What is a Lighthouse for the Bereaved?

Hi, I am so ___________(relieved, glad, happy -I pick the one that is the truth in that moment) to see you.”

Then I ask the bereaved: “How are you in this moment?

By simply being willing to be in the moment to hear the bereaved answer, your presence is a light. Light dissipates darkness.

You become the lighthouse in the despair and darkness of grief. Your presence establishes connection with them. Connection grounds us. Connection soothes us.

Our brains are wired to connect. Our bodies require connection. Grief pulls us inward. It is a call for inner connection.

As someone in grief, we do not want to be there. We do not want to be in our grief. We want to move back out into life. We can’t.

How often do we as the friend of the bereaved wish they would come out of grief and back to life?

As we move into Thanksgiving we may encounter those in grief. Or we may be that bereaved person.

I remember the first Thanksgiving after mother, dad and my son, Reed had died. It was an opportunity to be in the darkness of loss AND the peace of love.

We said their names, told hilarious stories and brought them into the room by placing pheasant feathers in the flower arrangement on the table. There were five feathers to honor my father-in-law, Clarence as well as my brother, Mark who had died three years earlier. My mother would have had a fit! As a nurse, everything had been ultra clean. Well, I had failed to bake the feathers in a warm oven to de-bug them! We made it through that year. No one left with a cold or flu bug!!

I recently presented this program to the Key Players of a thriving Home Instead Senior Care Company.

I offer it to you this Thanksgiving season to be the lighthouse for others, or even to your grieving self……..

What to Say

“Hello, I am ___ to see you.”

How are you in this moment?

I wish I had the words to ease your pain.” or “I wish I had words so you would feel better.”

There is nothing wrong with you. You are grieving.

What did you most enjoy about taking care of _____ (Their Name)?”

What was the funniest thing that happened?

What do you miss most? Because?

What did you learn from_____ (Their Name)?

These phrases and questions open a dialogue between the two of you.

They as the bereaved CAREGiver, parent, spouse, friend are invited by you, the lighthouse, to say the name of their beloved.

Let us come together as community.

Hit REPLY and complete either of these sentences:

1. The best thing anyone said to me as the bereaved was: _______________________________________.

2. As the light house I saw them relax/smile when I said:_______________________________________.

Thank YOU!!

To access the Free Grief Assessment go to: www.BeyondYourGrief.com. Scroll to the BOTTOM of the Home page.