I lost a career mentor this year, Len Hawley. The world lost him. Cancer. I had no idea he was sick until too late. He held very high-ranking government positions but always made me feel important, smart, reminding me just with the way he’d clap me on the back at think tank events and asking what I’m up to and encouraging me. I’ve been struggling with self-confidence for years now, but when I’d see him I’d feel energized and optimistic again. I’ll just have to keep that image of his big grin fresh in my head now, that feeling of the clap on my back like “hey, peacemaking pal!” – conjure it up from time to time.
I would like to share something to hopefully help people with the recent loss of someone they love, something my mother said to me more than 25 years ago. Me: “Mom, when will I feel normal again?” Mom: “Your brother died. You won’t.” That freed me to stop thinking that grief is like jet lag that I will eventually shake off. Grieving (and happy memories!) should not have an expiration date. Relax and engage in it as the waves come.