Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
It’s a new year! For many people that means life starts over. It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year. As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones? What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking.
Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.” The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward….
With the baby boom population being 75 million strong, it’s no surprise that today’s funeral services have become “Life Celebrations” instead of a room full of friends and family wearing black attire and sad faces. This is certainly not to downplay the fact that when a loved one dies, we aren’t sad or that it is difficult to celebrate a traumatic and unexpected loss. It is simply to state that today the emphasis on funerals for many families, especially baby boomers, has been to plan the service around the....
Regardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have attended at least one or two funerals. For those people reading this article, there is a greater chance that you’ve possibly attended many more funerals than just two. Unfortunately, over the past year, I personally have attended more funerals than normal. With each funeral I attend, my belief that funerals are an important ritual to help the living acknowledge loss and begin the grief process grows even stronger. Funerals do matter.
Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years. If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you.
Have you ever considered how much your family has experienced during your lifetime together? From the birth of your children to the first and last days of school to weddings and all the vacations, ballgames and performances in between, you probably have many stories to share with friends and families. Along the way, I’m pretty certain you have probably taken hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos of your family and friends to help document your journey.
If an accident happened to cause your death today, would your loved ones know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration? Who will notify your family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn you would like? Do others know your favorite song? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want a traditional burial or do you want to be cremated? Do you have military....
Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.” The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming and sometimes lonely.
Losing a loved one — either through unexpected or anticipated circumstances — is always traumatic. Whether the person who died was a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend, the pain you may feel from this loss is real. As a funeral director, I’ve noticed many of the individuals I help with funeral planning are very composed as they focus on memorializing their loved one. I’ve found the most difficult time for survivors is when the funeral service is over, out-
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Plan Ahead for Family Gatherings
Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which new ones you would like to begin. Plan out the activities you want to do so you don’t get caught off guard. This can create feelings of panic, fear and anxiety when your feelings of grief are already heightened. Leave room to change your plans if you feel it is appropriate.
Embrace Your Treasure of Memories
Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. And holidays always make you think about times past. Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends. Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness.
Express Your Faith
During the holidays, you may find a renewed sense of faith or discover a new set of beliefs. Associate with people who understand and respect your need to talk about these beliefs. You may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony.
Attend Holiday Hope
You may wish to participate in Holiday Hope, a program designed to help people cope with their loss during the holidays. Holiday Hope is being held at Milward Funeral Directors, 1509 Trent Boulevard, Lexington, on Monday, November 13 at 6pm. Co-
Milward Funeral Directors Sept/Oct 2018
Eliminate Unnecessary Stress
You may already feel stressed, so don't overextend yourself. Avoid isolating yourself, but be sure to recognize the need to have special time for yourself. Realize also that merely "keeping busy" won't distract you from your grief, but may actually increase your level of stress.
Talk About the Person Who Has Died
Include the person's name in your holiday conversation. If you are able to talk candidly, other people are more likely to recognize your need to remember that special person who was an important part of your life.
Do What Is Right for You During the Holidays
Joey Tucker has been serving the Lexington community as a funeral director for Milward Funeral Directors since 2007 and has been a licensed funeral director since 2002. Milward is the 37th-
Joey can be reached at 859-
159 North Broadway | 859.252.3411
391 Southland Drive | 859.276.1415
1509 Trent Boulevard | 859.272.3414
Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.
“Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
While there are no set guidelines for coping with the hurt during the holiday’s, Dr. Wolfelt offers several suggestions to help grieving people continue their healing journey during the holiday season.
Talk About Your Grief
Don't be afraid to express your feelings of grief. Ignoring your grief won't make the pain go away and talking about it openly often makes you feel better. Identify friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss and allow you to talk openly about your feelings.
Be tolerant of Your Physical and Psychological Limits
Feelings of loss will probably leave you fatigued. Lower your own expectations about being at your peak physically and mentally during the holiday season.