2020 - October - CDT - Active Life

By: Dar Bellissimo
Sunday, October 4, 2020

Whole, But Not the Same

I’m a big fan of each of the four different seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter. For 13 years I lived in Orlando, Florida, and missed the significant changes in seasons. The temperature dropped below freezing only a handful of times in those 13 years, and the grass was always green – as long as we watered it! Here in Central Pennsylvania, although some of the seasonal transitions happen quickly, I definitely notice the nuances. Each of the four seasons elicits different feelings, activities, colors, weather and light. And there is wisdom in the number four. We have the aforementioned four seasons, and also: four directions – east, south, west and north; four parts of the day – morning, afternoon, evening and night; four elements – air, fire, water and earth; four stages of life – birth, youth, adult/elder and death; four dimensions of ourselves: spiritual, emotional, physical and mental; and even, four movements in our lives – waking up and awareness; fullness and empowerment, detachment and letting go and mystery and paradox.

In many Native American and First Nation communities, much of this wisdom is displayed in the medicine wheel. The medicine wheel is a circle with four quadrants that represents various aspects of life. Different groups assign different meanings to the circle and each of the four directions. One meaning of the circle is wholeness - in order to be whole, we need to address each of the four quadrants to find a healthy balance.

Wholeness is something that can feel hard to find when we’re grieving a loss. Instead we might describe ourselves as broken. Grief and loss experts Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler said, “You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

Some upcoming programs will offer opportunities for people to look for their wholeness. One is Healing with Love: A Virtual Retreat for Those Who Lost a Loved One. At this retreat we will spend time with the four quadrants described above and discuss, for example, what the seasons can teach us about our own life experiences and how to journey through grief. This will be a time set aside to welcome our spirits, listen to our hearts, nurture our bodies and quiet our minds. Healing happens best when done with love – participating in this will be an act of love to yourself. Please join us on Friday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on a video conferencing platform. RSVP by emailing Jackie Naginey Hook using the contact form below, calling 814-404-0546 or by visiting the Koch Funeral Home Facebook page @kochFH by October 5.

Another upcoming program about wholeness is the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Virtual Gathering on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. As one of the four quadrant lessons teaches us, death and letting go are parts of the natural cycle of life. But they do not mean forgetting. Remembering and honoring can help move us toward wholeness. At this gathering, we’ll do exactly that, remember and honor lost babies.

Losing a baby affects many generations of families. The need to provide validation that these babies existed, they mattered, and are not forgotten is strong – as is the need to heal. This healing gathering is being organized by a group of community members who are creating Footprints in the Field: A Pregnancy and Early Infant Loss Remembrance Garden. On the beautiful grounds of the Calvary Harvest Fields off of Rt. 322 in Boalsburg, Footprints in the Field will be a place for generations of families to reflect, mourn and heal, regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs. The Garden will be situated near two ponds and full of river rocks – which visitors can have inscribed to honor a lost baby and then kept or placed in the Garden – and will be landscaped with natural flora.

Please RSVP to FootprintsInTheField@gmail.com to receive the link to join the event. Light a candle to be a part of the worldwide wave of light at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FootprintsintheField and to support the Garden, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/footprints-in-the-field.

Other upcoming events include:

  • Monday’s Moments Virtual Gathering – Mondays, October 5 and November 2 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Please RSVP by the Thursday before each gathering.
  • Virtual Death Café, Mondays, October 19 and November 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • HEART (Helping Empty Arms Recover Together) Grief and Loss Support Program – 1st and 3rd Thursdays with TIDES, November 5 through January 21, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Virtual Healing through the Holidays – Mondays, November 16 through December 14 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, please visit the Bereavement Gatherings and Events page on the Koch Funeral Home website. To reserve your spot and receive the invitation links, email Jackie Naginey Hook by using the contact form below, call 814-404-0546 or visit the Koch Funeral Home Facebook page @kochFH

Jackie Naginey Hook, MA, is a spiritual director, celebrant and end-of-life doula.  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.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

2020 - October - Gazette - After Death

After Death Who knew the Pope tweeted? Apparently I haven’t been in the know. With so much darkness in the news these days, I was happy when I recently came across Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper, “A...

2020 - September - Gazette - Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance In our HEART Support Group sessions – HEART stands for Helping Empty Arms Recover Together - Jennifer Stubbs and I have the privilege of sitting with indivi...

2020 - August - CDT - Helping Hands - Thankful, Thoughtful Tuesdays

Thankful, Thoughtful Tuesdays  Gratitude, enlightenment, peace, comfort. This was how participants described a Thankful, Thoughtful Tuesdays conversation about hospice and the process of dyin...

2020 - August - Gazette - Finding Balance

Finding Balance With my work, I have the honor of accompanying people as they journey towards a new equilibrium in a life they’re making good again after losing a loved one. The wisdom these peopl...

2020 - July - Gazette - What Fills Your Soul?

What Fills Your Soul? I love French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s quote, “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” I love it because ...

2020 - June - Gazette - #BePresentWithKoch

#BePresentWithKoch Presence is important in so many ways. I’ve heard countless stories of loved ones waiting for a particular someone to be present with them before they died. I’ve also heard stor...

2020 - June - CDT - Helping Hands - Because Love Can't Wait

Because LOVE Can't Wait When I ask people about the losses they’ve experienced during the pandemic, without fail they describe the pain of losing in-person connections. Just a few months ago, we t...

2020 - May - Gazette - H-O-P-E

H-O-P-E A few years ago I was introduced to a simple activity designed by Robin Chaddock to help you find your true purpose in life. The activity used two lists – one of verbs and one of nouns. Yo...

2020 - April - Gazette - Because Love Can't Wait

Because Love Can't Wait I don’t know about you, but my pandemic grief journey has at times, surprised me. In case you weren’t aware, we are all on your own grief journeys right now. Grief is the n...

2020 - Mar - CDT - Learning to Live - Learning to Live with Pandemic Losses by Moving

Learning to Live with Pandemic Losses by Moving One day last week, my husband and I were out on our morning walk through the neighborhood. The air was crisp and the sky a vivid, cloudless blue. Ea...