Welcome! I’m Steve and here’s what you can expect. I named my blog Life Well Lived because that is exactly what I wanted for myself and for others on this journey of ours. I want to listen and learn from your experiences and share some of my own to make the trip more rewarding, purposeful, and even fun
What brings me here? Now that you ask, I met my wife Mary in 1988. I was a nursing home administrator, she was a Director of Nursing. We married the following year and as we built a life together I moved on professionally and built my own company, one of the most highly regarded Medicare certified home healthcare agencies in Illinois. The intervening 25 years were the best and worst of times, but the best predominated by far. But the worst was pretty bad, starting with a diagnosis of breast cancer, followed by seven years of multiple occurrences, two more primary carcinomas, endless ER visits and a gauntlet of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapies. In the end, on the eve of our 24th wedding anniversary, it was her wish to forgo food and water to hasten a comfortable death. She was kept under terminal sedation for six days before the lack of fluids and the accumulation of toxins stopped her heart from beating…the longest, most agonizing week of my life. I wanted nothing more than to escape the pain, but lacked the energy and insight to do so.
If you’re going through hell, keep going.
When you lose someone special from your life, you are going to grieve. There is no easy way around it, no timetable, and no neat package of stages to journey through. But just as life is not something that “happens” to us, like passive spectators, grieving is something we DO, not something that is done TO us. We have choices. Not in what has happened, but in what we DO about it. You can’t just decide to stop grieving, nor should you. The key is making the right choices as you work through the healing process.
I chose to complete Life Coach training and learned the tools of self-exploration and the importance of an empathetic, nonjudgmental partnership. I immersed myself in scientific bereavement research and the published personal stories of those who found happiness and growth through grief. As a volunteer in the Widowed Support Program with my local hospice I consulted with amazing people with inspiring courage, and discovered a wealth of resources in the rigorous disciplines of Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. And I also found sustaining wisdom in the words of ancient sages like The Buddha and Epictetus and more contemporarily. Mahatma Gandhi who reminds us “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
I believe in the power of shared experiences, and feel that others who have traveled the same journey can make for comforting travel companions. I would love to hear back from you, know more about what really matters to you, learn about your struggles and successes, your questions and your answers. Please subscribe to my blog or otherwise keep in touch. Looking forward!