Loved ones’ words of wisdom live on within us
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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother departed this Earth with a secret smile on her face, knowing she’d be back to drive us all crazy. And she’s definitely come back.
When our family gets together now, one of us will say, “Heard from Mom lately?” We usually find out she’s appeared to someone in a dream, offering up advice.
If people would just listen, they’d realize their dear, departed loved ones are still around us, but in a different way! To tune them in, you start thinking about a problem in your life, and ask, “What would Ma, Pa, Grandpa or Auntie So-and-So say about this?” Then take a moment, relax for a few minutes, and listen. Try to remember the way they’d say it, and it comes in clearer.
— Still in Touch, Winnipeg
Dear Still in Touch: Are you sure you’re not confusing memories of old advice from a loved one with brand new messages from their new world?
On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t matter if it helps with problems you’re trying to sort out, and you want to tap into family values and ways of handling things.
A lot of the problems we have nowadays were also encountered by our dear departed in times gone by, and recalling words of wisdom they once offered could help us cope with current dilemmas.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I married a very handsome man. I felt the price for that was keeping myself looking like a partner who matched him. We had babies and I kept the weight off by running in our neighbourhood. Then, disaster struck! We were both hitting our mid-40s when COVID arrived on the scene. Because we couldn’t go out, my husband, who loves sweets, started baking up cookies and cake mixes every night, and scarfing them down in front of the TV.
I gained the first five pounds with him, and then called a halt, but there was no stopping him! He ate himself up at least 50 pounds in two years. I don’t know exactly what he weighs, but I’m betting 250-270 pounds and he’s not a tall man. It’s all around his middle, and he has a triple chin.
I’m worried sick he’ll have a heart attack. What can I do? I love him. Should I ask our longtime doctor for help?
— Fearing For His Safety, Birds Hill
Dear Fearing: You’re going to have to talk to him yourself. “I’m afraid I’m going to lose you to a heart attack,” is definitely a better opener than “I notice you’ve gained a lot of weight.”
Your husband would be offended if you conspired with your doctor to get him in and warn him about his weight situation. Plus, your physician probably wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so.
Offering to be partners in a fall walking campaign could be a better tactic. Also, replacing his usual snacks and drinks with healthier ones could help, as long as you do all the grocery shopping for a while.
As for your personal relationship, nobody’s sex partner likes to be told they’ve become unsexy, so be very careful what words you use. You don’t want to lose your lover and best friend, while gaining a new fitness partner.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.