How do you help a grieving family feel less sad when you, too, are
grieving the death?
Nursing Home Social
I don't ever try to make grieving people feel less sad..
I believe the main reason we are so uncomfortable around the bereaved
and often don't know what to say or do, is because our objective is
What we.most commonly want to do is make
them feel better, and that is usually impossible to achieve. Because of
love, they have earned their grief and they're entitled to it.
As for my own feelings, I grieve right
along with the family. My tears show them that their person was loved
and cherished by others, and that can be very comforting to the family.
Do you believe that the funeral should be a celebration of the
deceased's life instead of being mostly sad?
the statue of a horse and rider shows the horse with its two front feet
off the ground, it signifies that the rider died in battle; one raised
foot means the rider died of wounds sustained in battle; four feet on
the ground means the rider died of natural causes.
An example of how grief can walk hand-in-hand with celebration in my
own life, is knowing I will be bereft when my mother dies, but at her
funeral I will share a particular memory that illustrates her
I believe that one perspective doesn't need to prevail to the exclusion
of the other. We can share wonderful memories of the person who died at
the same time that we deeply mourn the death.
"whacky", endearing personality. Years ago, she was driving a car that
was nearing 100,000 miles. She had been keeping a close eye on the
mileage because she wanted to watch the odometer turn from 99,999 to
When the mileage did turn to 100,000, she was
driving up a hill on the dirt road leading to her house and she didn't
see it happen.
Since this was in the days when backing
up a car would cause the odometer to subtract miles, she simply backed
down the road until the mileage again read 99,999, then proceeded back
up the hill so she would have another chance to see it hit 100,000.
This, to me, is a perfect pairing of sadness at
her death, while celebrating her life.
How do you help people who feel they have wronged the person who has
In my experience, I have found that the element that has the strongest
influence on whether an individual reaches healthy grief resolution is
In order to deal with those regrets, there are folks who
recommend sitting in front of an empty chair and talking to the chair
as if your deceased loved one is sitting there. However, I believe
there is a much more potent way to deal with regrets and that is
writing a letter.
I recommend writing rather than talking
because writing is more complicated than talking. We learn to talk far
sooner than we learn to write and we use a different, higher part of
our brain to write. Therefore, I have found writing a goodbye letter is
far more effective.
A technique I use is telling bereaved
people to imagine they could have their dead loved one back for five
minutes and think what they would say to them. Then write that in a
It could take an hour, a week, a month or six
months to write the letter, but after you have finished writing it,
make several copies, keeping the original for yourself.
It's important to have specific rituals that
utilize copies of your letter. Perhaps send a copy aloft in an
environmentally friendly balloon; plant a bush or tree and put a copy
the letter in the planting hole so that your thoughts, your love and
your goodbye become part of the living tree; if there is time, put a
copy in their casket or send it to the crematory with them; if the
person had a favorite place to go in the woods, bury a copy of the
letter in that place; bury a copy on top of their grave. The ideas are
as varied as the number of folks who could benefit from writing such a
letter, particularly if there was no goodbye.
Read your copy of the letter over and over again and eventually, you
will come to believe that your beloved person knows what you have
written and you will find a modicum of peace.
Tear Triggers Are:
Pain 6. Anger
Irritating chemicals or foreign substances 10.
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