May 14 2018

By: Jackie Hook
Monday, May 14, 2018

As we continue with our theme of Nurturing, Where Do You Begin and the story of the patriarch who died, the gifts from nurturing continued. All of the patriarch’s grown children had returned home to help care for him in his final days. He appreciated having them near, they valued their time with him, and they became closer as they worked together and supported one another. Once he was settled in at home, extended family and friends stopped by to express their love, confirm they were each his “favorite” (a longstanding game) and say their goodbyes. This patriarch took it all in. His energy level increased for these four days of visits, and then once the last group left, his attention turned inward. He lived until the following morning.

These children gave their father the gift of dying at home surrounded by them as he wished. He gave his family the gift of love, authenticity, the model of living fully until the very end and a lesson in the importance of family and community.

After his death, his family had a wake, funeral service and burial. They personalized each of these with a tribute video, pictures, quotes, motorcycle police, color guard and taps. The number of participants and outpouring of support was overwhelming.

The family and friends continue to grieve this patriarch’s loss, but they do so knowing he was well-loved and supported. They know they are too. This knowing helps to carry them as they mourn.

All of the gifts of this experience were ways of nurturing - nurturing selves and others.

(Adapted from the article first printed in the Gazette on May 3, 2018)

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

August 2 2021

This month our theme is “Life with Tears and Laughter.” The work I do involves a lot of tears and laughter and as I often say, both are welcome and healing. Young children are great teachers of thi...

July 26 2021

To summarize the study we’ve discussed the past couple of weeks, we look to psychologist Noam Schneck, Ph.D. who states: “… healing and growth may continue even when a person is not actively thinki...

July 19 2021

As we continue with our theme of “Embrace Unconscious Grief,” last week we introduced the idea that the brain can find a balance between too much and too little focus on loss. Psychologist Noam Sch...

July 12 2021

Previous studies of grief processing suggested a Goldilocks effect. Too little conscious focus on the loss meant avoidance and too much focus meant unhealthy rumination. Both of these experiences w...

July 5 2021

This month our theme is “Embrace Unconscious Grief.” As I thought about this theme, I was reminded how fascinating the human body is, and in this case, the human mind. We have a conscious mind and ...

June 28 2021

Breathing in the moments seems very simple but it takes practice. The past is behind us, the future is ahead and what we have is this moment right now. How do we want to be present to it? I encoura...

June 21 2021

Last week I posed the question, “What are the moments when you feel ‘the rapture of being alive?’” When we think about feeling alive, we usually think about moments of joy, happiness and bliss. How...

June 14 2021

As we continue with our theme of “Breathe in Moments,” I think of a Joseph Campbell quote I’ve always liked: People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what...

June 7 2021

This month our theme is “Breathe in Moments.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really grown to appreciate the importance of moments, being present to moments and breathing them in. Many people on the gri...

May 31 2021

Happy Memorial Day! I encourage you to take time today remembering and honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military!