It’s the end of the first half of 2021. I asked my friend about the next six months. I can’t remember if I asked about plans or goals or what. I do remember his answer. “Surviving.”
It’s a great answer. It’s honest.
We talked more, and realized that he was answering in relation to work. I was asking more in relation to life. But in some ways the answer is the same. After having several months where our habits have been disrupted, we’re learning the new pattern of habits that we call normal.
When I say, “we”, I’m including me. I’m aware of my own disruptedness, and of finding simple, doable thoughts and actions that provide some anchors. As I think back on the last six months, I’ve learned an evening prayer, I’m starting to learn a morning prayer, I’m reading Psalms more consistently, I’m aware of more tearfulness, I’m chipping away at the danger of expectations. I’ve written more than I’ve thought.
I invite you to reflect a little, too.
I hesitate to say, “Here’s what I’m doing going forward.” It seems that my understanding of the future and of myself are clouded.
That said, I want to point you to some things I’m starting to build.
I’ve talked often about This Is Hard: What I Say When Loved Ones Die. It’s a little book that I think is helpful for people who have just lost a loved one AND for people who wonder what to say. For the next month, the Kindle price is dropping to .99. If you haven’t looked at it, I’d love you to get a copy. (If you have, I’d be grateful for a review).
At the moment, one hospital system is including it in grief packets for families who lose loved ones, and two hospice organizations have shared it with their staff. I’m grateful to be helping these people.
Socialmediachaplain.com has been a place where I’ve written a little about death and chaplaincy and other things that came to mind. That writing is still on the blog, but the front page is now a growing list of practical resources for grief (including grief and kids), funeral planning, eulogies, and other resources that support the book and support people. What I want to provide is a simple place to find practical tools for next steps at an emotionally paralyzing time.
@socialmediachaplain on Instagram is a place where I will be sharing quotes and resources that grow out of my writing and reading. It’s a place, for example, to share my Sunday prayers. On my regular Instagram account, I’ll keep sharing my post-running coffee mugs and other work.
Thanks for following along. If you are reading this, we made it together through the first half of the year. And we’ll keep supporting each other.