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The Difficult Job of Inheriting the House

Delegating what to do with what the dead leave behind is a common ritual for the living. And when it’s your own loved one? In each slip of a paper and garment is a memory. Or a smell. A joy followed by a grief.

For some, the task is too painful. They assign the job to a friend, or even hire out the work. Others madly toss stuff in boxes that get put into storage. They put their grief behind lock and key.

And then there’s me. I worked on the process off and on for eight years. I loved my parents’ belongings jogging my memory and filling in the parts that time blurred. But it was also a very difficult job. I bawled my head off. There are things I just could not throw away. That suited me. Their things made the house feel lived in. Like they were there.20180428_200413

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5 Grief Myths that Bind Us

Grief is surrounded by myths. Believing things that aren’t true isn’t healing and isn’t helpful. Myths cement us. We can’t move forward in our grief or, if we’re the comforting friend, we can’t be helpful. And in fact, we might accidentally injure our grieving loved one.

trees in park

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When we don’t measure up to what our myths tell us – for example, that stifling tears will smother our grief, but we can’t help but cry – we think we’re broken. We try to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. Or we ignore something that does.

Here are five myths that need snuffing out of our society.

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Using ‘Mom Wisdom’ To Navigate the New Year

For all the sifting I did through my parents’ things after they died, I did not find one indication they ever made New Year’s resolutions, but somehow the practice caught on with me.

They did create goals from time to time and posted inspirational quotes and phrases. I’m more intentional. I divided my 2019 goals into five categories: Book & Career, Income, Health, Home and Spiritual.

I don’t treat my resolutions or goals like masters with a whip, but I allow them to nudge me into the places I want to be. They are guides.momatattorney

While the calendar gives us a fresh start on our lives each year, there are also sign posts that redirect us to create a new us. One of those sign posts is loss.

Grief remakes us. We may become more aware of mortality and aim to spend more quality time with the loved ones who remain, or we may become too afraid to hurt again and pull away. We may bitterly complain to God about suffering and death, or we may allow that season to fade into the perspective that our Creator cares about our pain even when we don’t understand his methods.

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Gratitude: Your Name on My List

I’m starting the new year with a dollop of gratitude, and I’m starting with you.

If you are reading this – and of course, you are – I want you to know I’m thankful. I’m thankful you are here. That you care. That you are one of the brave ones.

Grief is scary. Painful. Difficult. It doesn’t take fearlessness to face it. It takes courage – facing it despite the uncertain and insecurity. You are here. You are brave.

I may not be able to call you by name. I’m thankful nonetheless. When you think of who made a difference in your life in 2018, whose face comes to mind? Whose name? Whose words or smile? Here are people who made a difference in my life in 2018.

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