“From the back of the house where we gathered with lit candles, we could see mother, father and younger brother in the room where Levi died. At 6:43 pm they turned the bedroom lights off to mark the time and date of Levi’s death……”
Supporting families through an anticipated or unexpected loss through ritual and ceremony can be both meaningful and healing. Practiced throughout history, the need for ceremony and ritual is inherent to all humans. Many of us come to ritual and ceremony through religious institutions or graduations, weddings and of course, funerals.
I had an article published about what it is like to work with bereaved parents, like Levi’s, in the most recent issue of Natural Transitions (which provides education on conscious, holistic and green approaches to end of life including family-directed home-based after-death care). With July as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, I took some time to think about what this means for us as a community. How do we support parents who are going through this difficult time? Or remembering the difficult time year after year? You can read the full article here on page 30 for what we created as a ritual to honor Levi’s death.
The bronze statue in the featured image of this post spoke to me, which is by Albert György and located in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. John Maddox, a pastor in Kansas, speaks to the nature of his grief after his daughter’s death: “This is Bereaved Parents Month. We may look as if we carry on with our lives as before. We may even have times of joy and happiness. Everything may seem “normal”. But THIS, “Emptiness” is how we all feel…all the time.”
Do you know someone who recently had a child pass away and is not sure how to set up a funeral or ritual? I am here to help. Reach out to me here.
LOCAL GRIEF RESOURCES
In early July, I met with founder and director Carolyn Kinzel of Brighter Days Grief Center. Their groundbreaking and much-needed services provide a holistic model of care that lays the foundation for moving families in a positive and healthy direction by partnering with other grief related organizations to provide compassionate and tailored resources and programs to meet the specific needs of each family member. All at no cost.
I have an amazing event happening this week as well. Check it out here!