Part II: How to deal with a major loss

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

As I work on the second memorial program I have ever had to compose in less than six months, friends and family attempt to console me.  In today’s world, there are options such as Facebook, texting and sending cards. I, too, have bought many cards for friends, but regret that some are still being toted in my daily bag. They have yet to see the mailbox where it could be sent on its way.

This makes us wonder, or is it just me? Why is it so hard to just pick up the phone, say we love them, we are there for them and we are praying for them?  It does not have to be anything more than that.  Just hearing our voice may bring them some immediate comfort.

I’m sure this is not you, but here are a few of my excuses:

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“They are probably busy with the arrangements or family coming in.” Or, “I don’t want to upset them.” And the final classic excuse, “Their phone is probably ringing off the hook. They don’t need me bothering them, too.”

Newsflash, the phone is not ringing off the hook. Yes, we are busy, but knowing you took the time out of your busy schedule to personally make a phone call blesses the soul.  Again, I too, am guilty of not calling more often then I would like to admit. Okay, rarely do I call if the truth be told.

Recently, the phone calls that I have received and personal visits are from my precious senior participants.  Yes, they still come from the era of voice contact or seeing a person face to face. I would like to think they call or come by because they truly understand. They have lived through so much loss in their lifetime. Even though they go on trying to live the rest of their life to its fullest, I see a glimmer of the pain in their eyes. If there is anyone that may have an indication of how you feel, they just may.

According to my counterpart, Ursuline Senior Services’ Executive Director Anthony Turo, “Anyone over the age of 65 generally is trying to come to terms with their own mortality as well as that of their aging friends and family members.”

In my 50’s, I am just discovering this.  For the majority of my seniors that are well in their 70’s and 80’s, death seems all around them. For this Executive Director, attending at least one funeral a month is the norm. Maybe I’m finally getting it.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a few phone calls to make and some cards to locate and send.

By Darlene C. Adams.