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There is no right way to grieve, and the bereavement experience is different for all of us. For some, it may be the creation of a public event designed to signify, in a social context, that someone dear to us has passed. Or, perhaps we gather with family and friends to share stories over a simple dinner. Others may simply seek solace by going to a very private place in nature and sitting quietly while experiencing the solemn perfection of the natural surroundings. It is important to know that it is all okay. Our response to death is personal, and I encourage you to know that when death occurs, all that fettered the life of our loved one is gone, and all that we love in them lives on.
I encourage you to take the time to think about how others will recall your legacy and allow yourself the opportunity to share your thoughts with others?
Perhaps you have had the experience of meeting with a funeral director when the death of a loved one has occurred. If so you may remember the many decisions you made and information you provided for the director to complete the necessary forms and legal documents. When I meet with people who have never experienced the process, they often feel unprepared and sometimes overwhelmed by the ordeal.
Creating a plan in advance helps. The data is exchanged and recorded so that it can be available when needed, including choices you make regarding the type of tribute you feel best resembles the way you want others to remember you. For some, it can be as basic as cremation and scattering of the cremated remains privately in nature. For others, it may involve the construction of a meaningful tribute that conveys the sentiment of a message that you want to share. People who pre-arrange tell us it is important to them because they what to lessen the burden of those left behind from wondering if they are doing the appropriate thing. Peace of mind and love for their family motivate their completion of the task.
Creating a well-written advance plan is what makes Fond Remembrance a tremendous value, as the plan most importantly enables your wishes to be known, down to the last detail by your design. It is a valuable and insightful asset and is one of the kindest gifts you can give your family or those that survive you. It is with the complete understanding that making these same decisions during an immediate loss may be difficult and overwhelming to some because the grieving process has already begun. While making such decisions is difficult at any time, planning in advance for the death of a loved one can relieve you of that responsibility at the time of death, when you may be emotionally vulnerable.
A ritual is often socio-religious driven which is carried out by the bereaved within a social context of friends, relatives, and neighbors. It incorporates social interaction of storytelling. Most importantly, storytelling can be effectively realized as part of a memorial ritual event, in tribute to show respect, gratitude, affection, or praise, and is focused on support for the survivors. When we hear about death, we tend to gather to provide emotional and social support that is directed to the bereaved family, and to each other, and it is in this setting where we share our stories. Our assembling as a community reassures us that we are part of a larger whole, thereby strengthening our individual lives. The wider community responds with sympathy to the occasion and support for the bereaved. When the inevitable happens, contact Fond Remembrance to assist you in the creation of a fitting Ritual for your loved one. Planning ahead . . . We are here to help!
Michael Godsey is the founder of Fond Remembrance Cremation Services.