Q: I lost my wife to cancer five months ago. I realize I am in grief, lonely and need to accept my loss. I don't know how I should go about doing this. I am a churchgoer, but I have a lot of extra time and need some suggestions as to how to get back my life. I could use some recommendations. Can you help me?
A: Hopefully, yes. Almost everyone who experiences the loss of a mate goes through a grief process. Each of us copes with the process in our own way. We are not born to be alone, and choosing to live a happier and longer life ahead is to commit looking forward, not backward, while focusing on a new and different lifestyle. Do not choose isolation!
To make your adjustment, list things that make you happiest. This will help you rise above your sadness.
Something worth considering is buying a dog or cat, if you do not already have one. It will become a new member of your family. Psychologists believe that if you own a dog, which you will need to walk regularly, you will make four new friends during that walk. One friend, who does not own a dog, visits his dog park twice a week, and it gives him an emotional boost.
Favorite hangouts in which you can distract and entertain yourself are coffee shops. Many seniors meet new friends there, and frequently, meet on a daily basis to discuss and cope with the world. Some play cards or do crosswords. I enjoy just people-watching!
Bookstores are popular sites. Many provide chairs for reading papers, renting books, if you own a computer tablet, or socializing. Many libraries have computers available for a small fee and provide helpful instructors. Many bring in knowledgeable speakers to discuss world affairs. Some libraries also offer free delivery of books to seniors.
Visit your senior center, where you can make new friends, join clubs, enjoy inexpensive meals, take trips and share other activities.
The secret of happiness is to socialize and stay involved with others. Surprisingly, you often learn you have much in common with other individuals!
Q: I am a widowed grandfather and have five grandchildren, whose ages range from 2 to 17. I love all of them, as they do me. They all live within 10 miles from my home. We always have fun together. I have a hard time scheduling visits with them because of their school, sports, work and other activities.
Also, I am dating again, and my lady and I do some traveling, which also complicates our timing. It is frustrating. How can we efficiently set up a family schedule?
A: The simplest way is via computer. Each month send your schedule to your family. Fill in your planned dates. If there are conflicts they can usually be rescheduled. Don't forget to include your lady's schedule!
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.