Words of Wisdom

From a famous doctor…

“…Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.

About some you will say, “I don’t choose  to go there.”

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.


That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.

You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.

Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go!

There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored.  There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,

with the whole world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.

Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too.

Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul.

On you will go though your enemies prowl.

On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.

Onward up many a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike.

And I know you’ll hike far

and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember


Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!”

In case you haven’t guessed yet, the Doctor is Dr. Seuss, a man who always seemed to be able to say the most profound and wonderful things in the most imaginative ways.  The book is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” which was written in 1990 as a Commencement Speech.



I spend a good bit of each day reading through the posts of others who are grieving, some on blogs and many in Facebook groups. Quite often they are from people who are really in deep pain, whose loss is relatively new- I say relatively because “new” really is relative to each person’s situation and story.

Even after several years distance from my last “major” loss 4 years ago,  it is easy to recognize and renew those thoughts and feelings.  I read in search of how I can best serve those who are there now; looking for the questions that maybe I have found some speck of an answer to.  Mostly I feel that I must just keep trying to reassure whoever I can that it is possible to survive what feels unsurvivable.  It will probably be the worst thing you’ve ever been through and you will probably have times when you won’t want to survive, but you can survive.  And somewhere along the way, you can find some meaning and new happiness in there.

When I read of people’s anguish,  I wish so much I could wave a magic wand and take it away.  I wish I could say “This is when it will be over and you will feel good again”. I wanted so badly for someone to tell me that.  I remember people telling me over and over “It will take a long time” and I wanted to know “how much time?”  but no one could tell me that.  I searched and searched for that answer but to no avail.  Now I can look back over time and what I have been through and find some ideas that may fill in some of the blanks.

One of the things that I’ve done, that I developed as a “survival skill” if you will, is what I decided to call “brainwasting”.  That may sound like a terrible thing but I think it can be very relaxing and helpful when you need a break from the reality of your life.  I guess it’s a form of meditation in a weird way. Sort of an internet meditation.

Basically what I do is come up with a couple of little things that I decide are very important that I need to research on the internet and I just let myself get lost in them.  It may be for an hour or more and I even take notes.  I may not ever bother with the information later although it seemed so important at the time I did it.  That doesn’t matter.  It helps me by giving me a break and allowing me to relax but still focus my mind on one simple thing that is not related to death and sadness, which is difficult when you are grieving.

It’s a step beyond staring at the wall and can give you a feeling of getting something done.  Maybe it’s just a new recipe for cooking meatloaf or the best type of electric can opener to buy.  I can spend an hour researching where to find my favorite type of pen and it’s not because I am obsessive or whatever, truly.

It can be pretty easy to get into this activity, just start jotting down things you think of- things you might be interested in finding out about- one or two words will do.  It can be just an interest or something you need to find out about but try to make it “light”.  The internet makes it so easy.  All you have to do is keep clicking on links.

If time is an issue for you, you can set a timer or ask someone to alert you when a certain amount has passed.  Being unable to focus and feeling like all you’re doing is sitting around unable to move are 2 very big problems with grief.  It can be really hard to get moving again, even when you may feel a spark somewhere inside to do something.  The way the internet and all of its various resources are set up, it doesn’t take a lot to turn that tiny spark into motion and get your mind starting to focus onto something.  And it can be such relief to get a break from reality for a bit, even on a mindless activity.

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