Saturday, November 23, 2013

Grief Brief #16 - Mourning = Adapting

Grief is one’s experiences after loss.  Mourning is the process of adapting to that loss. 

My name is Tracy Renee Lee.  I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer.  I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and mid-week grief briefs related to 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.
 

Suicide Survivors


Suicide is a very complex tragedy for family and friends of the deceased.  When a loved one intentionally kills him or herself, confusion and intense guilt are immediately present among the survivors.  Interestingly enough, in cases of suicide, mere acquaintances may also identify with these feelings.  Survivors will second-guess themselves, questioning why they did not see the signs.  They will ponder and try to recall little nuances.  They will blame themselves, for not identifying, and acting upon what now seems as obvious attempts from the deceased, to reach out for help.  

Survivors will try to discover a reason for the suicide.  Sometimes the reasons are obvious.  The deceased may have alluded to their intentions, they may have displayed classic signs of pre-suicidal behaviors, or they may have suffered something tragic that pushed them beyond their coping abilities.  In such circumstances, survivors may have tried to intervene without success.  Failure to stave off the suicide may cause feelings of inadequacy.  

Sometimes the reasons for suicide are not obvious.  If survivors did not recognize suicidal signs, or try to intervene, the suicide may bring on overwhelming guilt, fear, or self-loathing.  This is a dangerous time for survivors.  Often, they are suffering similar issues, and additional suicides are a great risk.  In search of answers, survivors will begin to speculate; they will begin to play the blame game.  Whether blame is internalized, or directed against others, it can be deadly.  

Identifying the clinical reasons for suicide can be very helpful.  It offers survivors an identifiable cause for the tragedy.  If pathological illness is identified, others may be more readily accepting of intervention.  The goal in identifying the reasons for suicide, is to diminish intense unwarranted guilt, extreme hopelessness, and most importantly, prevent additional suicides among the survivors.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee.  I am a funeral director, author, and freelance writer.  I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and mid-week grief briefs related to 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 websitewww.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grief Brief #15 - Poor & Empty

When you suffer from grief, the world looks poor and empty. When suffering from depression, the world feels poor and empty.

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.

Transformation

The loss of a parent can be very devastating.  At such a time, we realize so many things.  We understand that we no longer have our parent to call for help or advice.  At the same time, we realize that we are now the eldest person in our lineage.  We are now the person that others rely on for advice, experience, acceptance, and love.  We have suddenly become the custodian of our legacy.  We accept the responsibilities of keeping our family together, keeping them safe, and moving them toward a better life.  The torch of responsibility passes from one generation to the next as the breath of life and soul exists our parent’s body.

Earlier today, I witnessed the passing of the torch in my cousin’s family.  Today was her mother’s funeral.  My cousin, ever strong, spoke at her mother’s funeral as she did at her father’s just three years earlier.  As my cousin spoke of the love and lessons her mother had taught her, I could hear her breath quiver.  I marveled at her strength.  I remembered our earlier years as children when we would play at my great grandmother’s home.  My cousin would lead our small band of cousins as we struggled to play in harmony together.  As I sat in the congregation, my eyes scanned those attending.  I noticed that most of us, our little play group of cousins, were in attendance.  As my cousin spoke, I could see each of our playgroup empathize with her excruciating experience.
My cousin is so strong.  She has been tempered at her Makers hand.  She has suffered extreme trials and burdens and she has learned great lessons.  They have made her the amazing woman that she is today.  I have no doubt that my cousin will exercise great leadership with her family.  They are fortunate to have her wisdom, her strength, and her unconditional love to draw upon in times of weakness, self-doubt, or need.   

My cousin loved her mother.  She respected and appreciated her mother.  As she spoke, I saw a unique and marvelous transformation.  Today, my cousin accepted the passing of her mother’s torch and became the custodian for her family group.  She now carries the responsibility for her lineage’s heritage.  She will do a fine job, of that I am sure.  Through the trials of her life, she has suffered extreme difficulties and extreme joys.  Her experiences have well prepared her for this new phase of life.  She will have moments of weakness, self-doubt, anger, and despair.  They will be out weighted by the joy that comes from service and sacrifice for others. 
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.

Grief Brief #14 - Mistaken Grief

Grief is sometimes mistaken for depression. While it is true that in both circumstances sleep disturbance, changes in appetite and extreme sadness are experienced, the common loss of self-esteem found in depression is absent in 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.

A Daughter's Sacrifice

This story is about a brave soul who is fearless and committed to service. She is a courageous woman of strength, loyalty, and sacrifice. She lives in a very small town where everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows your business.

She is a daughter in a rather large family. Both of her parents are in the same nursing home together. They share a great love for each other and their daughter respects that. She gets up every morning and goes to the nursing home to care for her parents. She washes them, she feeds them, she takes them for outings, and most of all, she loves them. At the end of the day, when all is quiet, my friend carries home her parent’s laundry. She painstakingly washes their laundry, and returns to the nursing home the next day, with fresh linens and undies for her dear mom and dad. From the depth of her soul, she is committed to her parents. To their dying day, she sacrifices and cares for their every need. The interesting part of this story though, is yet to be told. My dear friend lives in a town where her siblings also live.

On any given day, I can drop by the nursing home, and there will be my dear friend, caring for her sweet parents. Sadly, she has always been alone in her commitment. One wonders why one child over the others is committed beyond reproach.

Her father passed last year and my dear friend took care of every detail for his service. She made arrangements for her dear mother to attend, and she ensured the comfort of all friends and family attending. I do not think until that time, I had realized the depth of her commitment, her love and her sacrifice on behalf of her darling parents.

I read a message today on facebook. Paraphrasing it said, “Recovery from the loss of a loved one is like learning how to dance with a limp.” This is so true. Recovery from the loss of someone we love so dearly, is similar to the recovery of a broken leg. Although the bone mends itself, it is never as it was before. If may function well enough to walk briskly, but dancing exposes the injury.

My girlfriend’s siblings dance through life without a thought or sacrifice for the parents. Nevertheless, my girlfriend sacrifices her days, and even her nights, for her parents. She never dances. She has neither the time nor the energy to dance. She shields her parents from the limp in her heart, which is the realization of their mortality. Even in the final hours of her father’s life, she shielded him from the fear and sadness that weighs so heavily upon her soul.

Her mother lives on. My friend is by her side day in and day out. She will continue to be there, until the day, her mother’s soul leaves this earth, and joins her husband, in the presence of their beloved maker. I am sure they will enjoy a reunion of great joy and love. I think they might even enjoy a dance together. I wonder, might my friend share a dance with her husband, that same day? A dance to honor her sacrifice and to rejoice at the return of her freedom.

My friend is a devoted daughter. When the day comes that she can dance, I know it will be with a severe, yet well-earned limp.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips related to 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.
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Grief Brief #13 - Tears

It has been speculated that tears may have unique healing potential. The chemical imbalances caused by stress may be leveled out by the removal of toxic substances through tears.

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.