Planning to Feel

Just a thought… I’m working with a client on developing a new strategic plan. They need one for a variety of reasons, including that so much of what they are doing is reacting to what comes at them day after day. Similarly, I know I often react to thoughts and feelings related to my losses. But what if I planned ahead? What if I anticipated in such a way that I intend to care for and navigate those thoughts and feelings which I know will come again and again.

For my client, the planning process includes asking them a specific set of questions. What it would be like to ask ourselves some of those same questions.

One of them is this, framed for this personal purpose, which I invite you to ponder for a few minutes: What do I need to achieve, preserve, and avoid by how I care for and handle my grief?


  1. David Domeshek says:

    Rick, great questions — here’s my take:
    1) I need to ACHIEVE some sense of balance between enjoying life and the living while honoring and remembering (as if I might forget!) my daughter
    2) I need to PRESERVE the integrity of my family
    3) I need to AVOID getting sucked into the abyss of despair (after 7 years I think I’m over the hump on that one)

    That said, I don’t think any of this can be achieved through PLANNING per se; but remaining conscious of these “need to’s” probably is a good idea.

    February 10, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  2. johncohn says:

    I would like to echo what David just said.. I don’t think you can ‘plan’ here// As an engineer.. I can really relate to the feeling of wanting to organize and even optimize my grieving.. but it rarely works like that.. What I’ve had to do was learn the importance of just ‘being’.. allowing myself to be good when I feel good, sad when I feel sad, etc.. The best skill I developed there was to listen to my own feelings.. and learn how to share them when it was appropriate. That meant learning how to sometimes drop the ‘I can push through this’ attitude for a task and tell my colleagues, boss, friends etc .. that .. ‘this is going to take longer than I thought’.. or even sometimes.. ‘I just can;t take that on right now’
    It all seems to come back with time.. but never on a schedule… Good luck on your path..

    February 10, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  3. Jim Carey says:

    I agree that planning is next to impossible, since you can never tell what will trigger a memory. In our case, our son played the violin, and we found that the tune “Ashoken Farewell” was a real trigger for us. Sometimes we could either steel ourselves to hear it (planning ahead), but one time we were at a concert and the song was performed. There was no program listing, so we didn’t know it was coming. The tears fell.

    February 11, 2010 @ 10:38 am

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