To live long and prosperous – that is our wish. Yet we are constantly reminded if death isn’t just around the corner, it is in the neighborhood. And we start to identify with Bill Crosby: “Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.” So we struggle and learn to live with loss.
Last month, Ann Kister, Community Care Liaison with Providence Hospice of the Gorge, presented Seven Strategies: Coping with the Death of a Loved One. The strategies included 1) Reflect on how your loss is unique, 2) Identify your grieving style, 3) Access the available support, 4) Nurture yourself, 5) Become aware of your thoughts, 6) Find ways to honor your loved one, and 7) Explore how this event is redefining you. If you want more information, handouts from the presentation are available at the Center. But let me quickly highlight three of the strategies.
“Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be…” - from “Please Understand me,” by David Keirsaey and Marilyn Bates.
We are all unique – one-of-a-kind. And we approach grief in our own personal ways. There is no right or wrong. But acknowledge that the feelings exist and find your own way to cope - whether it is by talking with others, praying, journaling, reading, gardening, or knitting.
“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.” Chinese Proverb
Grief is not a onetime event. You don’t know how long it will last and what it will be like. There will be ups and downs affecting all aspects of your world - creating uncertainty and questions. Find support whether it is close friends or one of the many grief support groups in the area.
“Grieving is about relearning how to be ourselves and to live meaningfully again, carrying the pain of missing those we mourn... It is also often about personal growth, living in fuller appreciation of what we previously took for granted, and embracing enduring meanings.” Thomas Attig
A death of a loved one affects us in many personal ways. But at some time, when you are ready, explore how the loss is redefining who you are, your dreams for the future and how you can create a new sense of normalcy.
As we age, we will experience the loss of loved ones. We will cope and move on. And as Thomas Attig points out we will meet the most difficult challenge “making the transition from loving in presence to loving in separation.”
Recently, I have received unsolicited text messages, one claiming I had “won” a $1000 gift certificate from Best Buy. And several emails from two friends asking me to check out a crazy video on an attached website (their contact lists had been hijacked). But delete them. They are examples of “phishing” - an attempt to direct you to a fake website that may contain malware and viruses designed to infect your phone or computer and steal personal information. So always beware. And for those of you, who haven’t fallen to the lure of electronic communication, see what you are missing!
Tonight at the Center, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing their “get up out of your seat” country music. Then next Tuesday on the 12th, Martin and Friends will be performing for your listening and dancing pleasure. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and you’ll be home before the lights go out. Everybody is welcome and donations are suggested.
More folks than I expected knew “Film Noir” was the name of the film style combining crime dramas with dark, stylized imagery. (And the randomly selected winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is JoAnn Brace.) But instead of watching a crime drama, you can watch a golf tournament practically every weekend on one of the major TV networks. But it wasn’t always that way. For this week’s “Remember When” question which player - who won his first championship at the 1958 Masters - is credited with helping to establish golf as a compelling television event? Email your answer to the email@example.com, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a membership in the Bay Hill Country Club and Lodge, in Orlando, Florida.
Well, it has been another week, trying to shake the butter from the cream. Until we meet again, as Dr, Seuss advised “Just be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.
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