The Art of Comforting

A couple of months ago I was wandering through the local branch of the library when I found this gem. Once I picked it up I saw the cherry blossoms on the cover and immediately thought of spring. I had almost put this book back on the shelf when I remembered an experience I had prior to this, I had reached out to a gentleman with a plate of homemade cookies, I decided to check this book out. I volunteer in my city and talk with people I don’t know that well on a regular basis, a couple of others and I talked with this man. About 30 minutes later, some tears and a lot of talking he shared some personal hardships he was currently facing. This encounter was hard for me, to say that I am awkward when trying to comfort someone is a huge understatement. The extent of my comforting skills are listening, a pat on the shoulder, and some mumbling that I hope sounded encouraging.

There was so much I wanted to underline, highlight, and pages to dog ear in this book. Val Walker holds a Master of Science in rehabilitation counseling with specialization study in grief, loss and disability. That being said a majority of the book is focused around comforting people during the loss of a loved one, but the applications in this book can be used in an array of situations. This book is a straightforward easy read. The author provides a great walk through of dos and don’ts to get you started in the right direction. The she breaks down different types and ways of comforting. Val provides profiles from seasoned professional caregivers in different environments (VA hospital, local outreach, hospice, schools, retreat owners, ect) each person also has a different type of comforting style. Using real life examples, creates an easy way to incorporate comforting techniques in everyday life. Within a week of finishing the book I was able to use the advice that was given in this book. I may have borrowed The Art of Comforting on a whim a couple of months ago, but have since then I have purchased a copy of my own to have as a reference on hand.

Warrior Dash

What a fun event! If you’ve never heard of a Warrior Dash and are up for a challenge you need to check it out! Essentially it’s a 5K with obstacles that need to be completed along the way. A group of friends signed up, trained, and participated in this, I on the other hand nominated myself official team cheerer and photographer.

20120625-155443.jpg
While the only obstacle that I could really see was the last one it was still awesome to see hundreds of people army crawl under barbed wire and swim though the mud!

20120625-155650.jpg
From what people said after they finished the race I gathered that it was a fun and challenging course, the parking on the other hand wasn’t fun for anyone. The official parking for the race was at the fair grounds which was about 8 miles away and people were shuttled to the race. Our group was lucky and ended up parking in a farmers front yard about 1 1/2 miles away and half the price and walked to the event site. I say lucky because we heard people waited over 2 hours for the buses, to say people were unhappy would be a huge understatement. Overall the event was fun for both spectators and runners, but some work needs to be done on the parking situation.