Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.
Don't abandon me with the excuse that you don't want to upset me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be cared about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."
Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I feel only if you really have time to find out.
I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me. I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after my loved one's death. Don't think that I will be over it in a year. For I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for our children, the places we will never get to go together, and the hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled and I will never be the same.
I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear. Both are okay.
I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just not acceptable. When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don't make it worse by telling me I'm not doing this right. And remember, I was a capable adult before his death and I still am.
Please don't tell me I can find someone else or that I need to start dating again. I may not be ready. And maybe I don't want to be. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren't. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.
I don't even understand what you mean when you say, "You've got to get on with your life." My life is going on, I've been forced to take on many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget and there will always be times that I cry.
I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in my own way, and in my own time.
Please don't say, "Call me if you need anything." I'll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:
(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
(b) Send me a card on special holidays, our wedding anniversary, his birthday, and the anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can't make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I may say no at first or even for a while, but please don't give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you've given up then I really will be alone.
(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples, to walk into events alone, to feel out of place in the same situations where I used to feel so comfortable.
Please don't judge me now - or think that I'm behaving strangely. Remember I'm grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before and one that can't be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.
Don't worry if you think I'm getting better and then suddenly I seem to slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don't tell me you know how I feel, or that it's time for me to get on with my life. What I need now is time to grieve. Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding.
And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss - when you need me as I have needed you - I will understand. And then I will come and be with you.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
There are three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun:
UV exposure is greatest when the sun is highest in the sky between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is also greatest in the summer, at higher altitudes, and nearer the equator. Furthermore, up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog.
Fresh snow reflects back about 85 percent of the sun’s rays; water reflects back about 5 percent of the sun’s rays; concrete reflects back 10 to 12 percent of the sun’s rays.
Protecting your skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by up to 78 percent. One severe sunburn during the first 15 years of life can double the risk of skin cancer.
THE SUN AS THE CULPRIT:
Studies have confirmed that sun exposure is responsible for the development of at least two-thirds of all melanomas. Furthermore, it is estimated that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before the age of 18, a significant portion of which occurs during peak sun hours and in the summer.
According to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, parents reported applying a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher as their most frequent sun protection behavior (53 percent). Children using sunscreen spent an average of nearly 22 percent more time in the sun on a weekend than children who were not using sunscreen.
Studies have shown that sunburn is often the result of incorrect use of sunscreen. Since people frequently apply only 20 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen, they only receive 20 to 50 percent of the SPF
The American Association of Dermatologists recommends that everyone follow these sun protection guidelines:
In addition, physicians recommend that you conduct a monthly self skin exam to check for changes in moles, warts and other blemishes on the skin, especially parts which are exposed to the sun. Detection is still the most important tool for catching skin cancer early—and treating it effectively.