Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 9, 2004
I love my wife with all my heart and soul. She is now and will ever be the other half of my heart. Twenty years ago I felt much the same about another woman. She was my first true love. Unfortunately, her parents did not see us having a future together. Although I had a hard time letting go, I respected their wishes.
We both went on to live separate lives. We married different people and had children, and we moved thousands of miles apart. I found out she died yesterday. I did not expect the news to affect me this way, but I am shattered.
I feel the grief of loss, even though her love is something I have not had, nor could hope to have, for the last 20 years. I feel guilt for feeling this grief and do not know how to explain this to my wife. She can see the news affected me. How do I cope with this? Is it appropriate to send my condolences to her husband and children. What would I say?
Guy, in James Joyce's story "The Dead," a man named Gabriel Conroy goes with his wife Gretta to the annual Christmas dance given by his aunts. At the end of the evening, with most of the guests gone, a tenor sings a song which stirs a memory in Gretta. Gabriel's heart is brimming with happiness because he thinks his wife's thoughts are running with his.
Back in their hotel room Gretta, in tears, explains that the song reminded her of a boy she once loved. The boy died after standing in the rain outside Gretta's window the night before she left home. Gabriel then realizes how deeply his wife loved this boy, and he realizes "how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life."
It's hard to share this memory with your wife without her wondering how poor a part she, your wife, has played in your life. To tell your wife she is the other half of your heart, and then to say 20 years ago you felt the same about another woman, may undermine the sincerity of your words.
And what would you tell the husband and children of your first love? That you are the man who should have been her husband and their father? That won't help them. There is no reason to feel guilt, but you should realize this is all about you, your feelings, and your imagining of what might have been.
We suggest two things. Write out all your feelings, perhaps even the entire story of your relationship, in private. In the writing you may come to understand why her death has affected you so deeply. And get a book on grieving as a way to get in touch with your emotions and accept her death. Some things must be faced alone.
Wayne & Tamara
A Day Away
My friends and teachers take the mickey out of my name by singing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie." But they replace tomorrow with Tamara, and it really hurts my feelings. What should I do?
Tamara, I bet my bottom dollar you'll be having people use word play on your name not just tomorrow, but for the rest of your life. Like you, I pronounce my name like the day after today, except the o's become a's and the w is dropped.
People love making puns, and teasing or "taking the mickey out" of a name makes them feel clever. But isn't the mickey really on them? When you walk into a room, you are able to make people break into a happy show tune, whether they can carry a tune or not. That song makes people smile, and it ends with "I love ya, Tamara." Take it as a compliment and smile with them.
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
Ctrl-Alt-Delete Your Life
Ah, the good old "Vulcan nerve pinch", the three-fingered salute, the one-handed solution to many backhanded aggravations. How simple, how effective, how instantaneously gratifying to the mind behind the mouse. Wouldn't it be great if we could take the lessons learned from this simple three-point process into our lives and install them into our own hotkey set-up to help us deal with life's little blue screens of death? Well, we can, provided we are willing to use a little creativity, allow ourselves some literary leeway and don't mind stretching an already strained metaphor until it squeals for mercy. Shall we begin?
My Mothers Garden
I love to talk about Purposeful Living with others and share how it's affected my life. But sometimes when I get to the part about doing what you need to do my listeners eyes glaze over and I know I've lost them. I get the response that it doesn't seem like much "fun" to find your purpose and do what you need to do. In fact, it sounds rather Calvinistic. It sounds like trudging uphill in the rain with your head down ? oblivious to your surroundings.
I Dont Like This
You always do this wrong, how many times would I have to tell as to how to do the thing right, don't you understand to what I say, I am talking to you, are you listening to what I am saying. It would have been much better if I would have done that myself. Now go.
?Back to CYA on a Mission?
Six former wards came back to the California Youth Authority (CYA) earlier this month. This time they volunteered to return. They were on a mission to deliver a message to the wards at N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility, which houses California's most violent youth offenders ages 18-24. The diverse panel of ex-convicts purposefully stepped through the fences of Chaderjian as law-abiding citizens. They each wore visitor's passes clipped on their shirts and security alarms attached to their belts for their safety in the event that a riot "kicked off".
The Minds Fancy Dress Party -Or- A Brainstorming Session
In Berlin a restaurant opens for anorexics and in Buffalo a lawyer with a stutter wins a court case. When everything you're working on has gone STALE and your own initially promising concepts are starting to annoy you, you need a brainstorming session to get to the missing bits or generate some new ideas.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 7, 2002
Dont Ask Your Doctor
Perhaps I should ask my doctor if there is a drug to take to combat frustration from seeing so many drug ads. You know the ones I'm talking about. They always start out with a list of questions. Then they tell you that a new drug might be just the thing for you--all you have to do is ask your doctor.
Good-Bye Yesterday, Hello Today
Many of us are unable to move forward with our lives because we refuse to let go of what no longer exist: YESTERDAY. The portal to yesterday is permanently closed; gone out of business. It is non-existent; a mere idea of what once was.
According to the Buddhists, between January 29 and February 12 is the worst time of the year. "Don't start anything new during this ending period," they advise. "It won't last." February, however, can be a great time to meditate on new beginnings. But what if you have no direction? What if you are STUCK?
Brilliance in Balance
"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Escape From the Dungeon: Jennifers Survival Story
Have you ever been encountered with a trauma in life and not know how your life would be after it was all said and done? This is a story of my trauma and how I survived and how I am taking an extreme tragedy and turning it into something spectacular.
Naomi and the 5 Life Lessons
Not long ago, I attended a seminar that featuredNaomi Judd, half of the legendary country music duo,The Judds. Naomi, with her talented daughter, Wynonna, set the standard for country music byselling millions of albums, performing to 'sold out' audiences, and winning numerous awards.
Joy in Perseverance
I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult... I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking. ~ Og Mandino
Everyone Has Been Hurt..... Part 5
Aftermath of a Child?s Near Death Experience
An 18 month-old girl lay dying of diphtheria in January of 1944. It was before the widespread use of antibiotics. In fact, the antibiotics were reserved for the troops fighting in World War II. That's where the little girl's father was...on Iwo Jima.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 24, 2003
3 Big Fat Lies that Deserve to Die
Big Fat Lie 1: Your personality is formed and unchangeable by age 5 or 6
Opening the Heart and Exploring Beneath the Surface
Exploring beneath the surface of a reoccurring relationship issuecan be tedious and scary. Seeing beyond a nagging health challenge tothe 'deeper issue' requires courage, faith and trust.
Go Where No Man Or Woman Has Gone Before
"It`s life Jim but not as we know it."-Spock
Pattern of Ripples
The Emmaus Journal
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|