It has been 10 months since Terry earned her wings.  Today, I feel good that I can move forward.  Moving forward builds upon what we had and using that to move during this new journey.

Here are 10 activities that I have found to be helpful.

  1. Try something new.  When Terry and I became one, our lifestyle choices and activities became one.  One thing that I have discovered is that many of my “previous” passions were deferred.  After Terry went home, many of these passions resurfaced.  Since that day, last year, I have taken up walking (with a goal towards hiking), went White Water Kayaking, recently purchased a bicycle, restarted flying my airplane, connecting with several (trusted) friends, and reading a whole lot more than before.
  2. Consider an exercise routine.  In March of 2017, I had a full knee replacement.  This surgery, along with another “kick in the butt” from my doctor, became a catalyst  for me to start my own exercise routine.  Now, my blood pressure is coming down, and the exercises that I do (walking, stationary bike, and circuit training) are a good way for me to “de-stress” when the waves of emotion wash over me.
  3. Get alone with music.  Music has been a significant boost to soothe me.  When I am home alone, and the waves of sadness (i.e. crying uncontrollably) crash over me I turn to music.  I play it loud and proud.  I even find myself singing (loudly) and joining in the worship.
  4. Seek the new purpose in your life.  Until you have gone down this path you may not understand, but those of us that are on this journey will.  I am not the same person today that I was before Terry went home.  My passions have changed, my lifestyle has changed, even the people that I choose to fellowship with has changed.  For me, I have sought out this new purpose.  I have read, I pray, I seek the counsel of many of my close friends, I study, I browse the Internet (with a goal of understanding my new purpose).
  5. Detox negativity.  We all are human, so we all have negative thoughts from time to time.  However, we must try to overcome them because they often lead down a different path and interfere with our moving forward.  When I have a negative thought, I talk back to it.  “Stop”, I say.  Then I replace that thought with a positive thought.
  6. Share your story.  As widows and widowers, we are a special group.  I read in one of my books that when we join together in love, the fibers of our being are changed, re-routed with that love and affection.  When we lose that someone, those same fibers became a pathway for our pain.  Only we, that have experienced this, can relate to that.  But, others that are having similar experiences can take refuge from our story.  This affirms to them that they are not alone and can demonstrate that the path is still there, before them (and we are there to walk it with them).
  7. Become more physically active.  Physical activity can improve our general well being.  It helps keep the weight off.  It perks up our moods.  It helps with depression and anxiety.  It helps your physical fitness, and improves our overall health.
  8. Vacation.  In the past 10 months, I have taken 4 trips that I call “Me Time”.  During these trips, I spend one-on-one time with God, Me, and Terry.  At first, there was a lot of pain in remembering our times together.  Now, while the pain still comes, the result of this time is that I am stronger, more centered, and able to use that time to move forward.
  9. Be Selfish.  Do one thing today, and everyday, that makes YOU happy.
  10. Cope.  Sometimes all I can do is just cope.  Some things that do help with building strength to cope include:
    1. Prioritizing and planning.  I find that I prioritize better today, and resist when circumstances draw me away from my purpose and passion.
      Accept your limitations.  As I said before, I am a new person with a new purpose.  I have to constantly resist doing those things that I no longer wish to, or can do.  I try to live within the me that is who I am today.
    2. Accommodate changes that came with the circumstances, and find ways to decrease the stress.  I have changed many aspects of my surroundings and daily routines to help de-stress.  I have found that it is best to be honest with family and friends about what is going on in my life.  And, to a person, everyone has been very accepting.  I try to limit commitments so that I do not become over burdened.
    3. Ask for and accept help.  As I have said before, I have a circle of friends that I can rely upon.  Whenever I need something, I know that I can ask them for help.  Mostly this has been support and prayer.  For example, recently in our small group, I was so overwhelmed with pain that I couldn’t stay.  So, I left.  I didn’t know until later that they all gathered together to pray and lift me up.
  11. I said 10, but here is a bonus.  Read!!!  I tend to like to devise systems.  So, I took to reading books, articles, web pages, and posts about grieving.  I also have started reading some of the fiction that I like.  While I am going to write more about this, a recent book that I read was a wonderful book by Donna Gurth Hopper, “The Scent of My Testimony”.  In her book Donna writes about her testimony, how God has been in her life; even/especially when she lost her husband.  I highly recommend it and will be posting more about this in a future blog post.

Please feel free to share this with others.  How about you?  What activities have you used to help you move forward?  Please share these on the LTF Journey’s Facebook Page or in the comments.