Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
It’s a new year! For many people that means life starts over. It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year. As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones? What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking.
Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.” The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward….
With the baby boom population being 75 million strong, it’s no surprise that today’s funeral services have become “Life Celebrations” instead of a room full of friends and family wearing black attire and sad faces. This is certainly not to downplay the fact that when a loved one dies, we aren’t sad or that it is difficult to celebrate a traumatic and unexpected loss. It is simply to state that today the emphasis on funerals for many families, especially baby boomers, has been to plan the service around the....
Regardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have attended at least one or two funerals. For those people reading this article, there is a greater chance that you’ve possibly attended many more funerals than just two. Unfortunately, over the past year, I personally have attended more funerals than normal. With each funeral I attend, my belief that funerals are an important ritual to help the living acknowledge loss and begin the grief process grows even stronger. Funerals do matter.
Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years. If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you.
Have you ever considered how much your family has experienced during your lifetime together? From the birth of your children to the first and last days of school to weddings and all the vacations, ballgames and performances in between, you probably have many stories to share with friends and families. Along the way, I’m pretty certain you have probably taken hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos of your family and friends to help document your journey.
If an accident happened to cause your death today, would your loved ones know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration? Who will notify your family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn you would like? Do others know your favorite song? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want a traditional burial or do you want to be cremated? Do you have military....
Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.” The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming and sometimes lonely.
Losing a loved one — either through unexpected or anticipated circumstances — is always traumatic. Whether the person who died was a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend, the pain you may feel from this loss is real. As a funeral director, I’ve noticed many of the individuals I help with funeral planning are very composed as they focus on memorializing their loved one. I’ve found the most difficult time for survivors is when the funeral service is over, out-
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event, it is probably best to postpone any major decisions to a later date when you have had time and you feel better able to make rational decisions.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Because grief takes a physical toll on your body, make sure to drink plenty of water and get exercise and plenty of rest. You may not be able to go out and run a marathon, but your goal should be to do anything you are physically able to, even if it is just a 20-
Grief is hard. If the task is too large for you to handle alone or even with the help of friends and family, make sure to enlist a professional counselor or seek the help of a grief support group. Milward Funeral Directors hosts a support group that meets the third Tuesday of every month at 6:15 p.m. for one hour from March through October. It is open to the public.
Remember to be kind and understanding to yourself. Know you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.
Losing a loved one — either through unexpected or anticipated circumstances — is always traumatic. Whether the person who died was a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend, the pain you may feel from this loss is real.
As a funeral director, I’ve noticed many of the individuals I help with funeral planning are very composed as they focus on memorializing their loved one. I’ve found the most difficult time for survivors is when the funeral service is over, out-
Transitioning through a world with a loved one actively involved in it to a world without that person can be extremely painful. The grief journey is often frightening and overwhelming and sometimes lonely. While there is no doubt it takes time for individuals to adjust to this new normal, here are a few tips for individuals who are faced with the loss of a loved one.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO GRIEVE.
The funeral may be over, but this doesn’t mean your sadness is gone. Grief takes time and it is important to give yourself time to experience it. Ignoring your grief by staying busy will only delay your need to experience the grief journey. It is very important for you to acknowledge the many emotions you may be feeling.
Milward Funeral Directors July/Aug 2019
YOUR EMOTIONS MAY BE LIKE A ROLLER COASTER.
Your emotions may range from shock and numbness to anger and pain. Grief does not proceed in an organized manner. Like life, it is a roller coast of many emotions.
GRIEF TAKES EFFORT.
Grief is a natural and personal process. Time does help you heal, but it also takes a lot of effort. The work requires mental and physical energy. This means anyone traveling the grief journey is likely to become tired more often than normal.
IT HELPS TO TALK ABOUT YOUR GRIEF.
Express your grief openly. When you share your grief, healing occurs and often makes you feel better. Speak from your heart with caring friends and relatives who will listen without judging.
POSTPONE BIG DECISIONS.
At the time of a loss, it may be necessary to make decisions in order to resume your day-
Angie Walters has been a funeral director for five years. She recently joined Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th oldest continuously operated family business in the United States. Milward has three locations in Lexington, including its Celebration of Life Center at 1509 Trent Boulevard. Angie can be reached at Milward Funeral Directors-
159 North Broadway | 859.252.3411
391 Southland Drive | 859.276.1415
1509 Trent Boulevard | 859.272.3414