Bereavement Center

In November, I went to a bereavement center that caters to young families. A woman recommended it, so I went to check it out and was told we weren’t ready and to give it a couple of months. I resented the wait because at the time, I was so in the moment and thought we could handle it. When I got the email that we could start, I emailed back saying we weren’t ready and we needed more time. The next day, Izzy asked about the place and we talked about it. Both girls agreed they were ready so we went to our first session  a couple of weeks ago.

It starts with a candle lighting ceremony as well as hanging a picture of the person that died up and then the kids do art therapy while the adults meet in another room. The adults are in two groups, one for death of a child, the other death of a husband or wife. I sat down and introduced myself and started crying, not because of John but because of Izzy. When the children were lighting candles and hanging up the picture of their loved one, her face was so sad. She was soaking in the loss each child had. I wasn’t prepared for that, so it was hard to see. It’s hard to see your child’s face full of grief.

 Izzy drew a beautiful picture of John, KitKat and herself under a rainbow. I made the made the mistake of asking where I was and later apologized because that was her picture and it was not right of me to ask where  I was in it and it was perfect. She was in the moment with herself, her sister and her father and she showed it in her drawing.

On the ride home, Izzy kept saying she felt bad for a girl in the group that lost her brother. I told her that is why we are all there-to talk about our losses and to be there for each other.

I know this is the right thing to do right now for all of us. I am so glad they have a place for the grieving. Lately, I have been thinking about how we have hospices and bereavement centers but I wish they had something for families WITH the dying-a place to go that isn’t home or the hospital-with yoga rooms, an art room, a play room, a music room and a café type place with dinners and potlucks. A place for the dying to have physical, occupational or psychological therapy. Therapy of all kinds for the families. Nurses on hand to help out. A place with horses and chickens and therapy dogs. I guess I can dream about this and hope our society can acknowledge the dying without being scared or brushed aside. The last moments of being a whole family needs to be celebrated and cherished before everything changes. Everything.

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