Meet Louise Seely, 102: Learn From Your Challenges
Louise says she doesn’t have regrets. “Some challenges I had were difficult, but they were character-building. I may not choose to go through them again, but I learned something. One always has challenges. Learn from your challenges; it builds character."
The above come from Caring.com. I like what Louise says about learning from our challenges. I never gave much thought to that subject until my oldest brother, Ray, died from cancer.
At the time I wrote a poem in which I said I had learned nothing at all from that awful experience. But I have begun to learn - to think about what I've learned from the challenges I've faced in recent years.
I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I also learned that I have much to learn about death and dying - and about living my life to the fullest - finding ways that I can help others through what I have experienced. I think we are not truly happy unless we can help others.
In 2013, I plan to teach a class at Writers Circle on Healing through Writing. I know this type of class is taught throughout the country. Sheila Bender is one who lost a child and she teaches about healing through writing.
Through my blogs I have met many people who have endured the death of a child, a spouse or a parent, have lived through painful divorces and other losses. I learned after my husband died that writing about the experience helped me consolidate the churning thoughts that kept me awake at night. Writing helped me focus on what my next step would be. Writing is helping me now through the loss of my sister who meant so much to me.
I know of women who never speak of their late husbands. They say no one wants to hear their story, their sadness, or have to face that death is coming to us all whether we talk about it or not. If we don't talk about him/her we must write about the person or the loss of the person we love. No matter their age, their manner of dying, the loss of our loved one is the worst loss of all for us. We can't compare our losses with others and find that our loss of an 89 year old father is less painful and sorrowful than our neighbor's loss of a child. Our loss is our loss and it is the one we feel the most. It is the one we have to deal with and how we do that can make a difference in the rest of our lives.
A mother who cared for a disabled child until that girl died at the age of 32, was devastated beyond what her family felt she should be. But that mother's feelings should not be judged by her mother- in-law or even her husband who was not the daily caregiver of his child. That grief is so private and deep that no one can understand why the mother is having difficulty moving on. She needs help, not criticism, and she needs understanding.
Often caregivers suffer more deeply the loss of the family member. There are reasons for that. I have been there and I know how I handled it and what I learned from it.
So I hope my class on Healing Through Writing will be accepted and will help anyone who has lost a loved one and finds they need help moving on.
I will announce the dates for this class in a few weeks.