A dear friend of mine lost her father a year ago and consistently brings him up in conservation. It’s hard when she goes on and on about how great he was and how she lost six significant males in her life within one year. My dad passed away ten years ago and I haven’t had one male in my family I could ever count on. My dad was, to put it lightly, a horrible person for the things he did to my mom and family. Every time my friend brings up her dad, it hits a dark sour spot for me. I’ve tried to talk to her about finding a way to find peace with what happened, but everyone handles things in their own time and in different ways. Is it insensitive of me to tell her that I don’t want to hear it so much? It’s ok when she would bring it up every now and then, but it’s very consistent now. I want to be a good friend and be there so I keep my mouth shut, and suppress my own personal feelings. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
– Anonymous Reader
Thank you for this thought-provoking question. It is so hard to see a friend in pain.
My initial thought is that you need to just listen. There is no time limit on grief and it sounds like the hurt gets reenacted every time another man leaves her. Her psyche isn’t given the chance to heal. Part of being a good friend is to listen to her for as long as she needs you to. We all need to listen more and advise less. While we are wracking our brains trying to give the best answers, all people really want is to be heard.
Last night, the longest night of the year in the Eastern Hemisphere, I flew across the Atlantic. Leaving behind my daughter, close friends and Israel, a country that I have loved since I was 15. Once fluent, my Hebrew is clunky and my Midwestern accent is definitely stronger. That place has taken my heart and it is stuck there. Seeing Lia in an IDF uniform-how do I even start? Mostly proud, but also worried, sad that there is an army at all, concerned she’ll be cold. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t plan to give Facebook versions of things on this blog. I’ll tell the truth as I see it.
My 11-year-old said (more like yelled,) “Stop telling me what to do!” Wait a second. Isn’t that basically my job to tell him what to do? Any words of wisdom on the transition in parenting, from constantly telling our kids what to do to letting them figure things out on their own?
– Anonymous Reader
Transition in parenting, hmm. Let me begin by saying I am not a child psychiatrist so this is not my area of expertise. But I have basic concepts that I believe in and think they would work here.
I also consulted with one of my favorite 11 year olds, to get a take on the situation from a child’s perspective.
I have been with my husband for over 10 years and we love each other very much.. our sex life is not at all what it used to be, pretty much completely gone! I’m not sure if we’ve become to busy that we get wrapped up in everyday living that we forget to take time each together! Is this a sign that the “we” are coming to an end? How do we get back to where we were?
– Anonymous Reader
Thank you for this very intriguing and challenging question. One that many of us can relate to.
I’m a walker and I adore this form of exercise. I’ll walk in any kind of weather because, as much as a day may look dreary, wet or cold from inside, once I take that very first step, the weather becomes beautiful because I’m in it. I discovered walking for exercise when I was in my twenties. I watched older women walking on the boardwalk at the beach in Florida and I had the revelation that walking can last way into old age.
In fact, over the years, I found that walking keeps me not only fit but strong and sane. Sure, I’ve walked off weight but I’ve also walked off pain and grief and suffering, including the devastating loss of our son being stillborn.
But walking is not what this is post about. I want to share another wonderful discovery I’ve made. As much as I love nature and the glorious outdoors, it’s also easy and fun and rewarding to walk inside. I’m not talking about a treadmill or any other machine. All I do is, instead of sitting on the couch to watch TV, I walk around the couch over and over. That’s it. I move rather than veg and it’s a game changer because you don’t need any equipment or special shoes or even much space. I highly recommend trying it out next time you’re sinking into being a couch potato. Get up and walk instead-no excuses and it’s such a simple, healthy alternative to inertia. Just do it! Good Luck? [/column][/row]
Joan Kantor is a Social Worker/Teacher living in Katonah, NY. She is the co-founder of “Talk-The-Walk” which is a program that combines group therapy with exercise. Joan is the proud Mom of 4 sons whose ages range from 28-15. Joan happens to be my first cousin. She is also my friend.