability to “bounce back” from adversity. Being resilient helps us to recover from setbacks relatively comfortably. It also allows us the grace to move forward through difficult situations in life. While resilience comes naturally to some, anybody can train himself to become more resilient. Like any skill, resilience can be built with time and practice so that you can feel confident in your ability to face adversity and come through it. This first instalment forms part...

Asking For Help

Ever see a movie when the family are driving in the car and they’re lost? The dad is driving, wife in the passenger seat, kids in the back? Stress is rising, kids are hungry and bored, wife is asking the husband to stop and ask directions… But he won’t. He doesn’t stop. Dad just keeps driving—maybe even in circles—because he’s too proud, too “stuck” in his own ego, to stop and ask for help. Thing is, I asked a lot of people what they would tell themselves if they could go back to those early days of widowhood. Guess what…?...

Too much chaos

Over the last two years, I have found that on numerous occasions, I have “bitten off a lot more than I can chew.” It has been extremely difficult to chew on some of the things I have chosen to do—mostly to distract myself from my grief—which makes it even harder to swallow. No more. Things are starting to give, and I have started to learn the power of saying “no” to things (especially those that are distracting me from my grief and my feelings)… Unfortunately, I’m still a novice. It seems I’ve always given everything I have to others. And...

Dogs and love

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself…Anonymous In the year after our twin daughters were born, we got a golden retriever puppy we named Charlie. Everyone always says they have, “the best dog ever,” but Charlie truly was. When the girls were young, they could pull on his ears, his tail, his fur, just about any part of him and he would never so much as complain, growl or groan.  Charlie became a fixture of our lives. He was part time babysitter, part time guard dog, part time walking buddy, part time...

Purpose

What is my purpose? Why am I here? How do I help others? What can I do to make this world a better place? These questions have been rattling around in my head more than ever over the last two years. I started to ask them when I was a child; but they became louder and resonated more inside my head in the weeks and months before Suzanne died in 2018. Somehow, I found an answer to most of these questions. It took a lot of hard work, a deep dive from my head into my heart, and plenty of...

Leading From the Heart

A while ago, I was totally living in my head. Like all the time. My ego was out of control. I was overthinking and overwhelmed. Then something shifted. It wasn’t immediate, but it wasn’t subtle either. In a matter of days, maybe even a few hours, I took a deep dive from my head to my heart. Once I got there, and saw what an amazingly beautiful place it was, I decided to stay there. In so many ways, this was simply living the way that Suzanne had always lived her life, but I never realized how it worked. Unlike...

Peaceful life

Over many months, and for much more than a year, I have struggled to find true “inner peace”. What does that truly mean to me? It means finding a respite from thought, from fear, from the dull nagging ache of grief which—although it started all consuming—still holds a firm place in my heart, alongside my love for Suzanne.  Why would I seek this world of inner peace? So for a moment I can forget about the grief. For a moment I can be still and silent. And I can breathe and feel free of hurt and of pain. In the...

Potential & Change

August 18, 2018 (24-hours before Suzanne dies) Dear future Jeff, I want you to know a few things. After Suzanne dies, you will feel like there is little potential of anything ever making your life any better. Did you know that you will be scared, hurting, very much alone (even surrounded by friends and family), completely lost, and heartbroken? Please know that although you could potentially just curl up in a ball and die from that heartbreak, you won’t. Potential is an interesting word. It means, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.”...