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We Will Get Through This

Listen to this obituary

In my family of origin, we did everything together. I mean EVERYTHING! If somebody went to the doctor or dentist, everybody went. We ALL went fishing when somebody wanted to go. And, if there was sickness or death in our circle of friends, our ENTIRE FAMILY showed up. We did everything together except go to the restroom. That doing everything together business had its advantages and disadvantages.

I suffer from separation anxiety on occasion. I do not do well alone. I especially found this out when my wife died in 2006, as I wandered about mumbling to myself in a house that suddenly was way too big and way too quiet. For the first time, I understood why many adult people need a pet.

The main differences between normal separation anxiety and separation anxiety disorder are the intensity of our fears, the duration of these fears, and whether these fears keep us from normal activities. One is not going to do well trying to face separation anxiety disorder alone!

Watch for several of the following symptoms:

  • unusual distress about being separated from a person or pet
  • excessive worry that another person will be harmed if they leave them alone
  • heightened fear of being alone
  • physical symptoms when they know they will be separated from another person soon
  • excessive worry surrounding being alone
  • needing to know where a spouse or loved one is at all times

1 Samuel 20:17-18 (NKJV)
17  Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
18  Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty.

The context of this “you will be missed, because your seat will be empty” statement in Vs. 18b is that David was going through some very insecure times and feared that Jonathan’s father King Saul was trying to kill him. He needed reassurances from his best friend that he might be able to face the facts and move on with his life.

The first holidays after the death of a loved one are often especially hard, and sometimes a new recliner has to be bought because their seat will be empty. At a time like this, many of us just will not make it through the grieving process if we try to go it alone! 

Remember that “seven arms of a support system” strategy that you and I are supposed to be utilizing? Seven different people, contacting one per day, once a week will get you on track and keep you engaged with life.

Support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, and even if just for a short time — medications can help. Speak to your doctor about all this. It would be a good time to be active in church or with a civic club or to reconnect with family members that you have held a distant relationship with over the past few years.

Get the help that you need. 

WE will get through this!

Doug Greenway

Doug Greenway

These blog articles are written by the retired minister and former educator and counselor, Doug Greenway. He'd love to hear from you with your comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics. You may reach Doug at doug_greenway@yahoo.com.

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