2018 - February - Gazette - Remembering with Love

By: Jackie Hook
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Remembering with Love

Love. For yesterday’s celebration of Valentine’s Day, love was at its core. The Greeks had at least six different words to describe love:

Agape – love extended to all
Eros – sexual passion
Ludus – playful love
Philautia – self-love
Philia/storge – friendship/love within a family
Pragma – mature love

If you’ve lost a love in any of these categories, Valentine’s Day might have been a painful holiday for you. A pain our culture doesn’t recognize. Not only do you miss your loved one, all the hype may have made you feel forgotten. So what can you do? You can remember with love every day, not just Valentine’s Day.

First is the “remembering.” According to author, educator and grief counselor, Alan Wolfelt, remembering the person who died is one need of a mourner. You’ve moved from a relationship of presence to one of memory and you want to spend time there. Some may try to discourage you from remembering for fear it will cause pain. However, it is the memories of the past that help you hope and open to the future. This remembering becomes a problem only when you get stuck there and don’t balance it with engaging in the present. Professional counselors can help with this.

Next is the “with love.” Remembering with love is authentic, truthful and realistic. You remember your loved one for who they were in the happy and the hard times. Although you may experience sadness, anger, love and other emotions when doing this, it helps you move through your grief. Janice Whitaker, whose husband of 35 years, Larry, died last April, had this to say about remembering with love, "I'm not a fan of the term 'closure'. Although my husband has passed, our life together was filled with so much love, wonderful memories (and some tough times, too), and plans for our future as a family. He will be missed every day - as a husband, father, family member, and friend to many. This profound loss touches us all as we attempt to find meaning and peace, adjusting to so many aspects of life without him. As we move through our grief journey and begin to experience joy and hope again at times, his absence is felt as well as his love.” Grief and gratitude.

In the book, Grieving with Your Whole Heart: Spiritual Wisdom and Practice for Finding Comfort, Hope and Healing after Loss, Linda Douty suggests the Ritual of the Rose to help you remember with love. In this ritual, you take a long stemmed rose with thorns and stand by a body of water. Next, you bring memories of your loved one to mind.  For every positive memory, take a petal and toss it in the water.  For every unpleasant memory, toss in a thorn.  When the stem is bare, toss it in to symbolize a letting go – not of your loved one -- but of the hold those memories have on keeping you from participating fully in life now.

Perhaps there is another ritual that speaks to you. The archaic origin of the root word of bereaved means to break, split or tear. The root of the word ritual means to fit together. Bereaved and ritual go hand in hand. Koch Funeral Home is offering one such ritual for the bereaved. Please join us for "Remembering with Love," a ceremony honoring your loved one who died.

Mountain View Country Club
100 Elks Club Road
Boalsburg, PA 16827

February 18, 2018
3:00 pm

As George Eliot said, “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” Your love lives on and will be recognized as we share a tribute video of those who died and were cared for by Koch in 2017. If your loved one is not included in this category, you are welcome too, just provide a name and digital image when you RSVP with the number of family members attending. We will also have a candle lighting, name reading ceremony and moment of silence.  Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP by contacting Jackie Hook at Jackie@JackieHook.com or calling 814-404-0546 or by visiting the Koch Funeral Home Facebook page by Friday, February 16. Space is limited.

You are also invited to attend:

Monday’s Moment Complimentary Luncheon – “Make It Matter, Monday, March 12 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1730 University Drive, State College - One of the needs of mourners is to search for meaning and purpose in life; a death causes you to question your values and philosophies. This questioning can lead to the desire to "make it matter." At this gathering, we'll discuss ways to "make it matter" for ourselves and in honor of our lost loved ones. Having the Talk of a Lifetime can help. Space is limited. Email Jackie@JackieHook.com, call 814-404-0546 or sign up on the Koch Funeral Home Facebook page to RSVP by Wednesday, March 7.

We hope you join us in remembering well!

Jackie Hook, MA, is a spiritual director and celebrant.  She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College.  For more information, please call 814-237-2712 or visit www.kochfuneralhome.com.

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