July 6, 2016

Revisiting loss

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 2:25 pm

Three people whose lives touched mine died within the past few weeks. One, my minister-a woman who touched the lives of many in the best of ways. She was brilliant, funny, and caring with the ability to raise us up week after week after week. We all agreed, she made us better people. RIP. You died way too soon…

One, my brother-in-law, the second of my husband’s brothers to die within a year and a half. With his passing we said, we hardly knew him…   RIP, Al. You were the sweetest guy.

The last, the husband of a dear friend. He was sick for so long, we worried she might go first-just from the stresses imposed by those overseeing his healthcare. What a nightmare that was. RIP. Brian.

I saved this one for last, because it affected me the most. I sat in ICU with him. It brought memories of the saddest time of my life, when I did the same thing with my late husband almost 20 years ago. Twenty years! Where has the time gone to? That is what is saddest to me. It made me see how easily we let life pass us by -which makes for so much regret. I came home saying time goes so fast and I can’t let the years I may have ahead of me just go by without squeezing the best out of them.

September 10, 2015

Passing of a friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 7:22 am

Although I was just getting to know him, I have been so affected by the passing of a man with smiling Irish eyes. Gentle, ready with an easy hug, he had a way of making even strangers feel welcome and included.

Catholic by birth, Unitarian by choice, he embodied the principles of UU, by the value he placed on the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and acceptance of others- no matter their lifestyle, the color of their skin or how they viewed the world.

He has left us all much too soon. He still had much traveling to do with his beloved wife, partner and soulmate. She, his stepson and all who knew and enjoyed him will miss him for a long, long time.

June 6, 2015

See You In My Dreams

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 2:02 pm

Last night I went to see See You In My Dreams, a small, sweet movie about widowhood. I left the theater thinking it could have been so much more. Then it snuck up on me. It wasn’t so much about widowhood as it was about loneliness and the decisions, good and not so good, widows make to avoid being alone.

You work at looking busy. You work at looking happy. You work on seeming “fine.”

I remember those days, and both the good and bad decisions. Dating too soon. Spending too much. Giving away both precious time and money. I’d never want to go through the loss again; but, I’d love to have another go at making better, more conscious decisions.

October 20, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 3:33 pm

After years of seeing myself sitting at the front of a room, or within a safe circle, I may finally have the opportunity to facilitate a journaling workshop. I know what journaling has done for me-in both good times and bad-and I berate myself when time passes and words I could’ve put to paper have instead taken on a life of their own-because I didn’t take the time-or care enough about my own well-being-to get them out and put them down on paper.

Words spoken aloud have a lot of power. They can do good if communicated the right way. They can do harm if not. Words written also have power. One can put on paper what one may not have the courage to say aloud for one reason or another. Or, write out what needs to be said with a chance to massage your words so they come out the right way, instead of in a burst of anger. Journaling has taught me how to open a dialogue, without saying, “You!” when I’m upset.

Journaling is for one’s eyes only. Or to be shared. The pages can be kept and reread-or not- or shredded.

Journaling isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s a creative outlet for words and thoughts that need someplace to go without judgment.

August 15, 2013

So true…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 7:31 am

There comes a time in life. when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it.You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living.

August 10, 2013

Where has the time gone to?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 5:18 pm

The husband of a dear friend died recently. It took a few days for me to reach out to her because my own memories got in the way.

Like a rerun, I saw it all in front of me like it was yesterday, when in reality it is almost 17 years. How much of what I remember is real?  There was just so much drama! What I want to know is, does any one ever get completely past all the sadness of that life-changing experience? I think not-even when one goes on to have a very good life, filled with many very good things to “Kvell”* about.

I saw her sadness and her shock, and was amazed at how quickly she moved on to take care of all the many details that needed to be seen to. Then I remembered, so did I.

She started eliminating the people in her life who were there only because of their relationship with her husband. Then I remembered, so did I.

She immediately connected with other single / widowed women. I realize I did that too.

In an instant you become part of a sisterhood you never thought you’d belong to.

One day, she too will ask, where has the time gone to-and then she’ll reach out to someone else.

*Kvell, of course means, the thing that makes you smile on the inside.

January 16, 2012

Ask yourself these questions about 2011:

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 7:49 am

1. What was your biggest triumph?
2. What was the smartest decision you made?
3. What one word best sums up and describes your experience?
4. What was the greatest lesson you learned?
5. What was the most loving service you performed?
6. What is your biggest piece of unfinished business?
7. What are you most happy about completing?
8. Who were the three people who had the greatest impact on your life?
9. What was the biggest risk you took?
10. What was the biggest surprise?
11. What important relationship improved the most?
12. What compliment would you liked to have received?
13. What compliment would you liked to have given?
14. What else do you need to do or say to complete last year?

September 15, 2011

What is it that’s missed most?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 3:51 pm

I once had a conversation with a long time widow. We got to talking about what she missed most about her husband-and, what she didn’t miss at all. “His underwear,” she said. “I don’t miss his underwear! I was so tired of picking his underwear up off the floor.” I laughed. She laughed. It felt so good to laugh together.

Even widows (or widowers for that matter) who weren’t too crazy about their partners (and, yes! there are plenty of those!) miss something even if was just having someone else around.

Some miss the conversations. Some miss having a traveling companion. Some miss the “lovin’,” the emotional and oftentimes physical nourishment it provides.

All miss someone to share a meal with. There’s just something about eating alone that’s sad. Take some time and ask yourself, “What do I miss?” Then ask yourself what you don’t. My guess is this will give you a lot to think about. Make a list on both sides of the column.

Then stop, think and write down what you think your partner might miss about you…and maybe invite someone who’s lonely to share a meal with you.

August 28, 2011

Letting go. Moving on.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 9:52 am

I met a widow yesterday. It’s been four years for her.

She lost not only her husband but her relationship with her son.

We talked about how that felt. Because her sadness was so evident, I shared with her the most important words I learned during my coach training, “Up until now.” Four very powerful syllables that mean if everything you’re doing “up until now” is working for you, keep doing what you’re doing. If “Up until now” it’s not, this is the moment in time to change it.

No one else can do it for you.

It takes courage. It’s all about taking one small step after another.

I know she can do it….

August 24, 2011

Loss is loss. No use comparing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bryna @ 4:59 pm

Two of my dear friends have lost their sons. At lunch one day we started talking about which is worse. Child or spouse. We decided that no loss is worse than another. It’s painful; and the healing is a journey one must must make for oneself.

Loss leaves a giant hole that cannot filled by something or someone else. It takes time to figure out how to put one foot in front of another…to find joy again. To smile.

We all agreed it was worth the effort.

We all agreed there is so much worth moving on for.

We all agreed we’re glad we did the work.

We all agreed having friends to share with mean so much.

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