As time “slips” by in my healing from loss of spouse, and I find my way to enter again into life, there seems to be more and more sliding from side to side.  I’m trying to find my footing on a path unexplored.

It was easy being a mother, wife and co creator of a family life.  Two daughters, two cats, one dog and two parents under one roof. Consensus was not always possible, but we worked as a team, dreamed as a team and lived together for 23 years.   When my husband died, the girls and I felt unstable and ill suited to carry on.

Our stable, four-sided box was now down to three.

Stepping outside the collapsed box did not appear to help. I knew the corners and lengths of the sides even though sometimes the lid blew off of it.

From a four-sided structure to a three-sided structure, from one man and three women to three women, all grieving,  all in different ways, all apart from each other since we no longer lived under the same roof.   We needed more from the other one, but in our own grief, finding support for the other was a mysterious path.

The triangle is a strong base of support.  Think about the three-legged stool or even the Holy Trinity.  Three can support itself and more in grief.

I was so attracted to the number three. On the first Easter without my husband, I went away without family, but with old friends to the ski country.  They skied, I read and had my own Easter vigil.   I did purchase three porcelain eggs with tiny black metal feet coming out of them, each of the feet going a different direction.  Each egg aligned in a different way.   The eggs were “birthing” themselves and there was pleasure in their playfulness.

One spring day, the dog’s tail wacked one egg to the floor.  It shattered. I was upset and frustrated.   Okay, what can I do?  Throw it away or reassemble it.

Life after loss is like that.  It is time to reassemble, taking with you what works and throwing away what does not serve you anymore.   I did not want to be angry so I glued what I could and put the egg back with the two other chicks on the ledge.

So in your loss, in your grief… whatever shape your life has been, there is a shape that will support you.  The wonderful thing about shapes is that we can morph with them.   May each step your take, each fall you make and each thought you think bring you closer and closer to what is perfect for you today.

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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