Of love, and loss, and saying “I care”

For one of the easiest (weather-wise) winters in recent memory, this has been one of the most trying times for some friends of mine. Two wonderfully creative ladies (one a writer, one an artist) lost their life partners unexpectedly and tragically, leaving them bereft in the coldness of winter. Both felt the need to ‘be productive’ and ‘get on with life’ as quickly as possible, despite the fact that their lives had been torn asunder and devastated by the loss of, as each of them described their partners, “my soul mate”. How quickly can you recover? You can’t. You grieve. And just when you think you’re ‘on the mend’, something happens and you grieve some more. That’s ok.

We are too hard on ourselves, as women, in many things we do, not the least of which is caring for ourselves. How many of us would fight to the death to defend a spouse, a child, a family member or good friend – and admonish them to look after themselves, eat right, rest and enjoy life? But us? Oh no. We must berate ourselves for not being good enough, fast enough, recovered enough to move on.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day detritus of living and forget to pause, reach out and say “I care” to someone else, and to ourselves. Maybe my two friends, and the many others who have already trod or who will tread that same lonely path, should pause and listen to those who are reaching out to them and saying “I care” with advice to rest, relax and re-create.

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