|As a child, I was exposed to death at an earlier age than most. Classmates, parents and/or siblings of friends, as well as some of my own relatives, all passed away long before my high school graduation.
As an adult, I knew that the passing of my close loved ones would be difficult. However, due to my work experience in the medical field and my early introduction to death, I felt I was better prepared than most.
Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
Although I had helped others wade through the numerous
responsibilities related to the passing of a loved one, I had never done so while enduring my own personal (and staggering) grief. The impact that grief had on my ability to handle even the smallest of details blindsided me. When my dad learned that he only had weeks to live, circumstances dictated that I was the one who would make the decisions and choices regarding medical issues, funeral arrangements, people to contact and so forth. Although necessary, each one of those decisions made me feel like I had given up on/betrayed my dad. After all, he was still very much alive and hanging on to hope, while I was less than a mile away picking out his coffin.Death carries so many hidden hurts and unexpected difficulties. Once the word “terminal” has been spoken, friends often begin avoiding the one who is soon to pass (including their families), because they have no idea what to say and feel utterly helpless. They try to find something they can “do” at first (i.e. meals, errands), but sitting in silence with someone suffering deep grief and fear, makes them feel awkward. They often find it easier to “give you
some space” but, in reality, that “space” only deepens the trauma. Most truly want to help… they just don’t know how to do so.
God has placed a calling on my heart to walk with those who are
trying to navigate this difficult and heart breaking path. It IS
possible to experience peace and comfort amidst the pain and bewilderment that is common while passing through the shadow of this dark valley.
The Hebrew word “Shalom” is most often defined as peace, hello, or goodbye. And those are certainly accurate
A sunset is as beautiful as a sunrise. Both have their allotted time and place, and neither are in our control. Nevertheless, once we begin our personal “sunset,” we have the potential to make a lasting and valuable impact on those we love. A legacy that can change lives, long after our “sun” has set.
I would consider it an honor to walk with you and your loved ones through this time of sorrow, hoping, that together, we can create (or complete) a lasting legacy that will bring much peace and comfort to all who walk this journey together.
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