I don't like funerals, I can't think of anyone who enjoys them. Its hard to say goodbye, its hard to face the reality that our loved one is gone.
I go though.
Whenever its possible, I go, even when its hard, even when its inconvenient to attend. The harder it is to face the loss of that person the more effort I make to attend.
When someone dies, your heart breaks, and in those cracks space is made for the departed's spirit to fill in the space. Everyone's heart cracks in different ways, family, coworkers, friends etc. until a whole heart is distributed to all the people who loved them. Think of the pain and grief you feel as your heart expanding to make room for the heart of your loved one taking up residence in your heart. The closer you were to the deceased, the more space they are taking up in your heart.
When you go to the services for the departed, all the people who go are there to mourn and to celebrate a life lost.
Think back to the last funeral you attended. All the mourners were there to grieve one person, and all had a tiny piece of them in their hearts. It probably felt like somehow, even though you knew they were gone, that they had just stepped out for a minute. They forgot something in the car and would be back in just a minute. When so many parts of their heart come together it can feel like they are present, and complete to say goodbye before their journey.
Funerals are meant for closure, to say goodbye. I know its hard, I know it is the last thing you want to do; to say goodbye forever. No one wants to face tomorrow without that person in this world, but to move forward you need to bring your broken heart together with all the other broken hearts to start healing.
There are times when attending a funeral just can't be done, military deployment, illness or simple distance. When its possible connect to others who are mourning the same loss, bring your broken hearts together to help start healing.
Mourning is not easy, but its necessary to keep living, and keep your loved one alive in your heart. Grief takes work on your part, it takes acknowledging that the world is different and that you are different because of your loss. Taking the first step: attending the services for the departed is the hardest step you will take.
Have you ever been to a funeral and felt like the departed was present? What was your experiences?
With a blog called folding paper cranes it seems only fitting that my first post be how-to fold a paper crane.
If you choose to only fold one, or to fold 1,000, you have made a step towards taking control of your grief instead of letting it control you.
Grief is often referred to as riding a rollercoaster or described as coming in waves; taking tiny steps will help you get control over the tides of your emotions.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I urge you to visit https://anothernightofreading.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/one-thousand-paper-cranes/
If a paper crane doesn't feel like the right thing to help you cope, there are limitless options, if its a loved one that is nearing the end think of something they love. Is there something you can do with your hands that isn't overly complicated to help you focus your energy? This is a good time to talk to your loved one about their upcoming death and how you can make it more peaceful. Something you can create will help ease your mind, and give you a place to start a conversation.
I created this cross stitch paper crane, not because anyone was in the last stages of death, but because it keeps me connected to those I have lost. Small physical tokens we can keep and create help us continue to feel connected to those that have died.
Creating a ritual surrounding death can help you cope with death, something like folding a paper crane can feel like our loved one is squeezing our hand after they are gone.
What are some of the things you have done after a loved one has passed?
My name is Abby, my life has been touched many times by loss and grief. This life has led me to helping others navigate their own grief. I have become a INELDA trained End Of Life Doula and a hospice volunteer. I am not a professional counselor or psychologist and all advice given should be treated as advice from a friend.