• Terrell Whitener

Finding A Place Called Home

As we continue to navigate this most complex emotion called grief, we often long for the time when we feel we have regained our emotional footing. I refer to this time as Finding a Place Called Home.

When I think of home, I think of a place that represents familiarity, safety, contentment, and acceptance. Home for those of us who are in pursuit of this measure of comfort can be a high bar to achieve. We can, however, find this place again in our lives, but first, we have to recognize a few things.

One of the first things we must process is that we have experienced a life-changing event. The loss of a spouse/partner alters our lives in countless ways.

Over the years, I have come to realize that my wife took up a significant amount of my emotional being. The fact that over the years our lives had become remarkably synchronized thus setting the pace of my life. Since her death, I cannot say in earnest that I have completely re-established a discernable rhythm to my life. I am better than I was, but I still have work to do.

Like most changes that we experience, we must exhibit patience with the process.

The second act that I find necessary is to evaluate what remains of my life that I still have now that our loved one has died.

For some of us, it may be our jobs/ profession, others it is close family and children. There are many options available to us if we take the time to do the inventory. It is natural and necessary to take the time to process the loss, but far too often we reside there far too long. The amount of time we spend there, of course, varies from person to person, however, I encourage you to not set up permanent residence there if you will.

One of the most valuable discoveries that I made was the value of acknowledging those that still care about you. A question as simple as how you are asked another person while amid your own emotional trials can mean more than you know! Acknowledging others can enhance your emotional capacity, strengthen your relationship with the other person and even broaden your support system when done properly. When you are ready, why not give it a try!

Throughout my life, I have been a great believer in momentum. I firmly we can create a more positive environment in our lives.

IAs I have progressed through my own grieving process; I have come to embrace the strategy of creating a reasonable list of activities that I am looking forward to experiencing. This list is different than my "bucket list". This list includes the little things in life. It could be attending the Shakespeare festival in the park or a party thrown by friends or family. These seemingly insignificant events can lift your spirits if you choose to embrace them. Experienced strategically, you may find yourself enjoying life more.

Finally, I want to encourage you to elevate your thoughts by honoring the memory of your loved one. I am not advocating, short-changing the grieving process, but don't forget the good times as well. Remember the things that made you smile. The things that you now can't believe used to drive you crazy, but now you would give anything to have to deal with once more. Elevate your thoughts, live in the spirit of quality. Love them by living well. Oh yes, there will still be tears, however, I have come to view my tears as my way of watering the soul of my wife Robyn. This often helps me get through the rough spots.

So, there you have it. Process, evaluate, acknowledge, create and elevate. What do you know, that spells peace? Isn't that what we truly seek? As always dear brothers, I wish you peace. It is that place that allows us to endure. Peace will help us find a place called home once more.

Terrell Whitener is an author, motivational speaker, and coach. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Terrell is the author of The First 365, Learning to Live After Loss. Terrell can be reached at, LinkedIn @terrellwhiteneror through the Widow Support Network.

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