Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sometimes A Decision Is Made For You

Maybe it's a bit of an election "hangover" or perhaps a reflection of my personal life, but lately it seems as though I have been on a decision-making bender of sorts.

Has this ever happened to you?  I'm not sure if it's true for you or not, but when it's happening to me it feels as though I am going from one decision to the next with no breaks.  These decisions vary in importance -- from stuff around the house to personal issues -- but still they seem to keep coming at me with no end in sight.

Just when I think I am done with one decision, I barely get a chance to catch my breath and another one seems to be vying for my attention.  I remember reading somewhere that every time you make a decision, the process of trying to arrive at what you should do takes a little bit of energy out of you each time.  If this process goes on long enough, you can either burn out or start making some bad decisions.

And then sometimes, a decision is made for you.
Besides writing and researching this blog and my full-time job, I also have been writing and editing a bimonthly newsletter for Sibley Hospital's bereavement support group for the past seven years.  I once belonged to this group after my husband died and I don't know what I would have done without their help.  The group was the best thing that ever happened to me and it was a great experience!
After I left the group (you can only belong for two years), I wanted to give back and help others rebuild their lives after their loss, so I volunteered to oversee the newsletter and I'm so glad I did.  But now I am saying good-bye to the newsletter because several relatives are dealing with serious health conditions and I want to help them in any way I can.
I tried to juggle all of it for months but eventually I could see that I need to let someone else take over the newsletter.  There truly is a time for things to begin and end and it's hard to let go but other things become more important and then it is taken out of your hands. 
For the past seven years, I have talked to lots of people in different stages of grieving and done hours and hours of research about what to expect in the grief process and how to gain strength and slowly go on with your life.  My goal with the blog and the newsletter is to give women and men, parents and children, friends and relatives who are recently widowed lots of resources so they know they are not alone.
The newsletter and my blog are also places where all aspects of grief are a mainstream topic; to help people feel they can talk about it without getting that look from others that basically says "Uh oh, I gotta get out of here because I know this person is going to get upset."

If there is one thing that I have learned about grief, it is this: you have to talk about it.  Who you talk to isn't important, but you have to express to someone how you feel because if you don't you will constantly carry it around and it will increasingly become a bigger emotional burden.

This decision about the newsletter now feels like the right thing thing to do.  Life has a way of moving you along.  There is a time to fight it and then there are times to make peace with it and accept it.


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