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.
Hindsight is usually clear. This clarity helps me see the roles I have assumed in my life. Some rules, such as teaching preschool and kindergarten, were welcome. I taught school for a dozen years and loved every one. Other roles, especially a moving expert, were not as welcome. My husband and I think we have moved about 17 times, but we have lost count. I became a moving expert, a role I did not seek or want. Still, it has come in handy many times. I think we probably do a better job with welcome roles. Although we do a good job with unwelcome roles, we may grit our teeth while doing them. Life's welcome and unwelcome roles have things to teach us, and the most important is that we are capable of assuming new roles and gaining from them. I am my disabled husband's primary caregiver, a surprising role. Yet I wouldn't have it any other way. Each day I spend with my husband is a gift. "I fall in love with you every day," my husband says. His comment brings tears of joy to my eyes and makes me glad for my new role.
Happy Again!: Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss
Take a moment to think about your roles. How many do you have? Which is the most important? Therese A. Rando, PhD, discusses roles in her book, How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies. “Changes from your past identity must be noted and grieved,” Rando writes. In other words, you are capable of new roles and moving forward on the recovery path.