Tag Archives: sympathy

Today I cry . . .

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

(In loving memory of Dr. Ken Larsen, 1939-2016)

Today I cry. A dear friend of mine has died. He was kind, gentle, intelligent and loving. I never heard him say anything unkind or negative about another person — remarkable!

Today I feel grateful. I was friends with a man who was kind, gentle, intelligent and loving. I never heard him say anything unkind or negative about another person. This friend inspired me to be a better person because of who he was.

Today I’m reminded of my loss. I go on Facebook expecting to see his “likes” and comments about something I posted, something he posted, or something that someone else posted. Logging onto Facebook has become painful because I am constantly reminded of the loss of him.

Today my  heart is heavy. My sympathy and sorrow is with his family for their loss. My sympathy and sorrow is with the world-wide Glasser family for our loss of a friend and colleague.

And my sorrow and sympathy is with us, the Mental Health & Happiness community. Dr. Ken Larsen, fellow founder, partner, blogger and videographer of the Mental Health & Happiness project peacefully died in his sleep Monday, February 22, 2016. That day his final blog was posted.

Not long before his death Ken asked,

If Choice Theory is the answer
What is the question?

Here is one question he devoted his time, talent and energy to. How do we develop, improve and maintain Mental Health & Happiness? We are so lucky that he did. In honor of Ken we will be reposting many of his Mental Health & Happiness blogs over the next two weeks. This will give us all an opportunity to read and be inspired again by Ken’s ideas and words.

Another question where he devoted his faith, actions and love:


Thank you Ken, for all you gave to all of us. You are loved and missed.

What’s my diagnosis?

By Bruce R Allen, MSW, LCSW

When something hurts, I want to know what it is all about.  I remember as a kid, hurting my arm and almost hoping the X-Ray would show that it was broken.  Certainly this would explain why it hurt so much. At least if it were diagnosed as broken, then somehow I could relax.  Most of us know this feeling.  Typically we want to know so we can more easily find a solution.

The problem with my aching arm was that I got no cast to fix it, nobody signed my cast, I got little sympathy, had no red badge of courage to show and was not excused from my chores.  Darn, if it had only been broken, think of the relief I would have had!

When we hurt, we do want the care and concern of others. And we may well want to be excused from some chores and responsibilities. That just seems right.


What happens when our diagnosis doesn’t offer any of this, but just implies that we need to eat better, exercise more and work harder.  The powerful relief of giving up, seeing ourselves as victim and giving in can draw us into a sense that our misery is actually our friend.

In the pursuit of joy and happiness, we look to better solutions. We can understand that our pain can be our wakeup call that we need to think more about how we want our lives to be.

Just as the pain of a burn tells us to move away from the flame, it also tells us to move toward something cooler.  Do we focus on the flame, or do we focus on how we can live so that our skin stays in cooler places?  Do we focus on the relief of the cast on a broken arm or consider how we can live in way that our bones don’t get broken?

Since we are gifted with the power to think about our thinking, we can notice when we spend our time focusing on the flame, or relaxing in the diagnosis of the broken arm. If we can notice how we are thinking and what we believe, then the dawning of choice arrives.