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The research is startling: friendship decreases anxiety and depression, increases our lifespan, buffers us against addictions, and raises our happiness levels. All those coffee dates, weekend hikes and late-night chats help us face our adversities, choose our best paths, and discover who we are. And yet 1-in-4 of us has no close friends, a rate that is only increasing.
We are working on a major project that will champion adult friendship and the practices that make it thrive. Three years of work have gone into crafting the Friendship Lab Course, our first project offering, and podcast series and various collaborations are planned.
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June 16, 2022
My husband died January 7, 2021, 6 weeks after our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Your book, The Making of Us has helped me so much
during my grief. I’m so glad I found it one day in Ollie’s. It’s done more for me than any grief book has even though that’s not what
it was intended to do. This is my favorite book. I’ve bought copies for others going through any kind of disappointment, in life not
going as planned. I recently ordered two more of your books and will be reading them soon. I can tell stories of how much this book has already
impacted others I’ve shared it with. Your Creed is amazing and I’m getting a copy today, hopefully. Thank you very much for writing this book.
It ministered to me in so many ways, and on so many levels. Gratefully–Louise
Ah Louise, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. And I’m thrilled that the Making of Us has been helpful in the aftermath. Wow, as you’ve said, it’s not a grief book but is certainly about growing through such moments. What a joy to have had a little part in your story.
If you had a moment to leave a review of the book on Amazon I’d be so grateful (it really does help others find the book). In the meantime, thank you for this encouragement.
I will definitely give you a good review. As I said before The Making of Us has had a tremendous impact on my life. Through a series of God moments, I started a Widow Support Group with women who were referred to me through a friend of mine who suggested I start one. I only knew one of them, there are about 14 in our group, 10 active members. We bonded immediately through our shared grief. One woman took a long time to come because “she didn’t want to be a member of this club”. It is so cathartic being able to share one’s emotions and feelings with other women who know exactly how you feel. Some of our members lost their husbands through long illnesses, others sudden illnesses, some Covid related and myself and one other through husbands who took their own lives. We provide each other with a place to be with others who just need to tell their story, have someone to listen to them and know how they feel.
In my case my marriage was a wonderful one. We were very devoted to each other & were best friends as well as being married to each other for 50 years. He was the most Godly man I’ve ever known and through him I learned to “set my affections on things above”. He led our family well and was very loved. When he died, no one in our family didn’t know how much their “Pops” loved them. He knew how to make each of us feel special. We all focus on his entire life and not just the “30 seconds” that came at the end.
I felt God telling me to use your book and the printouts that came with it, the questions & thoughtful discussions as our topics for our meetings for about 3 months and ended giving everyone a copy of The Creed. I feel like several of us found ways to find new purpose and see that we still have lives to live, even in our pain and grief. Some began to develop their relationships with God more. Having Him in our lives is the best way to go forward and who knows, maybe one day find purpose in our pain. Anyway, I just want you to know, you are an influence for good in this world and I’m happy to have come across you and your books and your story. Louise
What an encouraging thing to read, Louise. Thank you! That means so much.
I’m a carer for my husband, it’s harder to find time for myself, I split the time I have between seeing my mum and daughters and grandchildren, I’d like to take time to do things for myself but if I do I feel guilty. I think advice around this would be useful.
Hi Jacqui. I hope this quote from Frederick Buechner helps you as much as it’s helped me:
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself is part of the great commandment. The other way to say it is, ‘Love yourself as your neighbor.’ Love yourself not in some egocentric, self-serving sense but love yourself the way you would love your friend in the sense of taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself, trying to understand, comfort, strengthen yourself. Ministers in particular, people in the caring professions in general, are famous for neglecting their selves with the result that they are apt to become in their own way as helpless and crippled as the people they are trying to care for and thus no longer selves who can be of much use to anybody. If your daughter is struggling for life in a raging torrent, you do not save her by jumping into the torrent with her, which leads only to your both drowning together. Instead you keep your feet on the dry bank—you maintain as best you can your own inner peace, the best and strongest of who you are—and from that solid ground reach out a rescuing hand. “Mind your own business” means butt out of other people’s lives because in the long run they must live their lives for themselves, but it also means pay mind to your own life, your own health and wholeness, both for your own sake and ultimately for the sake of those you love too. Take care of yourself so you can take care of them. A bleeding heart is of no help to anybody if it bleeds to death.