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!

Is There a Wrong Way to Grieve?

Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Many persons who have suffered loss ask the question, “Is there a wrong way to grieve?” This question is common, because we often assume that our grief experience must conform to a map we already have in our minds. It is important to remember that there is no one “right way” to grieve, and that our personal expectations are based on maps that are the generalized depictions of the journeys of others.

The truth is, there is no “wrong” way to grieve. Your personal grief journey will likely be a unique blend of different grief styles. Even when grieving the same loss, people express their individual grief at different places on the grief spectrum. One grieving style is not “better” than any other. Whether for ourselves or for others, honoring and validating the expressions and needs of the different grieving styles promotes individual healing.

The road that leads back to normalcy and recovery, will look different for everyone. This road can also change directions with very little notice. You never know how long it will take or what roadblocks will appear. The only thing you can do is accept that you’re grieving and do your best to deal with today’s problems. Although it might not seem like it, there is an end to this journey and you’ll get there soon.

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!