Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I had a long talk with the social worker from hospice on Monday. It was so helpful. What I learned is that we call grieve in different ways. Some feel guilty they are not doing enough. Others have regrets they may not have shared. Others cry at every little thing. This kind of thing can bring out the best and the worst in people. What we all need is to treat is other with as much love, kindness, and tenderness as humanly possible. That doesn't mean not sharing if something bugs us. But watch the tone of voice. Frame comments so that they are not criticisms, but questions. Ask if people need anything.

I wonder why it takes a crisis to make me learn to take better care of myself, to speak up when necessary, to know when to keep quiet and wait for a better moment. Or maybe it's not the crisis. Maybe I'm just maturing in ways I didn't dream possible. Whatever the reason, I am grateful I am learning the gift of discernment.

If I haven't already said so, I want to take a moment to thank you all for the wonderful, thoughtful, loving comments you have been leaving as I go through this difficult time. It means more to me than I can ever convey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Sharon Lippincott said...

Karen, you are obviously up way before the birds. I hope you are sleeping! Sleep deprivation makes sverything harder and life darker.

Maturing. Yes. I stumbled on the magic of monitoring my tone of voice maybe a dozen years ago and it has worked wonders. Every year I feel wiser, but realizing that this continually happens creates suspense: what will the next lesson be? Will it be hard or joyful?

How true that support webs now span the nation, even the globe. I'm not joking when I say most of my best friends live in my computer.



Mason Canyon said...

I think it takes a crisis for us to start taking better care of ourselves and appreciating what we have because we it so accustom to the way things are we don't think they'll change. But change is there and sometimes it hits us smack in the face. Take care. Continuing to think and pray for you and your family.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sometimes a crisis serves as a wake up call, I think. I'm so glad you had such a good conversation with the social worker. Please take care of yourself...


Tamika: said...

I almost always find it difficult to ask for help, or communicate my needs. Thankfully God knows, and is teaching me that we all need one another, that's why He developed us to be relational people.

Joanne said...

What lessons we learn along this journey we're making. Thanks for sharing your often difficult, yet touching, lessons here.

Elspeth Futcher said...

I think a crisis forces us to look at the bottom line and what really counts. And by that I mean what really counts for each of us, it's not always what society says it should be.

You are constantly in my thoughts.

Marvin D Wilson said...

It is a rather sad truth that it does most often take a disaster or major challenge in life to find out what we're really made of and hopefully bring out the best in us, hmm?

Really appreciate your transparency and candor with your readers as your report along the way of your spiritual growth journey, Karen.

The Old Silly

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

During my parents last days, I felt grief, anger, guilt, love, sadness and I cried often. Sometimes all the emotions hit me at once and that’s when I learned it was time to step back, take a few deep breathes and find some alone time for myself to get my head back together. I hope you are able to find some time to take care of yourself and your needs during this difficult period.

Jen Chandler said...

I'm praying for you, Karen. I know how hard it is to watch a parent struggle with health. It's very interesting how we all handle grief differently. I saw so many different versions of it when my dad died. I work through mine. I keep moving, working, cleaning, never stop. It's not until later (much later) I'm able to really cry over everything and let the layers peel back.

Take care of yourself, Karen. We're all here for you.


Tabitha Bird said...

I love the sentence in your book where you say "This is my life's work" and then continue to map out the fact that growing and maturing is indeed a life's worth of work. It is not suprise to me that you are continuing to grow even during this tough time. Be gentle with you while blooming :) Blooming is still hard work!