Will I survive? Will I ever be happy again? These are questions that Harriet Hodgson asked herself after she was left to raise her twin grandchildren, while grieving for four family members, including her daughter. Harriet reminds us that we are not alone in our grief and, though losses may define our lives, they will not destroy them.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation website, The Grief Toolbox website, and The Caregiver Space website. Hodgson has appeared on more than 180 talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer's and bereavement conference. Her work is cited in Who's Who of American Women, World Who's Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. She lives in Rochester, MN with her husband, John. Please visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy author and grandmother.
Several years ago I gave a talk to a group of widows and widowers. One of the points I made was to avoid toxic people. When I said this sentence, many people in the room nodded their heads. "You know who they are," I continued. This sentence caused about half the people in the room to nod their heads in agreement.
Most of us know some toxic people--ones who always have bad news and never any good news. Their attitude can ruin a party in minutes. How can you steer clear of these people? You can cut the conversation short, for one thing. You can change the topic of the conversation. You can say you have an appointment and not talk to them at all.
Another option is to declare, "I'm sorry for your troubles, but would like to talk about happy things today." You may list some of the happy things in your life. Your honesty may change the toxic person's outlook for a few minutes. I'm keeping a happiness jar filled with notes about happy experiences in a day. It is a rewarding experience and one I would recommend.
The upbeat, optimistic people in my life always lift me up and I am grateful for them.
Happy Again!: Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss
I would add one more piece of advice and that’s to avoid toxic people, the ones who always see the glass of life as half full. Worry wolves are toxic people too, and drag you down when you need to be lifted up. During this challenging time, you need people who will throw you a life preserver and hoist you aboard. You need to be with people who celebrate life