Recently, my mother went to her eternal home. She was 90, her mind was strong but her frail body wore out. She had been on hospice for a few months and we thought she might graduate in March, but the Lord said it was time on April 19th. She went to sleep and didn’t wake up soon after our Pastor was here. I am thankful for the time I had with her and caring for her these last 18 months has been a blessing.
A benefit of hospice for me, was understanding the death process better and receiving materials and resources for Grief and Mourning. One book recommended by hospice was: Understanding Your Grief by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D. In it Dr. Wolfelt explains that grief and mourning are not the same. He provides this image. Think of grief as the container. It holds all the thoughts, feelings, images of your experience when you are bereaved. Think of mourning as the way grief is expressed; talking about your loved one, tears, journaling, art, celebrating anniversaries or special days. A key focus of his book is rooted in the importance of openly and honestly mourning life losses, in experiencing your grief outside of yourself. Over time, and with the support of others, to mourn is to heal. A consequence of not mourning, holding it all in and not expressing it can result in negative consequences. A client years ago told me a year after his wife of many years died, grief is such that you can’t go around it but you need to go through it. That journey is a very individual journey and the time line is different for all of us. We may always mourn a loved one. I recall my mom crying every year on the day her father died and also talking about him on his birthday all her life. Mourning a loved one may take a life time and that is ok.
I am comforted to know that my mom is in heaven with my brother and Dad and other loved ones and that someday I will see her again. The bible verses shared in the many cards I received were so wonderful. If you are looking for a list of bible verses to comfort your loved one, look here.
Here are some other resources for those going through loss:
- Minnesota Grief Counselling Professionals and Reviews can be found at: aaaboutcounseling.com
- Center for Grief, Loss and Transition: St. Paul MN – griefloss.org
Support Groups: Check with your local church or synagogue or community center. There are some listed on our website too. Also:
- St. Johns Hospital has a weekly support group 651-232-4686
- Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater does as well. 651-430-4686
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman