Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cause of Death Pending

At times, a death certificate may be issued with the cause of death listed as pending. This generally happens when an investigation is taking place and the cause of death is in question. Death certificates are necessary for legal, financial and real estate purposes. Most applications do not require cause of death, the exception to this rule is of course insurance. If your insurance policy has an accidental death rider, you will want to file for an amended death certificate after cause of death has been determined.

Filing for an amended death certificate is easily accomplished. In most cases, you need only contact your local registrar, fill out the necessary forms, pay the required fees, and amended death certificates will be issued.

The difficulties associated with “cause of death pending” are the unresolved questions of the family. Parents, children, and spouses find it difficult to understand and recover when the cause of death is pending. Acceptance is the last stage of Dr. Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief. For most people, the death of a loved one is the ultimate trauma experienced in life. If the cause of death is pending, the family may find it difficult to begin the work of acceptance. If acceptance is unobtainable, complicated grief may become a reality. Complicated grief is the prolonged suffering of a survivor. Complicated grief may affect the functionality of the survivor.

Generally, the cause of death will be revised once the investigation has been completed. There are however certain circumstances where cause of death may not be determinable. In such a case, family and close friends may find it very difficult to recover. If you are suffering this type of loss, you may find it helpful to join a support group or to seek out a counselor. Your funeral director should be able to help you find various organizations that focus on helping the bereaved through such extreme circumstances. Your road to recovery may be slow and arduous. You may think there is no hope. You may find yourself filled with despair. My dear friend, do not allow yourself to continue on without intervention. There are people and organizations willing and waiting to help you. Do not do this alone. It is too difficult. Allow those around you who love and care for you, to lend a helping hand. If you do so, you will realize that there is hope and love abounding. Family and friends love and care for you. Allow them the opportunity to help.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grief Brief #12 - Hyperactivity

Often times, recently bereaved survivors will have a period of restless hyperactivity. This is normal and should subside over time.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/, follow me on Twitter @PushnUpDaisies and visit my website for additional encouragement and information at www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

4 Phases of Mourning

I often hear people refer to a teenager’s poor behavior as a phase. Somehow, this interpretation or usage of the word lessens its true application. A phase as described in the dictionary is a process of change or development. This true meaning of “phase” is exactly what we are describing in the Phases of Mourning. Each phase as it is accomplished brings the survivor back to a balance in life. It allows joy, peace, and tranquility to return. It reestablishes harmony and allows functionality to exist within the survivor’s life.

Mourning is divided into four phases.

Phase 1
- A period of numbness. Numbness is the deprivation of physical or emotional sensations. The numbness experienced by most survivors, helps them to disregard that death has occurred. This short period of numbness allows them to function in a manner close to their normal level of productivity. This is particularly noteworthy, as there are very important decisions to make at this time.

Phase 2 - A period of yearning. The survivor yearns for the return of the deceased and does not yet comprehend the permanence of this new reality. Anger is generally experienced during this phase. Anger may be directed at the deceased for not being there to help out, or for inflicting loneliness and pain upon the survivor. Anger may also be directed at others for not doing something to prevent the death of the deceased. It may also be projected upon others or self, for non-factually based perceptions, affecting the cause of death. Anger is a powerful and motivating emotion. It is not always factually based.

Phase 3 - A time of disorganization and despair. The survivor is learning that things are not the same. They find it difficult to function as they once did. Each experience that was once a cooperative effort is now their sole responsibility. This is the most crucial phase of the experience to overcome. If a survivor is unable to move beyond this phase, they are in danger of entering severe depression and recovery may become extremely complicated.

Phase 4 - A reorganization of behavior. In this phase of mourning, we see the survivor change all aspects of their existence. They pull their lives together and begin to function at their normal capacity, albeit alone.

Although life has forever changed, if a survivor passes through each of these phases successfully, grief recovery will be clinically completed. They should be able to satisfactorily accomplish their daily activities and eventually participate in social activities with greater ease.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grief Brief #11 - Sighing

Sighing is a normal stress reducer and is normal among the recently bereaved. It correlates closely with the feeling of breathlessness.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.

Sweet D

I visited with a woman today who suffers a terminal illness. The ravages of her illness are painful and will soon take her life from her. This weighs heavy on her mind, not for herself, but for those she loves.

Sweet D has completely accepted her impending demise, but worries immensely about its effect on her children and grandchildren. She tries to talk to them about what is going to happen, but they refuse to hear it. She asked me if I would help them through it, once she dies. I answered, “Of course I would.” Her heart is broken. She wants to prepare her family for her death. She does not understand why they will not face the reality of her future.

Human nature is a crazy thing. Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. As I spoke with Sweet D, I told her that her children and grandchildren love her deeply. In fact, the depth of their love is what causes them to deny the reality that she is dying. Denial creates a barrier of protection against the severe pain inflicted through loss and death. Her family will wait until she dies to consider that there will be a time when she no longer lives next door.

Sadly, Sweet D feels alone, abandoned and unloved. The denial of her family to accept her impending death creates a barrier between them. She is left alone to contemplate what she might experience after her life passes. She is left alone to plan her funeral. She is left alone in moments of fear, trial, and weakness. She is left alone to mourn the loss of her life, and any future experiences with her children and grandchildren. Sweet D’s family has not yet realized that they are not just losing her; she is losing them. Her loss is infinitely more devastating than their loss. They are losing one family member. She is losing every family member.

If someone you love has received a short-term diagnosis, denial may be your close friend. This is a natural reaction to devastating news. It is important however, to realize that the person dying may need you to help them through the experience and fear of knowing that death is at their doorstep. Their knowledge that they will soon die, affects them severely. They may be happy and then sad, they may be fearful and then fearless. Their emotions and fears may be all over the rector scale. The advance knowledge of death’s closeness may bring about personality and philosophical changes. If possible, put your fear and denial aside. Reach out to your loved one and be there for them. Open your heart and comfort them through the experience of dying. Although the experience may be excruciatingly painful for you, once they pass, you alone will have comfort through the precious moments you spent together. Most likely, you will find the experience to be life changing and spiritually enlightening. Many of us fear the experience of death. How sweet it would be for the dying, in their last months of life, to have the strength and love of a loved one to draw upon.

Dying alone is tragic, especially when those you love stand beside you.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grief Brief #10 - Searching

Searching and calling out for the decedent is not unusual behavior. Over time, it should subside.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/, follow me on Twitter @PushnUpDaisies and visit my website for additional encouragement and information at www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com.

Grandmother Confiscates Cellphones

Today I visited with a dear woman that I met about 3 months ago. My visits with her on both occasions were to discuss her funeral arrangements. My first visit with her took place in her hospital room. It was a very uncomfortable day for her and I left the hospital praying that her doctors would be able to discover the cause of her ailments and offer her some relief. She was a sweet woman and even though she was in severe pain, she was friendly and concerned with my comfort.

Today, as I visited her at her home, she was much more comfortable than before. Her landscape was cheerful and expressed her personality through brightly colored blossoms. There was a peaceful arbor spreading shade over a sweet table with seating for two. Other flowering bushes offered privacy and shared their pleasing fragrance with anyone willing to take a moment to enjoy the pleasant bounty of spring.

Before discussing the business of the day, we spoke of her past few months. She told me about her illness and her plans for her future. We discussed her recent activities with her children and grandchildren. Recently she held a slumber night with her 15 grandchildren. She chose a small space and restricted each child from all electronic devices to ensure interaction and intimacy. Board games and waffles were abundant; TV’s, cell phones and I-pads were non-existent. Each of her grandchildren began the evening with complaints of impending boredom. Each of her grandchildren closed the event with a new appreciation of love and precious memories created with their grandmother.

I know that this activity was difficult and painful for her to host. Her health is fragile and she suffers extreme pain. She understands what is coming though, and she is systematically preparing her loved ones for her passing. She is actively creating memories for each of them, so that once she dies; they will have a treasured moment with her to call their own.

In my own life, I often reflect back to experiences with my grandmother. She also took time to create moments that taught her descendants strength and brought them peace. As a grandmother myself, I compare my actions against those of my grandmother. I try to live up to her generosity, her kindness, and her love for her grandchildren. I try to create memories with my grandchildren that will one day help them surmount the difficulties, trials and weaknesses that plague the human race.

This woman’s family is blessed with her wisdom and her courage to create peace, love, and confidence for them in her last few months of life. She is a strong and brilliant woman.

I often see families where loved ones do not have such thoughtful memories to draw upon. The lack of sweet familial experiences creates contention and self-doubt among descendants. Regardless of where you are in life, take the opportunity to create sweet memories with those you love. This dear woman is fortunate enough to know that her life will soon end, and dedicated enough to sacrifice her comfort for the future of those she loves. Sadly, this is not always the case near the end of life. Without notice, the grim reaper can call your number, and within a twinkling of an eye, life is over. Enjoy every moment you have with your family. Never waste an opportunity to express your love for them. If you do so, your family and loved ones will be better prepared for life without you by their side. They will face life with greater confidence and in times of weakness, they will be able to deflect temptation and heartache. They will survive, secure in their knowledge that you loved and provided for them, all that you could.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grief Brief #9 - Painful Triggers

Some survivors will avoid places or things that trigger painful feelings of grief. Quick disposal of the decedent’s belongings may indicate ambivalence and can result in complicated grief.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/, follow me on Twitter @PushnUpDaisies and visit my website for additional encouragement and information at www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New Reality

Often times, when you experience the loss of a significant loved one, you feel as though you are dreaming, and that you might suddenly wake up to find that all is well. This past week, I have had two clients tell me that the passing of their loved one did not feel real to them. They were both surprised when I told them, that what they were experiencing was normal.
When you experience such a devastating loss, your body will react in such a way, that you may feel as though you are dreaming. Perhaps you feel as though the life you are living is not your own. This reaction is a safety mechanism that protects your psychological and physical well-being. If our bodies did not do this for us, the pain of such a significant loss would be too much to bear, and we might possibly perish ourselves.
The numbing of our senses, allows us to get through the immediate pain of our loss, without a complete void in our functionality. It is incumbent on us to make important decisions at this time, and we would not be able to do so, if the pain were not somehow masked. The realization of your loss, will manifest itself soon enough, and your loss and loneliness may significantly hamper your functionality for quite some time. Realizing that all of this is very normal, may help you to accept the loss, and focus on recovery.
Recovery from a loved one’s loss is difficult, and may be lengthy. Take the time to appreciate your loved one, and the joy and enrichment they brought into your life while they were living. Grief can be difficult to overcome, and it never completely goes away. Grief is the price we pay for love. You will never stop loving your loved one, so you will never stop grieving. With time however, life will get easier and return to some level of normality.
It is important to remember, that you still have others in your life, that need and deserve your love. Love brings joy back into our lives. Embrace the love you have for those around you, and allow them to help you overcome the pain you are experiencing. Although you will continue to grieve your loss, loving others will help your recovery.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.