Thursday, May 24, 2012

Funeral Etiquette?

I find myself pondering this very question about funeral etiquette as I was driving to yet another funeral. This time the funeral was for the husband of a friend of mine.

 It never seems to get easier and the closer I get to the funeral home, I notice tension begin to coil in my stomach. I walk into the funeral home and join the many people waiting in line. I see a friend about 15 places ahead of me but I am pretty sure that "butting in line"  is worse here than at the movies. Funeral lines seem to move at a snail's pace.

 I sign the remembrance book. I wonder how many other books that I have signed and I doubt the family even knows who I am because I am not always there for them, but to pay respects for the person I knew who has transitioned. (passed on)

Last week I had dinner with a friend. She asked, "What has been going on since I saw you last?" I started to tell her about the funeral I had attended the week before. I explained to my friend, Sue, how sad and awkward I felt. I said I never quite knew how to act or what to say during these intense moments.

I knew that Sue was a counselor but I had forgotten that she has a specialty in  grief counselling. (Also for pet owners.) A lively discussion ensued and I would like to pass on some of the wisdom she shared with me. Everyone handles grief differently, but she gave me some suggestions for Do's and Don'ts that I will keep in mind when the situation calls for it. She based some of these suggestions on her own personal experiences.

First the Don'ts: Sue refers to these as the 3 B's:
 Babble-That means as you go through the line sharing your condolences don't bring up your own losses. Also saying, "I know how you feel," often makes the person you are try to comfort want to scream, "You couldn't possibly know how I feel!"

 Blame-That means keep your opinions to yourself. It is not helpful to blame the deceased for their own demise. There is no comfort in saying to the family what might be obvious, such as if he didn't smoke, he wouldn't have had lung cancer. Or, if she hadn't been texting, she would not have had a car accident.

Betrayal-Saying that, "We will get through this together"-and then don't show up as support" Sue says that often the people you would count on disappoint, you and people you hardly considered friends, step up in ways you never imagined.

Now for some Do's

Do go to the funeral even if you are not sure what to say.

Do ask, "What can I do for you?" and mean it, and follow through. Ask again a few weeks later when family and visitors have returned to their own homes and lives.

Do make your comments to the family in line brief. It is very stressful for the family to stand a long time and there are usually many people waiting behind you.

Do know that anger can mask grief and that a person may be in shock for a good six months, if not more.

Do help your friend adjust to a "new normal" later on.

Sue concluded that, "You will gain so much satisfaction knowing you have been a part of your friend's walk through grief."

As a result of our conversation, I believe I will be more prepared and authentic when I attend another visitation. (I hurt to write the word, another visitation--but there will always be another visitation. It's part of life.

Sue Coplea, M.A. LCPC specialist in grief counseling can be reached at 1124 S. Sixth St. Springfield, IL

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Book Reading Symbolic Signs is now listed on Amazon Kindle!

 I am so excited that my Book, Reading Symbolic Signs: How to Connect the Dots of Your Spiritual Life is now listed on Amazon Kindle. 

This is a description of the book: Develop intuition! Expect synchronicity and guidance! Become empowered to follow your own sacred roadmap by recognizing the guidance that is all around you and interpreting signs and messages. Every choice you make matters to you personally and to those around you.
Price: $2.75

If you are interested in recognizing  guidance and enhancing your intuition; then this is a book for you. If you like the TV program Touch; this a book for you.

If you enjoy this book I would very much appreciate it, if you would click "like" by the  title and/or write a customer review. Thank You!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The "Other" Kid (Computer Help)

The "other" kid, you know what I mean. This is the kid you call for help when you have a computer question or need help setting up your new phone. You call the "other" kid because your own children will spout off an answer but won't even wait until you grab a pen and paper.

I know that I'm revealing my age range. I'm so lucky to have an "other" kid and my children were very impressed by the video I sent them last week.

The greatest delight and satisfaction with the "other" kid is that he was in my kindergarten class 7 or so years ago. His name is Connor and I swear he is a natural teacher, innately understanding the term spontaneous teaching as he shows me how to link my website to my Skype account.

His mother and I chuckle at the irony of my past student being my teacher. BUT, after all, isn't that what we wish for all children?