March 19 2018
Today, we’ll continue to look at how families make it matter by adding exclamation points to the ways they care for their loved ones at death. This can be done in many ways. They can have a ceremony and share pieces of their loved one’s life story. They can include favorite poems, readings and music. They can bring personal items to share, including pictures, tribute videos and other memorabilia. The options are endless.
If the family doesn’t want a full ceremony, they can have a remembrance service. When someone we care about dies, we have an innate need to come together and tell the stories of their life. It is an important part of the healing process to set aside this time and create a space to remember. A remembrance service is a smaller, more intimate gathering with opportunities to say things that otherwise may not be said. In one such gathering I facilitated, an “ex-family” member shared how grateful they were to have still been included in this family. From the reactions of those gathered, it was clear this sentiment had never been shared before.
(First printed in the Gazette on February 22, 2018)