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

2022 - April - Gazette - How Many Children Do You Have?

How Many Children Do You Have? “How many children do you have?” Thankfully, for most people, this question has an easy answer. But for the parents of the one in four pregnancies in this country th...

2022 - March - Gazette - A Walk with Grief

A Walk with Grief My husband and I went for a “four-season” walk at Spring Creek Canyon a few weeks ago. When we arrived, it was overcast, foggy, rainy and cold – it felt like winter. After about ...

2022 - March - CDT - Active Life

Moving Your Grief Through Writing I set my timer for 10 minutes and they all began to write on unlined white paper. At this grief education and support gathering, the participants were either answ...

2022 - February - Gazette - Feeding Your Soul

Feeding Your Soul For many years, I’ve had sensitivities to different foods. For example, I don’t eat pizza. When our kids were younger this resulted in a few humorous moments when they saw other ...

2022 - February - CDT - Helping Hands

A character in Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Book of Longings, made a statement that jumped off the page and has resonated with me since. A brother said to his sister, “Your grief will come. Let it be ...

2022 - January - Gazette - Stories of the Heart

Stories of the Heart I love it when a plan comes together. My husband was behind the wheel and I was in the passenger seat as we drove our son to train with a punting coach. While I sat there, I w...

2021 - December - Gazette - Life, Love and Light

Life, Love and Light If you’re driving on South Atherton Street in State College this New Year’s Eve, we hope you notice the luminaries on Koch Funeral Home’s lawn. Each one of these luminaries re...

2021 - November - Gazette - Collective Grief, Collective Gratitude

Collective Grief, Collective Gratitude Our Monday’s Moments at Millbrook Marsh program, in conjunction with Centre Region Parks and Recreation (CRPR), includes time for sharing, talking about diff...

2021 - November - CDT - Helping Hands

I love Thanksgiving! With its focus on family and gratitude, it’s one of the best holidays for me. Both of our children will be home this year, and since we’re all fully vaccinated, we’ll get to sp...

2021 - October - Gazette - Have the Talk of Lifetime

Have the Talk of a Lifetime It was our usual Monday morning walk through the neighborhood about one month ago. My husband, John, and I were a little over one mile in and walking up a hill when he ...