Friday, February 6, 2009

Latest Happenings

I haven't found much time to blog lately, it seems. Our weeks are full of church, class, playdates, work, and housework. We are settling into what you could call a "new normal". Superbowl weekend we were invited to our neighbors' house for a little get together. We had a lot of fun spending time with the Coplans. Kris and I took pizza over to add to their collection of yummy snacks. We watched the game while the kids played- it was a great time just relaxing with friends.

We recently picked up a brand new bike for Jacob. Thanks, Aunt Jennie, Uncle TJ and Great Grandpa Thom! We combined Christmas gift cards/money and were able to get the bike for a great price at Walmart. He absolutely LOVES it! The deal was, he could get a new bike with training wheels if he would sell his tricycle and firetruck ride on at our garage sale last Saturday. They both sold, so he was very excited, of course. Incidentally, the helmet and knee/elbow pads pictured came from Grandma and they match the bike nicely. He is doing great with the bike, riding as fast as he can go. We've only had a couple minor "accidents" so far. =)

Grief recovery class has been going pretty well. I've been trying to figure out how to condense everything down for you all and honestly, there is just way too much information. Here are a few things though that you may find helpful.

*Grief is emotional, not intellectual* This is the reason that all of the things we say to people when they have lost a loved one doesn't really help a lot. You cannot fix the heart with the head.

Grief is all about a broken heart, not a broken head. In my personal experience, I have found that it is really difficult to get my heart to meet together with my head. (Example, "he is in Heaven"...yes, I know this, and this is good, however, we would much rather he were here with us like all the other babies we see around us.)

*Grievers don't need advice, they just need to be listened to* This one got my attention b/c I know in my heart I do a lot more talking to people than listening. All of us could be better at being very simply a "heart with ears". As folks at the tables in my class share their story, the rest of us are not allowed to say anything. We can't even pass the person a tissue if they get emotional! Do you know how hard it is not to touch them, or give them a tissue, or give them advice while they are crying?! Extremely hard! I feel if I get nothing else out of this class, I will come out of there being a better listener for those in need.

*Helpful things to say/do for a person experiencing a loss*

  • Say "I'm sorry for your loss"

  • "I will be praying for you"

  • "What day/time can I bring dinner over for you?" On a side note here, I have to say, this one is very important. In the weeks following Grant's death, some nights I had no earthly idea what to make for dinner. I could not focus, could not make decisions very well. One morning one of the ladies at church called me and asked what night she and another lady from church could bring me dinner. These ladies will never know just how special that was to us and how needed that was. Most people will say "Let me know if you need anything". It's better to go with the previous question because people have no idea what they need half the time when they are grieving.

  • When you pick out a sympathy card, be sure that you really read it and that the message really comes from your heart. I still read through our sympathy cards- two of them really stand out to me and I read them often. One of them said something like "There are no words today that will take away your pain but know you are in our every thought and prayer"...and the other one actually talked about the loss of a child- about how God knows what it is like to lose a child. I think about the many times I've picked out a sympathy card quickly, while running through the store, and I didn't really take the time to really read the message that I was sending to someone else.

  • Always remember that when the funeral ends the real grieving begins. Try not to forget that the person still needs your help, your love, and your prayers for a good while after the events occurred.

These are the points that have stuck out with me and that I hope to improve on in the future. I hope they are a source of help and encouragement for you too. More to come so stay tuned...=)

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