During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have my daughter and grandchildren staying with me. My daughter’s family lives in Hawaii. Her husband serves in our nation’s military. He received orders for transfer back to the mainland and the moving company (engaged through the military) came over on Thursday morning, March 12, 2020, to pack up their household goods. The company was very thorough and took everything my daughter owns. Continue Reading →
As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the globe, I have shied away from writing about it. I am so tired of hearing about it, reading about it, living through it, etc.
My inbox is filled with articles addressing PPE and hunkering down in order to avoid contamination. Lately, I have seen a surge in articles and talking points on the mental health effects related to this pandemic. In particular, sheltering in place has become a major concern for many working in the medical field. Sheltering in place is just another name for isolation.
Isolation is not a social being’s friend, in fact, it can prove deadly. Continue Reading →
Yesterday, I buried my great aunt Faye. She was the last survivor of her generation in our family. She died in Texas, but her husband, and each of her siblings and their spouses, are buried in a tiny town just across the Louisiana state line.
Presently, Texas has a travel ban, in effect, against Louisiana, caused by the uncontrolled COVID-19 virus outbreak among its citizens. Burials, however, are a rather timely event, and so we were granted permission to travel there, to bury her. As I stood in the graveyard, waiting for my cousins to arrive, I took the opportunity to visit my grandmother’s grave. Continue Reading →
Although recovery weeks 9 through 26 may seem as though they span over a year or longer, they only cover four months. At the end of week 26, a survivor will have been without the physical presence of their decedent for six months. In the grief recovery practice, it is accepted that a survivor should be recovered by this time. If not, counselors and grief therapists begin to recognize patterns of maladjustment. A survivor should realize that grief recovery does not mean that they no longer love or miss their loved ones. Continue Reading →
Upon the loss of a significant loved one, grief is the natural pain that fills our souls with sadness and renders us significantly less efficient in every aspect of life. With this in mind, it is paramount to understand that you possess the power to overcome grief. Indeed, you owe it to yourself, as well as those who love you, to do so. If you do not overcome your grief, you will be riddled with debilitating illnesses and devastating unhappiness. In fact, not overcoming your grief may prematurely end your life.
There are simple things that you can do to overcome grief. Continue Reading →
Grief is the natural pain one experiences upon the death of a loved one. It is not an invisible virus floating on puffs of air. It is not transmitted through droplet spray nor by touching contaminated surfaces. Grief is brought on when one is robbed permanently of the physical presence of a human being who has significantly participated in his/her life and who has deeply touched his/her soul. Death is not the ultimate adversity. Continue Reading →
After living through funeral week and enduring the two weeks of company and well-wishers that follow, the survivor may think they are ready for a break from social supporters.
Unfortunately, the lack of social support makes weeks four through eight some of the toughest the survivor will experience. These particular weeks are wrought with difficulties. Loneliness increases, irritation increases, pain increases, and just about everything else that is unwelcome increases. It is during these four weeks that the survivor must begin the decisive restructuring of his/her life.
The key step to recovery is to decide to recover. (Grief Brief 208, Mourning Light III, 2019) At this point, the survivor has no viable alternative other than to begin the battle of recovery. Continue Reading →
After a funeral week has passed, the survivor now enters an unfamiliar and most unwelcome phase of grief recovery. The events of the next two weeks are, in general, painfully undesirable to the survivor. It is a time of dreadful realizations and issues pulling the survivor into a new world that does not include their loved one, nor the conveniences, companionship, or support he or she provided. GB 305Grief Recovery Milestones IIEnduring Weeks Two and Three
Weeks two and three see one’s reality returning into focus. The survivor begins to feel the extreme pain of their loss. Some have labeled this a task called acceptance. I, however, label it an inhospitable awakening. Continue Reading →
Last week I assisted two families in laying their loved ones to rest. As I was working with the widow of the first family, I noticed that she was particularly dismayed. She seemed frail and commented several times that she just did not know how she would survive without her husband. As we worked through the details of her service, I asked her if she felt alright. She said, “No, but how else would one feel after finding her husband deceased on the floor?” I spoke with her about taking care of herself and asked her if she took medications.
She answered that she did. Continue Reading →
I received a call early this morning, it was a friend of mine. She said her sister had died and needed me to come to pick her up. I usually don’t accompany first calls anymore. I have staff members who are responsible for that task. I spend most of my time working with the family, planning their services or finalizing the details, and directing their wishes for burial services or cremation. Continue Reading →