Making a Plan

This is a chapter from the book.  I emphasize the importance of making plans for holidays that does work out… you need a plan B.  Can not say enough about being with supportive people with a plan.

Dearest Eddie,

anniversaryAs I have written in earlier letters, having a plan for special days really helped me. A recommendation from both my counselors was to prepare for special anniversary dates. Having a plan for that day, even if not carried out, gave me a direction. Another word might be “control.”

Sometimes my plan involved other people; sometimes, just myself oftentimes, my dog. Sharing with him was easier because he understood me differently. I didn’t have to banter back and forth. I could just be. That was a gift to me from my Herschell.

In my counseling sessions, we made a plan. Spending time talking about special days when John was alive made me happy. That happiness remained in my mind when the actual anniversary date dawned, and along with my daily plan, that got me through a special day.

There were days when the plan seemed impossible. Sometimes my energy level was low or I was not feeling well physically. Actually, when I look back, I was very healthy, free from a lot of maladies that year. Do not ask me why; perhaps my love for John was kind of a medicine that kept me safe. Anyway, I think I was fortunate with that blessing.

What is that old saying? Life happens while you are making other plans!” Interesting, isn’t it? As my letters continue, you will understand how I utilized planning on many days. That’s great advice given to me by caring counselors.

Loving you,


About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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