Recovering Your Energy after a Loss

You have lost a very dear person. The sense of aloneness is almost unbearable. You have almost no energy, even for ordinary tasks. Heck, especially for ordinary tasks. Putting one foot in front of the other is a chore. What on earth to do?
After Howard died, I was exhausted. Three years later when I lost my friend Steve suddenly, I was in shock for awhile, then I just wanted to go out and tackle a stranger to have someone to talk to. That impulse eventualy passed, when I realized my good friends were willing to be there for me.
I had to force myself out of the habit of doing nothing. Thinking and writing helped me a lot. This is when I began my journal. After awhile, I could step back and see my thoughts unfold. I became more objective about my situation, I was very lucky in this regard. Still, this can work for anyone. It can work for you, as you respect and honor your own thoughts and feelings. Accept them, all of them.

Write letters too! I find that my friends like to get letters, especially snail mail, the old fashioned kind you can hold in your hand, keep in a folder, and reread. Okay, that’s pretty retro, but my friends and myself are like that. I like to write letters to friends which highlight parts of my day which were meaningful or full of accomplishment. This lifts my spirits and motivates me to plan for the future.

Don’t give into the temptation to do nothing. Idleness and fretting can become a damaging habit, keeping you from healing. Instead, plan something. It can be as simple as a visit to a neighbor or your own lunch, or as complex as a road trip. I find the twin pursuits of daydreaming and planning keep me looking forward, and that is a good thing!

Another hint: Engage with people whenever you can. I found that isolation was my greatest enemy and that my friends and people in general were vital to my healing.

Journalling helped me chronicle my thoughts and became like a ladder out of a gloomy past. I acknowledged my negative thoughts but did not invite them to stay. I quickly regained my identity and sense of worth. I like the idea that I can preserve my best ideas and share them too, so now I have this blog that keeps me thinking and writing!
You can track your growth if you write your thoughts down, with dates. That is how I gradually became my own therapist.

Here’s a link to entertain and surprise you, as you recover your footing. I assumed I knew what “moxie” was!


People have become more and more fascinating to me over the years. I find remarkable folks in all kinds of settings and often have great conversations. Here I’ll write about my favorite group of heroes, Nurses.

I was in the hospital briefly, about a year ago. I had been having problems with my fussy gut, but ignored them because that’s part of getting older, right? Besides I was planning a yard sale for that Saturday. Even my neighbors were involved. Anyway, the evening of May 17 I was busily organizing for this yard sale, when my gut hurt more and I noticed some blood. I had the good sense to stop everything and call the emergency crew.

They were wonderful. So were the people at the ER, especially the nurses. We had conversations, even shared jokes. (My new motto is, “I would walk a mile for a good conversation”.) They put my antibiotic in an IV drip and admitted me to the hospital. I was there for 2 days, during which I got to meet lots of people and have many conversations. One nurse shared with me her frustration about technology and how often it changes. She was hilarious. I told her she should write, maybe create a blog.

I said that sometimes when I begin to write, it is as though the message is given to me. That got her attention. She stepped closer to my side. Then she asked me to write down my information before I left!

So, what was going on with my gut? Some inflammation, connected with food sensitivities. A colonoscopy and blood test helped me sort it out. And I talked with a good friend who had faced similar problems with her children years before. She suggested I keep a food diary to observe patterns on a daily basis. I’d like to note here the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities: Food allergies provoke an immune system response. In the case of food sensitivities, however, the reaction is triggered by the digestive system. I had tended to use the words interchangeably, which is not correct.

What I found interesting in my hospital adventure was the process of meeting new people. After Steve died, I felt very lost, but after journalling for awhile I began to get clear on what I needed. Wallowing in grief was not a good direction. So, among other things, I decided to set some goals. (God’s idea). One of these was to meet more people.
Lo and behold, He’s making it happen!