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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.
Believe In Yourself And Become a Winner: Lessons from Hollywood
Copyright 2004 Priya Shah A while ago I made it a point to watch the movie "Legally Blonde." Not just for the bright, chirpy and eminently watchable Reese Witherspoon, but also because I loved the message it sent out.
Dreams and Desires, Wants and Wishes Journals
Have you ever dreamed of a new house? Have you ever wished for the perfect mate? What about wanting that job that you've always dreamed of? Have you wished for a perfect day?We all have dreams and desires, our own personal wishes and wants. What if?what if you could just have what you wanted and wished for? What would that house look like, feel like? How would you decorate it? Is it a condo, or on acres of land? Are there animals? Who are your neighbors? Do you have parties? What color is your house painted? How is it furnished? Who lives there with you?Your perfect mate, is how tall, what color hair, what religion? How did you meet? Are you married? Do you have children?What is your dream job? What state are you living in? What are your hours? What do you do? Whom do you work with?What does your perfect day look like? What do you do, where do you go? Whom are you with?Think about what your wishes and dreams are.
Create Resistance or Creative Acceptance
Resistance is not a new word, but for many of us awareness of resistance is new. In Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, resistance is defined: "to withstand, to strive against, to exert force in opposition, to counteract, defeat or frustrate.
Change is difficult for many people. Often times our whole identity is wrapped up in what we've learned as children will work for us when dealing with people, allowing us to survive, thrive and fit in.
Lewis And Clark Pay Attention
As I write this Southern California has just ended its second week of triple digit temperatures. The intense heat changes the way we live and alters the rhythm of our days.
Are We Ever Really Alone?
A new twist on a familiar quote - Chances are you've heard the term "If it's to be, it's up to me!" I happen to like this quote, the only thing about it is the more life experiences I pick up the more I tend to realize that it's actually only true to a degree.I can hear it now being repeated from behind thousands of computer keyboards across the Internet, "Who the heck do you think you are to challenge the age old wisdom in that quote?".
And How Do We Feel This Morning?
Without question, going to the hospital is teamwork from the time you arrive until you are wheeled out the front door. Everyone is working together for the common good of the patient, or at least a crack at his bank account.
How Would YOU React To Tragedy Like This?
The true story I'm about to share will have a profound impact on you, just as it did on me.One day a mother was in her kitchen doing the dishes, when through the window, out of the corner of her eye, she saw an alligator moving across the lake behind the family's Florida home.
The difficulty in finding love that is good for you stems from the same difficulty you have loving yourself. For those who believe in God or a higher power, to not love yourself is to not love the very source of your existence.
Sharing Your Experiences and Your Potential!
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. - John Cotton DanaExample isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
20 Ways To Improve Your Life
People often ask me how they can improve their lives.I always give them very specific advice on simple things they can do to create a radical shift in their experience of life.
Been There, Done That
Fourteen years ago I was divorced from my second wife, her idea. I'll call her Kay.
Words Of Wisdom
Carlos' Words of Wisdom1. Today is your day to exceed, so why live in yesterday.
The Most Important Investment You Can Make For Your Old Age - And No, Its Not Money!
When I was twenty-two, I was befriended by a woman named Doris who was thirty years older than I was. Although Doris was then a fifty-two year old woman, she did not feel it was inappropriate to befriend me.
Create Your Own Self Esteem - Part 2
The good part of this story is that there is now hope to end and effectively reverse the effects of all negative emotions that we individually and collectively experience in our lives. Now we come back to the word reversal I spoke about earlier.
Get Your Guidance and Get to Know Your True Self
Many people feel they have everything they need in life, yet happiness remains elusive. What is the key, the missing element when everything seems satisfactory externally? The answer: look within.
Food for Thought
We all love picnics. They represent a fun time as we prepare the food, the entertainment and the guest list.
Discover How To Make The Success Generating Imagination Work For You
The secret power of positive thinkers is their faith. And this faith is the power of God working through their imagination.
The Power Of Love In Your Life!
CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE!"If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
Important Things to Know / Remember About Life
I love you not because who you are, but because who I am when I am with you There is no one in this world that worth your tears, and if they are, they will never make you cry. If someone loves you not in the way you would like to, it does not mean that they don not love you in their own way A good friend is the one that will hold your hand and will touch your heart.
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