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

January 18 2021

Today is Martin Luther King Day. What an appropriate day to think about our theme “Pieces of Me” – King was brilliant at integrating the different pieces of himself into a wholeness that made our w...

January 11 2021

Last week we talked about nurturing some pieces of ourselves, and also welcoming and then leaving behind other pieces in this new year. As you think about the pieces of you that remain, you can thi...

January 4 2021

This month our theme is “Pieces of Me.” As we begin this new year, what pieces of you do you want to bring with you? What pieces of you would you like to leave in 2020? We are all made up of differ...

December 28 2020

To close out our discussion of searching for meaning, I’ll share a quote from author, lecturer and Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast: Meaning is not something that can be looked up in a book, l...

December 21 2020

Today is the winter solstice and the longest night of the year. In conjunction with this month’s theme, what meaning can we search for in this darkness? Imagine we are outside tonight, what do we d...

December 14 2020

Several theories about grieving include the mourner’s need to search for meaning. Many of us know about Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and accep...

December 7 2020

This month our theme is “Searching for Meaning.” I don’t know why, but I naturally search for meaning in most everything. When our previous home’s address was our daughter’s birth date, or when my ...

November 30 2020

To close this month’s posts about “After Death,” I’ll share this excerpt from John O’Donohue’s book, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace. Do these words ring true for you? The dead are not distant or ab...

November 23 2020

We all have beliefs about what happens after death. Many people I’ve companioned after losing a loved one shared stories with me of feeling a connection to their deceased beloveds. When I ask them ...

November 16 2020

This week we’ll begin the virtual HEART Grief and Loss Support Program on Thursday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m. Individuals and couples who have experienced pregnancy and early infant loss are invited...