Bereavement Posts

How to Beat the Holiday Blues

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

How to Beat the Holiday Blues

Despite the fanfare and caroling, the holidays can be the most emotionally trying time of the year for many people. The National Institute of Health reports the holiday season is the time of year that people experience a high incidence of depression. One North American survey reported that 45 percent of respondents dreaded the festive season.

There are many reasons for this holiday distaste: strained relations with friends and family, pressure to have the “perfect holiday season”, and, for many, dealing with the loss of a loved one. For those experiencing the holidays without a loved one for the first time, this time of the year is especially stressful.

Psychologists tell us that one of the best ways to beat the holiday blues is to redirect our attention from the disappointments and discouragements of life, and to engage in prayerful and thoughtful reflection on the blessings we enjoy.

If we have food in our refrigerators, clothes on our backs, roofs overhead, and places to sleep, we are wealthier than 75 percent of the world’s population. No wonder we find the following declaration in the Bible: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” (Psalm 92:1).

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

Dealing With Practical Grief

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

After a loved one dies there will be a lot of emotions to work through, but there are also several practical matters to attend to. Things like, figuring out what to do with their clothes, selling their car, and possibly adjusting to living by yourself if you lost a spouse. Getting to the point where you’re ready to deal with these tasks will take time, but when you’re ready consider the following.

  • First, you may find it comforting and helpful to have a family member, close friend, or other trusted acquaintance sort through your loved one’s possessions with you.
  • Second, take frequent breaks. Going for walks or other time away from these tasks can help give you perspective.
  • Third, don’t hesitate to reminisce while you’re working. Allow yourself to express your emotions as you move through this process. Laugh about the enjoyable, funny, and happy memories.
  • Finally, as you consider the task ahead, decide which favorite mementoes you want to keep, which to give to family members and close friends, and to whom you wish to give the rest. There are many charities that will be grateful for the gift of your loved one’s possessions and property.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

Grieving in the Closet

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Grieving in the Closet

The grief and loss following the death of a loved one can overwhelm us. One of the unthinkable, yet unavoidable, tasks that confronts us is what we should do with our loved one’s belongings. Some choose to do nothing, to avoid dealing with the inevitable pain that is evoked. Others choose to discard anything and everything that was owned or even touched by the loved one who died.

There is no “right” or “wrong” time or way to pass on the property of your loved one. Rest assured that you will know when the time is right for you, and what you will want to keep, and what you will want to give away. This task can be an important time for reflection, expressing your grief, loss, and sadness, and strengthening your connections with family members and friends. Like viewing your family picture albums, take your time, examine each object, and feel and embrace the memories in your heart.

No matter what you choose to do with your loved one’s possessions, usually some items or objects are meant to be kept. A kitchen tool, personal photographs, pillow, shop tool, toy, wedding ring or other piece of jewelry, are cherished symbols of your special relationship. At first, these items may evoke sad, tender feelings of your recent loss. However, in time, these objects will become keepsakes that recall cherished and fond memories.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

The Two Ways We Grief

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

The Two Ways We Grief

Grieving styles exist along a spectrum – at one end are intuitive grievers, and at the other are instrumental grievers. Unsurprisingly, most persons who are traveling through a time of grief are mixtures of both. Intuitive grievers are heart grievers, and instrumental grievers are head grievers.

Instrumental grievers grieve primarily cognitively and physically. Expressing grief through activity, projects, and tasks associated with their loss is common. For head grievers, practical, “real-world” education regarding adjustment to loss is helpful, as are developing ways to memorialize the loss. Instrumental grievers readjust rapidly, and make efforts to return quickly to normal routines

Intuitive grievers mainly grieve emotionally. Heart grievers more often express and verbalize their feelings of grief. Intuitive grievers take more time to grieve, to explore and share feelings. For them, connecting and sharing with others is an important part of their journey toward healing and wholeness.

It’s important to note that no one is 100% instrumental or 100% intuitive. Everyone will be a mix of both, and neither grief style is more right or wrong than the other.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

Finding Your Grief Map

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Finding Your Grief Map

Summer is the season of travel. To get where we need and want to go, we often depend on maps. As all of us know from experience, a map is a picture, or representation, of areas and places that others have explored, navigated, or observed before us. Maps are great for road trips, but have you ever considered that we also use “maps” to guide our interpersonal relationships, as well as to better understand ourselves and our emotions?

When dealing with the loss of a loved one, people typically search, in one way or another, for a grieving map. However, it is vital to remember that the map is not the same as the reality. Maps that assist us in our grief journey can be helpful and useful, but they may not entirely reflect our individual, personal, and unique travels through grief.

You need to remember that dealing with a loss is something that affects everyone differently. We all bring in past experiences and unique perspectives. So trying to find a standardize process or roadmap for dealing with the grief of a loved one shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, focus on working through the emotions you’re feeling today.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

Remembering Lost Loved Ones

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Remembering Lost Loved Ones

When a loved one passes, one of the most difficult parts in the grieving process is the memories. Sometimes it seems like the smallest and most insignificant thing can trigger a memory that sets off a downward spiral of grief.

Memories evoked by pictures, special objects, songs, and other reminders of your lost loved one can be painful to recall at first. However, feeling your pain, and telling your stories, is a necessary and normal part of grief. In time, these fond memories are what will sustain your love for the special person you have lost long past the pain of your initial grief.

While it’s not a good idea to dwell on a memory for days or weeks at a time, it is important to take time and process the emotions you’re feeling. Like other aspects of grief, finding the right balance of time spent remembering will be a process.

One of the best things you can do in these times is just talk to someone. It could be a friend, family member, neighbor, or professional counselor, the key is not internalizing what you’re experiencing. Talking to someone will help you gain an outside perspective and you’ll be surprised how good it will feel to vocalize your emotions.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

What To Do After Shock?

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

When the initial shock begins to lift, grief, sadness, and sorrow may come flooding in. When feelings of grief initially appear, your first response may be to try to avoid, or deny, these deeply unpleasant feelings. There is a common saying, but it’s true: The best way to get over your grief is to get through it. It is an understatement to write that grieving requires both a great deal of energy and time, but be sure to give yourself time to grief. Don’t rush it.

Expect “pin pricks,” painful reminders of your loss. These will occur for an extended period, but eventually will become less frequent. Difficult as they are, you can tolerate them, and they will accompany your healing process.

While each person grieves in their own way, much-needed support is experienced by mourning the loss with others. Annual events, such as birthdays, holidays, and family reunions, can be special times to renew relationships and share stories with others who also miss your loved one.

Finally, keep your “I love you’s” up to date. People are more important than anything else. Modern technology gives you limitless opportunities to give, as well as receive, expressions of love on a regular basis. Keeping in touch with those you love can lighten your heart when the heaviness of grief weighs on you.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!

Grief and Resilience

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Grief and Resilience

Spring is the season of new beginnings. While it sometimes seems that it is impossible for us to recover from certain losses in our life, especially the loss of a loved one, the cycle of rebirth that accompanies each Spring is an encouraging reminder that, even as we will always cherish and treasure the memories of those we love, we are usually more resilient than we often think.

In nature, when destruction appears to result from an avalanche, hurricane, tornado, volcanic eruption, or something similar, life eventually returns. Beginning with microscopic organisms, then tiny plants, then small bugs, then additional vegetation, infant trees, and wildlife – something new, and beautiful, grows during the loss.

Things will never be exactly as they were before. They indeed will be different. But, like nature, we human beings have a remarkable resilience that allows us to return to the “new normal” after our own personal tragedies.

Accept and understand that, after the initial shock, the “dazed” period will last longer than you might think. The human body, while amazing in its capacity, can only take so much at once. Many grieving people describe their shock as “just going through the motions,” or “sleepwalking.” Do not be dismayed. Rest assured that this is normal.

Know that we continue to pray for and think about you, and all of your loved ones. We hope you will find this to be encouraging and helpful to you. If you would like to speak to someone personally, please do not hesitate to contact our Bereavement Coordinator, Thomas Schwartz. He can be reached at 918-994-4807. God bless and keep you!