Cleaning Out the Closet

One of the most difficult tasks following a loved one’s death is parting with their belongings.

Pams-Hat-1024x682Thankfully, my daughters helped me.  I did not realize how challenging it would be to give up some of those items.  I soon discovered that I needed to save some important pieces to which strong memories were attached.  I saved the Mickey Mouse coat that Pam had bought during our last family holiday in California. I kept the small shovel she used to dig around the flowers at the cabin.  I saved her hat, covered with buttons – the one that she wore while building into so many young, impressionable girls as a Girl Guide leader. There are so many good memories and stories to recall.  Happy memories! (more…)

Often, it’s better to say nothing!

There is a reason for the phrase, “Silence is golden.” It’s true!

Deer-blog-680x1024And when it applies to grief it is so necessary.

So often we believe that we are being helpful when we say we understand what a person is going through in their grief journey. Do we really understand?

People want to help and care and many believe that they are being empathetic when they say that they understand anothers grief. A few people in my grief journey seemed to think that they understood me because they had gone through a similar experience. (more…)

I Love You Every Day

In my years of experience, people wish they would have said more often: “I Love You”.

I-Love-you-cookiesIn my years of experience in caring for people following death, there are three words that people wish they would have said more often: “I Love You”.

In fact during that initial shock stage, when we are dealing with the immediate deep feelings of loss, often people have said to me, “I wish I could have said, ‘I love you,’ one more time, or at least that those would have been the last words that I had said to my loved one before they died.”

We make it a practice in our family to say those words every time we say, “goodbye”, whether it is after a visit or a phone call or as we finish up on a Face Time conversation. It always ends with, “I love you” … always. (more…)

I can only imagine

It played on my iPad this morning and I cried.

ICanOnlyImagineEven though it’s a powerful song of hope, it was played at my wife’s funeral. Her sister, my niece and our two daughters sang it beautifully.

Music is a very powerful medium of bringing us back to a person who has died. It seems that most people to whom I talk to about grief, conclude that there are songs that were special and bring back memories of their loved one.

Grief returns through a song. Happy and tears at the same time. (more…)