A Friday Thought to Chew On: Give Yourself Time to Heal

A Friday Thought to Chew On: Give Yourself Time to Heal

There’s been a project hanging over me for months and months. Okay, I’m fibbing a little. For 23 months. I’ve mentioned it here before but not discussed at great length. It’s my office. I haven’t really seen it since summer of 2013.


I was chatting with a good friend about it earlier this week. My office had not only been a place where I would string words together in the form of poems, blogs, short stories (even a book!) and would tackle clients’ writing projects. It was where I spent the majority of my time from May 2009 through March 2014 as a full-time freelance writer and author, doing my work, recovering from a job loss and connecting more than ever before with my beloved Dexter, my dog. When he died unexpectedly in June 2013, I didn’t even want to walk into my office. And for months, I didn’t. If you’re wondering where I worked, just about everywhere else in my house instead. Eventually, the room became a place where I tossed stuff and that stuff grew and grew and grew until finally, I could barely walk around the place.


Earlier this week, I tackled a corner. It was only one evening. I got a little misty-eyed once when I uncovered Dexter’s pet bed underneath a pile of old papers and some boxes. I smelled it and immediately got caught up in a memory and a lump in my throat. I only spent three hours in the room that night but I did manage to clear out one corner and re-assemble some important monthly folders I use to gather business expenses efficiently for tax season later. There are so many more days and nights of clearing that remain. But I took a first step. I’ve always heard that we can only tackle our grief when we are ready for it. Twenty-three months later, I’m finally ready. I finally decided that I had so much I’d like to be able to do in my office and so many things I wanted access to once again. Plus, I missed the whole feel and vibe of the room.


I have to force myself to not dwell on the grief and focus on those times I was deep in thought about how to phrase something in my book and looked over and found my dog watching me as he dozed on his fluffy, little green bed. I have to recall being on a client call on speakerphone and giggling as Dexter yipped in his sleep. I will instead close my eyes and smile as I think back to getting a wet cold poochie nose to the shin as a reminder that he wanted to be picked up and held or taken outside for a bathroom break.


Do you have any “projects” you haven’t been able to bring yourself to face? If you do, I truly feel your pain. It is easy for others to offer wisdom and what might seem like practical tips, but if emotionally, you have not yet reached a place to take next steps, all the sage advice and how-to manuals in the world aren’t going to help us! I am a firm believer in giving yourself the proper time and not “dealing” with something simply because everybody tells you that you should have done so by now. There is no universal timeframe for coping with changes which may have suddenly disrupted our world as we know it. But when we feel ourselves becoming stronger, we can take it step by step. In this case for me, it was this literally — taking more trips into the room in question, staying a little longer and finally realizing all that I missed and taking those first few steps to begin what felt like an excavation.


Give yourself the time you need, according to you and no one else. And good luck to all of us taking our own independent treks. It does help knowing we’re not alone. ~ Chris


  1. Nancy

    Great bit of wisdom here, my friend. xo

    • chriskuhn

      Thank you, Nancy. 🙂 Happy you found some value tucked within here. xo

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