Mo and I had the privilege to attend myositis member Ed Blincoe’s memorial service this afternoon.
It was a beautiful service with many family members’ touching stories and eulogies of Ed’s life and legacy. It was quite moving to hear the outpouring of love and respect that the speakers have for Ed, his wife Betty, their four children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
The service’s officiant, Reverend George Dunn, had a particularly lovely meditation to share about the role of grief and memorialization. He spoke more eloquently than I can about our grief being proportionate to the love we hold – the more we love, the more we grieve. The key is to surrender the grief to love. Remember the life lived instead of the death. Know that our journey through life ends in death, and the greatest thing we can share is our love.
Serendipitously, I was thumbing through the AARP magazine at my parent’s house this morning and came across an article “The Forgotten Mourners”. Although the article specifically speaks about the loss of (grand)children, I think it’s important to note that grief is not only about death. Grief is about loss, and that is something we all, especially the myositis community, can relate to. The article gave several tips from grief experts:
- Express Difficult Feelings: The bereaved can write or talk to a friend or counselor, or find support from local organizations specializing in grief, click here for Denver-based grief resources.
- Read Up: Helpful resources include the book The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman, click here, as well as online resources like Grief Watch, click here, or Grief Share, click here. Read about the grieving process on Helpguide.org, click here, or participate in an online forum for the grieving on ModernLoss.com, click here.
- Stay Emotionally Connected to the Deceased: Prayer, contemplation, and dreams can provide solace; the lost person’s presence is still felt “Love doesn’t die, and therefore the relationship doesn’t die” says Darcie D. Simms Director of the American Grief Academy in Seattle.
- Let Go of Pain When Possible: Some people feel guilty when their intense grief begins to ebb, fearing they are forgetting their loved one. But there’s no need to cling to sorrow. Grievers should remember that the loved one lived, not only that he/she died.
- Create a Legacy: Family members can plant a tree, start a scholarship in the loved one’s name, or launch a new family ritual.
- Expect a Bumpy Ride: Grief is unpredictable; it can revive old, forgotten pains, such as a miscarriage or the death of a parent. This is normal. The bereaved should honor these feelings as part of the process.
- Take a Breather: Grieving persons should give themselves permission to rest. They might visit a friend or a place that nourishes – a place where they don’t have to be strong for their family or others. “Find what coping mechanisms help you most”. “It takes time and patience – there are no quick fixes”.
In memory of Edward Irvine Blincoe, October 2, 1925 – December 17, 2013.
Share your memories of Edward and condolences with his family, by visiting the guestbook at http://www.HoranCares.com