As millions of people all round the world struggle to cope with isolation and death, I reflect on ways to deal with unexpected life events.
Those of you who have read “Standing Up! My story of hope advocacy and survival after stroke”, will know I am well able to understand and empathise with those who have experienced catastrophic life changes.
My stroke left me unable to ever work again. So goodbye to travelling to many parts of the world and all round Australia, delivering leadership development programs and 1:1 executive coaching sessions.
Work I loved and thrived upon.
I suffered untold grief when my daughter died at 37 years of age.
Because of my acute stroke disabilities, I could not care for her during her long illness. Fortunately her devoted husband did this superbly and lovingly.
So why do I recount my experiences of loss? It is to encourage you to find ways of keeping a sense of perspective and hopefully your sanity.
I found ways to continue to contribute to the lives of others. The main way was by writing the book. I get wonderful feedback that it helps stroke survivors and their families. Also others coping with unwelcome life changes, for example loss of employment, divorce, and the current isolation and lockdown.
It was also by supporting the McAuley Community Services for Women in general, and the memorial program they established for my daughter’s important work, in particular.
She had started this activity just before she died. It is a program to help children, escaping family violence, with their mothers. Helping them to develop resilience.
The need is acute at present because domestic violence numbers are at an all time high.
I am helping by donating all proceeds from the sale of my book to McAuley.
Other techniques are what I call the Pollyanna exercise. Find good every day in whatever you are experiencing. At the moment it might be time to sort out the boxes of photos, gathering dust in the cupboard.
And the full cup exercise. This is a variation on the half full/ full glass exercise.
It is to focus on all the things that make up your full cup.
It might be talking to your grandchildren on the phone, learning a new skill like ZOOM, watching the antics of birds squabbling over food. Sunlight on flowers.
You will find lots of ways to fill your cup.
To help ease grief,  I practice the “ saying hello again” exercise.
You can google this; better still purchase my book! where I explain the activity and it’s benefits.
Good luck in finding your own ways to feel happier about life’s twists and turns. Feel free to share them with me at Kathleen
Wishing you well.
Kathleen Jordan.