Now what am I going to do?

16/09/2014

Many years ago when my nephew, Christopher was a little boy he came to spend the day with Phil and me. Christopher was helping ‘Uncle Phil’ work in the yard. They started by unloading a truck load of dirt into a sink hole in the back yard and smoothing it out. Once that was done they planted some flowers and bushes. Christopher was a great help, working beside Phil all along the way. After each task was finished he would look up at Phil and eagerly ask, “Now what are we going to do?”

The way he said it was so cute. Like adults often do with cute things kids say, Phil and I adopted this phrase. After we would finish an activity or project we would often turn to each other and say, “Now what are we going to do?”

BDD—Before Diagnosis and Death of my husband I had clear focus on what I wanted to do with my life. We had plans for our life together and I had plans for my business. When Phil was diagnosed with a brain tumor my plans changed but I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. My singular focus was Phil. Spending time with him; driving him around when he wasn’t allowed to drive because of the possibility of seizures; taking him to doctors’ appointments; keeping his life as normal as possible when he was doing well; sitting beside him at the hospital when he wasn’t; advocating for him with medical professionals and the insurance company; taking care of him during the last few months of his life and finally making the arrangements for his funeral and burial. Then I took time off to heal and grieve.

Once he was gone the logical expectation may have been that I would refocus on the plans I’d had for my business. It could have been easy to immerse myself in my work and use that to fill my time and my mind. Somehow it didn’t matter to me as much anymore.

Now what am I going to do? The phrase applied to me more than ever.

There was a lot to do with handling the tasks related to death and burial. Then I needed to get the house ready to sell, find a new place to live and move. Then try to figure out my life. Whether to rebuild my business or go in another direction. How to rebuild my social life. How to live on my own again.

I know that I am not alone. Many people are dealing with recreating their life, or some portion of it, after loss. Loss of a spouse, loss of any family member, loss of marriage, loss of a job, loss of financial security—life includes many types of loss. Often that loss means re-evaluating all aspects of your life. Changing directions or starting over. It’s a question that can’t always be answered simply. Sometimes it takes time to figure it out and to ponder all the options.

Now what am I going to do?

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