I don’t normally like to post sad, depressing, heavy stuff on my blog. But since it’s Black Friday, I thought it would be the best time as any to touch on a topic nobody wants to think of. As we commemorate Black Friday, let us also rejoice in the fact that although Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, He also rose on the 3rd day to be with His Father in Heaven.
For those of us who have lost loved ones, we can be assured that we will be reunited with them in our Father’s kingdom. If we BELIEVE, If we TRUST, and If we OBEY.
The passing of a Loved One is always the saddest part in a person’s life. It’s a nightmare you wish would never ever happen to someone you love. A lifetime without that one person whom you have relied on seeing everyday, exchanging banters with, sharing your cup of morning coffees with will simply never be the same.
How do you console someone who is grieving? You actually can’t. No matter how close you may be, there will always be a physical, mental & emotional need to grieve in each one of us. Sometimes being quite & just letting them feel your presence is exactly what they need. No unsolicited advice. No questions of “how are you”. Just be there for them. Quietly. And a spray of sympathy flowers. Flowers always manages to uplift anyone’s mood.
Someone who has shown me kindness recently just lost someone dear to her. The only way I knew how to let her know that I cared was to send a sympathy floral arrangement. Sometimes, in our rush, we think any flower will do. So we choose what is convenient. Something that is ready. But we have to stop & think, wouldn’t that friend appreciate you going the extra mile? You are giving it to someone she has spent her whole life with, someone she wouldn’t be seeing anymore in the days to come. Surely nothing but the best befits someone of that stature in her life.
Call me a sentimental old fool, but I always try to send extraordinary flowers when I can. Sometimes in the shape of a Heart to symbolize love. Sometimes a Circle that depicts the circle of life. Sometimes a Cross. For this particular occasion, I decided on a Cross. Sometimes in our grief, we have to reminded to hold on to Him who giveth, but who also taketh away.
1.) While you may feel hesitant about intruding on the family during their grief, the condolence visit is important. It reassures the bereaved that while their loved one is gone, they are not alone; that while they have suffered a great loss, they are still connected to the living, and that life will, indeed, go on.
2.) Make a condolence visit at any time in the first few days following the death. If you call early you may certainly pay another visit later on to let the bereaved know they remain in your thoughts. Make sure you don’t overstay your welcome. You need not stay long; fifteen minutes gives you enough time to express your sympathy and offer your support.
The people you are visiting also need their rest & a bit of peace and quiet now & then to recharge. Of course, if the bereaved indicates they would like you to remain for a while, take your cue from them and stay longer. Use your own judgment. If you feel your presence is of comfort, offer to stay as long as the family needs you and you are able.
Social niceties while grieving can be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. Remember, they are in the process of grieving & mostly wants to be quietly left alone. Your friendly presence, not your chatter, will be highly appreciated.
3.) Using your own words, express your sympathy. Kind words about the deceased are always appropriate -if you know them. It depends entirely on your relationship to the family.
If the bereaved wants to talk, they usually simply need to express their feelings. They aren’t necessarily looking for a response from you. They may say things that seem irrational or pose questions that have no answer, and the kindest response is usually a warm hug, and a sympathetic, “I understand.”
4.) Do not ask the cause of death; if the family wants to discuss it, let them bring it up.
Don’t give advice. The family should be allowed to make their own decisions without influence from well-meaning friends.
Don’t make comments that would diminish the importance of the loss. Comments such as “you are young, you’ll marry again,” or “he was suffering so much, death was a blessing,” or “I’ve been through this myself,” are not comforting to the bereaved.
Unless it was long, painful, cruel debilitating disease, never say “He is in a better place.” There is never a better place for a loved one than being at your side.
5.) Upon arrival, go to the family, and express your sympathy with an embrace or by offering your hands. Don’t feel as though you must avoid talking about the person who has died. Talking can help the grieving process begin. Offer a simple statement of condolence, such as “I’m so sorry. My sympathy to you and your family”.
Do not feel uncomfortable if you or the bereaved becomes emotional or begins to cry. Allowing the bereaved to grieve is a natural healing process. However, if you find yourself becoming extremely upset, it would be kinder to excuse yourself so as not to increase the strain on the family.
6.) Viewing the deceased is not mandatory. However, if offered by the family, it is customary to show your respects by viewing the deceased and, if you desire, spending a few moments in silent prayer. The family may wish to escort you to the casket, or you may proceed on your own.
I would also like to extend my deepest sympathies & condolence to my dear reader EMILY who just recently lost her mother. May you take comfort in knowing that she is now without pain & is in the loving embrace of our Father in heaven.
This flower arrangement was expertly done by JOSIE’s FLOWER SHOP at 627 G. Araneta Avenua, Quezon City. Tel nos. 7425776. A flower arrangement like the one above may cost between 3.5k-5k depending on the flowers you wish to be used. Call 0921-5503550 & 09274528033 for an estimate.