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Posts Tagged ‘bereaved families’

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal, 50% of pet portrait session fees will be donated to the publication. The journal provides our community a platform to share stories of hope, healing, loss and memorials of a loved one, pregnancy or pet.

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester creates beautiful artistic portraits of pets and their families. They welcome well-loved animals of all types and ages and love capturing the unique personality of each.

Rhonda is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal by donating 50% of all pet session fees booked through mentioning this ad. Rhonda has over 25 years experience in photography, and compassion for capturing the love between owner and companion.

Rhonda’s first pet session was for a dog with terminal cancer, named Chester. His owner, Sheila, wanted something special to remember her beautiful and beloved Chester, as he had been part of the family for so many years. When they arrived at the studio, Sheila wasn’t sure Chester would cooperate, as he usually disliked being photographed. Knowing this, and how important the portraits were, Rhonda was a little nervous about how the session was going to progress. She was used to being patient and playful with reluctant children to capture the best pictures, and decided to apply those same skills. Staying calm, Rhonda not only got Chester’s cooperation, but a variety of heart warming images­. The result was a priceless portrait of a very much-loved companion, Chester……

“End of Life Photography” was provided for the pet owners of Monty, adopted 15 years ago from a shelter. He is a very special part of the family, being the first of 7 dogs to enter the household.

It is said, 78% of owners consider pets a full-fledged part of the family and rightly so.

 View additional pictures

Consider having a professional portrait of your loyal 4-legged friends with Rhonda Lester (336.474.6867), she has a heart of gold and also a volunteer photographer for a national non-profit,  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, photographing deceased babies for bereaved parents. These photographs provide families with keepsakes to begin their healing journey.

Thank you for partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal and we appreciate all you do Rhonda.

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PRE-PLANNING MY FUNERAL-Is it my responsibility? 

Sitting down with loved ones to plan your funeral may not be high on the priority list, but it is something that should be discussed in order to ensure a ceremony or service that reflects your legacy and provides for your wishes. Otherwise, the “to-do list” could be overwhelming for bereaved family members.  The choice of having a traditional funeral, being buried in a green casket, having ashes dispersed in the ocean, or the decision to donate your body to science are based on an individual’s personal beliefs, religion, and passions.

A retired schoolteacher preplanned her service to include ceremony music, how her body would be returned to the earth, and who was to be invited to the church. While diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she composed a beautiful letter to be imprinted on the back of the funeral program. She expressed the gratitude and love she had for all the guests, the happiness in her life, and how she enjoyed living life to its fullest. She did it all.

In a sense, purchasing life insurance is pre-planning. It is a guarantee that upon one’s death, a lump sum of money will be available to cover funeral costs and other expenses. Hypothetically, if a 40-year-old bought a $100,000 Whole Life insurance policy and passed at the age of 60, the total cash value would equal $34,400 with a death benefit of $113,600 based on dividends earned – all from a total out-of-pocket investment of $31,400. This money could cover various costs associated with a funeral or memorial service along with the survivors’ unpaid expenses.

Benevolent Funds are collections taken up by churches and are often included within fiscal budgets. These collections provide funds to assist with funeral costs of members who were not successful in purchasing life insurance prior to death. If families are in an impoverished financial state or someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, a small, modified life insurance policy is an alternative. Some churches may find benevolent funds too much of a burden on budgets; their monies could be used to support those in need who are still living.

Know your options and plan ahead.  Do it as an act of love for those you will leave behind.

This article was written in collaboration with the Family Life Transition Team, assisting families with life changing events such as; the death of a loved one, infant or pregnancy, divorce/separation, disabling event or illness, passing of a pet, physical catastrophes, adoption, or job loss. For more information contact Melody Anderson of Chadwick Insurance Group, LLC, 336. 707.9308. Family Life Transition Team can come to you.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal

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Planting “Green” (eco-friendly) flowers/plants within cemeteries or Residential Memory Gardens would increase the beauty of the resting places and may decrease maintenance, whether it is a memorial monuments, statuary, or outdoor garden art. Non-invasive groundcover grow low to the ground and usually have a definite width. In zone 7, we have many options including, deciduous, evergreen, annuals, perennials or herbs. Mowable or crevice groundcovers are very low maintenance.

Even if you decide to use an annual groundcover and need to plant yearly, there is healing taking place and a connection being made between one’s self and nature.

Some suggestions for sun groundcovers are:

Creeping phlox comes in a variety of colors, blue, violet, white, red, pink and bi-color

Creeping sedum “Angelina”

Ice plant is deciduous

 

Dichondra is an annual

 

Hens and Chicks add great texture and drought tolerate

Laurentia flowers blue in the spring

A few suggestions for monuments located in the shade or part shade:

Creeping  jenny “Gold”

Ajuga is absolutely gorgeous

Don’t forget about the smaller bulbs. They are finished blooming when mowing season begins.

Some additional ideas are creeping thyme, mazus, scotch moss and irish moss.

Mowing usually begins in April and many of the plants are finished blooming and could use a good mow. In zone 7, mower blades are maintained at 4 inches, plenty of room for these small plants. Most of the plants suggested can tolerate foot traffic.

Please join Just a Cloud Away, ™ Inc. Journal for a free workshop regarding mowable groundcovers at, Celebrate Mother Earth in SE Guilford. Bring a plant to swap and you may walk away with the very plant you desire. Here is a brief list of avavliable plants; verbena, black mondo grass, mazus, yarrow, columbine, st johns wort, crape myrtle tree, golden raintree, helleborus, rose of sharon, daylily, monkey grass, roses, raydon’s favorite aster’s, siberian iris, plumbago, german iris, sweet pea vine, and so much more

We hope to see you in the spring

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Brides Against Breast Cancer – Nationwide Tour of Gowns Presented by

Brides Against Breast Cancer at Emerald Event Center

                March 25-March 27, 2011

                2000 East Wendover Ave. 

“Find the gown of your dreams and make a wish come true”

 

Additional information, call Veronica Foster 336.375.3164  36-375-3164

“Brides Against Breast Cancer TM” gown sales continue to be important fund-raising events for Making Memories, some gowns valued at $20,000. Our more than 32 yearly shows provide brides-to-be with an opportunity to find their dream gown (at an incredible savings) while making wishes and dreams come true for women and men who are losing their fight against breast cancer.

Many local vendors will be present to assist brides with selection of favors, venues, “Green” themed flowers, music, honeymoons, catering/wedding cakes, healthy eating, make-up and photography sessions in the most beautiful settings.

Piedmont Triad Local resources for Breast Cancer Patients in the Serenity Garden

We hope to see you there

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal

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The Ted Williams story is ongoing and we hope he pulls through his personal challenges.  Most stories regarding the homeless are not  typical screenplay material, rather of a child or parent struggling with living life the best they know how.

 A local Greensboro, NC man was featured on the cover of Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal’s first issue in February 2010. Through this online link, Michele of Chosenfast website, who reports on our local homeless community, informed us of his accidental death. Larry’s obituary was sadly posted without a photograph.

GREENSBORO — A pedestrian crossing eastbound Interstate 40 on Tuesday night was struck by an SUV and later died at Moses Cone Hospital, according to a news release.

On Wednesday, police identified the man as Larry Wayne McCraw, 40, of Greensboro.

He was hit by a 2002 Ford Explorer just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. The car was driven by Gail Hill Roper, 58, of Whitsett. She was not injured.

Police are still investigating the crash.

The wreck stalled traffic on eastbound I-40 near the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive exit. All lanes have reopened.

When Mr. McCraw’s family posted his obituary, we signed his guest book in hopes of connecting with living family members. His cousin reached out to us in a matter of hours. She resides less than 2 miles from our office and was very appreciative of any pictures of her nephew. After meeting with her, we realized 3 generations of Larry’s family members graduated with ours. We had a connection far deeper than a weekly hand wave.

I saw Larry quite often and he was not camera-shy  and when presented with his photograph on the front cover, said, “Wow, I am famous”. Not to the extent of Ted Williams, but more humbly. The mere connection to Mr. Larry Wayne McCraw was his sweet and polite nature every time a care packet of food was given to him. These care packets are little acts of kindness when one is unsure of why they are there, what they are doing or will do with money given to them.

Rest in Peace Larry Wayne McCraw

Read how our local painter, William Mangum has helped the homeless community by utilizing his talents developing the  Honor Card Program.

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 Terms to be Familiar with when Preplanning a Funeral

Archival Photographsprinted on high quality paper, fade and water-resistant, ideal for outdoor memory gardens.

Bio-Degradable Urn-non-toxic and will decompose over time without harming the earth

Body Donation-donation of whole body for medical research or education

Body Transport-NC does not require the deceased loved one to be transported by the funeral homes

Budget-what are you willing to pay for the entire funeral or memorial service?

Burial Interment by burial in a grave

Burial Liner Outer burial container for a casket, a minimum requirement by most cemeteries

Body Donation-donation of whole body for medical research or education

Burial Vault Protective outer burial container for a casket

Casket The box-like container the body is placed in

Cemetery/graveyard Private, military or community grounds for burying the dead

Columbarium An arrangement of niches to hold cremation urns, usually fronted by glass, bronze, marble or granite and may be located either indoors or outdoors

Cremated remains Remains recovered following cremation

Cremation The reduction, by direct flame, of the body to its basic elements. Some facilities will provide this free of charge for early pregnancy losses and stillbirths.

Crypt Cubicle designed to contain a casket usually in a mausoleum

Eco-Eternity Forest-are undisturbed forest preservations providing ecologically friendly and peaceful resting places for cremated ashes. Ashes are placed in biodegradable urns and buried at the roots of mature trees. Over time, the roots will absorb the nutrients and create a living memorial

Eco-friendly options-embalming fluids are not used, cremation is not used, respecting nature with little harm like burial at sea

Embalm The preserving and sanitizing of the body. The state of NC does not require this, dried ice is another alternative

Funeral Ceremony A service or rite, religious or non-religious, held at a funeral home, church or elsewhere with the body present

Graveside Ceremony-A service or rite, religious or non-religious, held at the cemetery with casket (interment) or urn present (internment)

Green Burials–  any one of a number of options that doesn’t leave a body in a metal casket in the ground for hundreds of years, with minimal adverse impact on the earth

Green caskets-100% biodegradable caskets handcrafted from pine harvested exclusively from the sustainable forests,contain no metal nor toxins whatsoever

Interred-to place in a tomb or grave

Mausoleum A building consisting of crypts (entombment)

Memorial Artwork Bronze sculpture, or other fine art, designed for the purpose of honoring the memories of a life lived.

 

Memory Garden-any designed outdoor residential space for reflection, with or without ashes of loved one. Memory Gardens can also be developed on Campuses, Churches and other Institutions.

 

Memorial Ceremony A gathering of family and friends (religious or non-religious) held at a funeral home, church or other venue, without the body present. It takes place after burial or cremation

 

Memorial Tree-purchased by family to recognize loved ones past and planting in a residential landscape, church, or in the city (Greensboro Beautiful Memorial Tree Program).

 

Mowable Groundcover-small outdoor, non-invasive, groundcover  plants adding color to cemetery plots/gravesites and withstand mowing without damaging.

 

Niche The space for cremated remains in a columbarium, mausoleum or other structure

Obituary-is a notice or announcement of a person’s death, often with a short account of their life. It is often the first thing many people read in the news each day and may be the last word written about a person’s life. These are then submitted to newspapers, online or Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

 

Open Casket An option available for viewing of the deceased.

Organ Donation-registering certain organs to be donated after death

Pre-planning Funerals-discussing end of life arrangements with close family or a chosen funeral director

Remains Usually referring to the body but may include cremated remains.

Urn Vault Outer container for urn or cremated remains, a requirement by some cemeteries. Perfume viles are sometimes used when the loss is early in pregnancy.

Urn The vase or container used for cremated remains

 Viewing/Visitation An option available for viewing the body, either private, family only or public, scheduled prior to services at a funeral home, church or in a home

Our loved ones are just a cloud away…………..

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The Brain Injury Association of NC  hosted a Caregiver’s Appreciation Morning Out in High Point, NC. Some factors contributing to brain injury include

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Car Accidents (texting, drunk driving)
  • Falls
  • Trauma from Military Explosions
  • Brain Aneurysms
  • We learned a young girl wearing glass hair accessories fell and her skull received significant damage, changing her life indefinitely

♥ Note-Brain Injuries are usually not diagnosed within the homeless population. We may see them staggering as if under the influence of a foreign substance, but could be a result of tramatic brain injury.

It is called a Disease, but with no cure.

Peggy Nelson, Kitty Barringer, Susan Fewell, and Yvonne Josephson, CRRN or HP REgional Hospital orgainzed the Love Journey of Caregiving. There were personal and heartwarming stories shared, humor, resources, and caregiver nominations, along with several door prizes given away.

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

The meeting was very informational and enlightening. Tuesday February 1st at 7pm, Millis Regional Health Education Center with host an event for all Survivors, Family Members, Friends, and Professionals recognizing the Brain Injury Alliance. More details, contact John at 336.887.0745.

Everyone walked away with a copy of Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal and we were glad to be a part of the luncheon and help promote this Hidden Disability.

Angela Howard spoke on the challenges of caregiving. Her mother endured a stroke and her husband diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimers Disease. The importance of health was reiterated and benefits no one if the caregiver does not surround themselves with caring and compassionate family and friends.

 

WALK & ROLL-athon Burmil Park April 16th, details here, 2011. Additional information will be provided within the March issue of Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal.

The Brain Injury Association of NC is partnering with Camp Carefree September 16-18th, 2011 in Stokesdale, NC.  Sons of Italy has partnered with Camp Carefree, a hidden local treasure.

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Holistic Healing Centers can

Change your Life

by Kathleen Chester

Holistic health is a popular medical philosophy that treats patients by focusing on the most essential physical aspects—taking emotional, spiritual, and physical health into account. For many years, pharmaceutical medications have dominated the world of western medicine. But synthetic medication always carries the risk of creating dangerous chemical reactions in the body. Holistic healing is a lifelong commitment to personal health and well being on the way to living a better life.

Holistic healing goes beyond the mind-body connection to achieve improved lifestyle and wellness. Your entire personal well-being is accounted for. Physical healing, mental health, wellness, emotional well-being and spiritual values are the areas in which holistic health centers focus. This method of treatment will help you find personal power to establish control over your mind and body.

A person who gets the treatment from a holistic health center also learns the value of having proper relationships, being part of a nurturing caring environment, and the importance of having compassion for all human beings. Piedmont Triad’s holistic healer and author, Janet Nestor is a local resource, providing several services, including energy work sessions.

There are various types of holistic healing therapies that you can receive from a healing center. Some of the most popular and widely used holistic healing therapies are:

Aromatherapy: This is a massage treatment of body, face, and scalp to improve blood circulation through the use of aromatic essential oils made from trees, flowers, and plants. This treatment provides relaxation through the use of accupressure. A local resource provides non-toxic cleaners utilizing essential oils, The Clean G.

Ayurveda medicine: This is an ancient healing system that uses combinations of herbs. It was developed over thousands of years in India.

Counseling: If you are going through a bad phase of life, it is essential that you need to overcome your depression. Expert psychologists will help you to overcome depression by counseling.

Herbal remedies: This is a traditional healing treatment based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Since pharmaceutical medicines are affecting our body badly, it is better to use the natural medicines to cure our diseases. Terry Rader can advise on holistic healing and prevention in the Piedmont Triad Area for pet care, specializing in senior dog care.

Homeopathy: This is a treatment based on a theory that many diseases can be cured by a very small amount of drugs.

Naturopathic medicine: This treatment heals through massage, exercise, acupuncture, and minor surgery.

Chinese medicine: Another type of treatment in holistic healing centers that includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, heat therapy, and nutritional and lifestyle counseling that treat a range of acute and chronic diseases.

To improve your wellbeing, you may want to visit www.centerforhealthandhealing.org and find out how to get natural healing treatment from well-trained doctors.

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Options for Bereaved Families

 Many changes have come about regarding the death industry, including how to mourn or celebrate a deceased family member or friend. The National Funeral Directors Association 2007 study showed that 23% of the respondents desired a very personalized funeral.

The Emerald Event Center is a facility truly celebrating a loved one because of the compassion, care and uniqueness they offer our community; one significant factor being great value meeting individual budgets, seating anywhere from 100- 500. Because of the spatial options, memorial and funeral services could be held in the same room for a more intimate setting, as opposed to a church and a funeral home.

The covered patio can be easily decorated and offers an outdoor sitting area.

Most of the decor is offered, in-house by Emerald.

 

The Emerald Event center is also the home of Create a Cake Catering, where fresh, comfort food is offered. In the past, the center held an Irish memorial service, given by their priest and meal where guests were fed favorite foods made from recipes family members provided for the cooking staff. A full bar was offered as well, because an ABC license is held by the center. A radio, Irish music cd’s, mementoes and personal stories about the gentleman were exchanged in a private room, where even the children felt comfortable to exchange memories of their Uncle. A Celebrate Life cake was also personalized with a picture and mementoes dear to him.

 

Beautiful Altars can be created.

For a beloved Veteran

For bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss, the facility may be an option if the couple does not belong to a church or out – of- town family members will arrive at a later date. Angelversary cakes can be personalized to reflect the baby’s gender, nursery theme, zodiac sign, and birthstone, to recognize and honor the child. The Emerald Event Center will also be able to accommodate the last-minute decision to use their facility. Click here, how to help plan for baby loss.

Unnecessary driving miles can be avoided, by having the service, memorial, and meal in one place. If you would like to take a tour of the center, call 336.691.000.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal

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A Healthly Place has written a wonderful article regarding support for bereaved family members and friends.

Our local resource, Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal believes strongly in the power of listening to those suffering great sadness after their losses. Stories are shared within the journal for our community to somewhat walk in their shoes while educating ourselves for similar experiences we may face in the future.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal is funded by generous advertisers and those wanting to recognize a loved on within the journal, upon the  Quilt of Remembrance page. We are on our 12th month and have not profited and need your help, just to continue printing this resource.  We are more interested in reporting on those wanting to share their stories as part of their healing process, than solicit advertisers. Read past journals online.

How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?  Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the bereaved. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.
How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

Five Assumptions That May Complicate
  1. Life prepares us for loss.
  2. Family and friends will understand.
  3. The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.
  4. Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.
  5. The bereaved should grieve alone.Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee  More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic. 
     
    How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?
     

     

     
     
     

    Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the griever. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

    How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

     

     
     
     
     

    Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

    Five Assumptions That May Complicate

     

    Life prepares us for loss.
    After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced.
      

    Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee

     

     
     
     
     

     

    More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic.

    Family and friends will understand.

     

    If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.
     
     

    The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.

     

    During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient.
     
     

    Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.

     

    At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests.
     
     

    The bereaved should grieve alone.

     

     

After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced. At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests. During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, angelveraries, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient. If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.

 

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