Like the prodigal son, we go to far-flung places when we are grieving. We may splurge on time alone or insist on being with others continuously.  We may splurge on items we never owned before or insist on keeping every item from the past.  We may splurge on thoughts of the past and insist on keeping things the way they used to be.

I am returning home.  After almost 7 years of widowhood, moving 3 times and challenging myself to meet new opportunities and others, I have moved again to Atlanta.  No, Atlanta is not a place I ever laid my head, but it is one that resonates for me at this point in time.  In this move, I am not anxious to find all the stores and facilities right away.  I am not anxious to be in traffic finding my way around the new town and fresh opportunities.

This time, I am listening to the birds in the morning, watching the sunset at night and slipping into bed early.  I have returned “home” to a sweet rhythm and received love unconditionally again.

I have finally accepted myself as I am: a single, maturing woman with flaws and gifts.  Death, loss and change of environment can send us spinning. Like the child’s game, “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” there are guides to call us back home during grief.

Though your eyes may be covered, your footing back home is on the horizon. Accepting what is today can broaden your path to your “new” redesigned home with its door wide open.

Giving thanks for what was and for what is, is a solid footing for growth through grief. I think I will light a candle for you on your journey.

Susan Reynolds 2011

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Susan Reynolds

Susan W. Reynolds developed her innovative system by combining interior redesign principles with grief recovery methods. Susan is a member of the Association of Design Education and a Certified Physical Therapist. Her training in wellness and ergonomics has given her sensitive insights into the needs of people in grief. She is a consultant to hospices on how interior design can help clients feel comfortable and safe. She speaks at bereavement groups to teach her methods to people who have suffered loss. She helps those in grief visualize how small changes in their surroundings can result in big changes in attitude. After her husband died of cancer after a difficult two-year battle, Susan participated in traditional grief groups. She found that a practical approach worked best for her. She uses her blog, "Room for Change", to present her ideas about the role of ergonomics in grief recovery. The book version of her system reflects input from bereavement coordinators and other specialists in the field of death and dying. Her company, Revival Redesign helps people refresh and enliven their personal space using items they already own and love.

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