I just attended a ‘celebration of life’ of a fellow parent today. It was a dilemma for my children whether they should attend the service or not. I tried to explain to them that just by showing up it could be seen as a sign of support to those family members that were left behind. For some it may feel almost paralyzing to attend and for others it may be incredibly awkward at best. When you see the family members you just want to help them heal their pain…but you can’t.

To experience loss is one of the most stressful, painful emotions that a human being can feel. For the family members and those close, there is often an initial numbness, swirling through a hectic time that includes signing death certificates and other forms, hosting family and friends from out of town. Often you are just doing what you have to get through planning the service and making arrangements for burial or cremation.

After the subsequent weeks, the implication of the loss may start to set in. The world will be forever changed with your loved one gone. It can all seem so sudden in the scope of things. A couple of weeks ago your family member could have been at work, sharing a laugh, living life as we all do…then in just a few short weeks they no longer exist.

The hope is that community will reach out to those who have experienced the profound loss. It’s ‘the moving forward’ when those who have lost need us the most. To put it in perspective it is something that we all have to go through, it’s part of the human experience…to remember those who have left us and a reminder that we are better off to have loved and experienced someone’s presence… there is no textbook way to grieve. Some laugh, some cry, some avoid, everyone has their own way of dealing with the significance of loss. Remember it’s okay to take the space you need and it’s okay to reach out.

There are family members, friends, counsellors, churches and hospice groups that are waiting for your call.

If you have any questions please free to email me or call me at 778-773-2465 to set up an appointment at my Surrey Counselling private practice.