Today is Friday, December 5th, 2014; Karen's Korner #2960

I am receiving a handful of writings, publications, thoughts from family members and friends -surrounding the holidays and how to handle grief in losing Jim - a husband, or any family member, friend. I am not the only who has ever experienced loss; some tips can be for anyone!

Tips tell things such as how to relieve loneliness, letting others help, easing your adjustment, relying on your faith, do not dwell on regrets.

Here are a couple of quotes; good for me. Maybe good for some Karen's Korner readers:

"But if grief is resolved, why do we still feel a sense of loss come anniversaries and holidays, and even when we least expect it? Why do we feel a lump in the throat, even six years after the loss? It is because healing does not mean forgetting, and because moving on with life does not mean that we don't take a part of our lost loved one with us."

~ Adolfo Quezada, writer


Our Australian foreign exchange daughter Karen and her family are working for a year in United Kingdom. Even before Jim's death, she, her husband, and three children had planned to spend Christmas in Iowa with us for a week. While our family is experiencing change, we are excited and looking forward to a busy week of fun, as their eight, seven, and five year olds enjoy snow (hopefully) and cold temperatures for the first time.

"If you feel regretful about something you did or did not do before your spouse died, try to be gentle on yourself. This person who loved you so much would not judge you so harshly; neither should you submit yourself to such painful hindsight."


While Jim had heart problems for forty years and was retired from farming for twenty of them, we traveled at least twice a year - all over the world, literally:  we added on enough states to have been to all fifty of them; half of the Canadian provinces; and places such as Beijing, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt. While we spent time in hospitals periodically over those forty years, Jim was never sick nor hospitalized while we were gone. Upon reflection, what a gift!

We tended to focus all those years: not on what was gone (no longer farming; not able to do.....), but on what was left and, except for the last few months of Jim's life, there was always more left, than what had been taken away from us.

"It helps to consider that our loved ones are happy - free of pain and hassles- and that we will be together again. Also, if you died, would you want your loved ones to deeply mourn the rest of their lives? You would want the to enjoy life as much as possible. They want this for you now."

~ Father Ken Czillinger


One day last week, as I pulled up to our farm home, the thought flashed through my mind as I looked at Jim's parked pick up at the end of our sidewalk, "Oh, Jim's home!", before I could catch my thoughts. My next one was, "Wow! he is really 'home'!", much better existence now:  body free from pain, younger, no struggles. I can't dwell too much on what he and Merry now have:  it's a future and a hope, better than what this world can offer......and they are enjoying it!

How about you and any losses any of you may have experienced?