Greg Syner, who has written the first three blogs, has facilitated hundreds of grief support groups for our funeral home over the last twenty years. He has offered some very helpful tips and ideas in these blogs for those of us who are grieving in these unusual and difficult times.
When my son, Jon, asked me to contribute to this blog, it was before we knew we would be one of the families that needed to cope with an unexpected death amid the restrictions of COVID19. Our role became more than just helping other families. We were trying to help our own family deal with the sudden death of my son, Chuck, who lived in Pittsburgh.
When streets and shops, restaurants and service businesses are empty, we may experience an eerie feeling of being all alone in the world. When we go through a loss, each of us feels alone – even if others are suffering the same loss. The feeling of being alone is compounded. Because grief is such an individual, isolating event, we crave community. But where is everyone? When a death or illness is out of our hometown, the aloneness is often felt more keenly.
What helps? For us, the prayers and love expressed to us by texts, emails, phone calls and cards told us people cared. Whether the support came from family, friends, or even strangers, we could feel their prayers and concern. We took comfort in knowing there were many others feeling and experiencing our journey along with us, especially during the week between Chuck’s accident and death.
But the cards and messages didn’t stop with one gesture of reaching out. A month later we are still hearing from some who began the journey with us. Many more have added their support as well. Our loss matters to them! That is comforting. His life was important to many people. We never realized how may. We aren’t the only ones who mourn the loss of this special man.
We are not alone. Thank God!