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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Helping those who grieve!



I know that many of you come here for education and Web 2.0. However, rather than sit around and think about what YOU want to hear, I have always made it a point to share with those who read what is on my mind and heart.

Whatever is going on in my life is mirrored in my blog. I do have a lot of exciting wiki, digital storytelling things and others to share with you (and I will soon), but right now my thoughts turn to my father in law.

As I've blogged previously, he is in the final stages of Parkinsons Disease and although Doctors have extended his life by at least 5 years through medication, he can barely swallow now. My husband and I have been numb for the last several weeks as we've adjusted life. It is not about us or how we feel right now, that can come later. It is about being there for him, loving him, praying for him, and making him comfortable. That is it!

The selfish people that say, "I just can't deal with it." That drives me crazy! Get over it!

How I counsel students
I am the empathetic, motherly type. When we've had losses at school, it has often fallen to my lot to talk to kids invidually or as a class. Although I'm not the final "grief counseling" expert. I am a part of things.

Because this is important to me, I want to share with you what I share with them, when I counsel my students who are dealing with death or a friend's death of a loved one, I always tell them this:

1- Be there.
When you're having a tough time you want your friends around. You don't want them to do anything necessarily. It just means a lot that they love you!

2 - Be quiet and listen.
Golly, gee. As much as I am a Christian, I am not ever one of those who would ever preach at someone whose lost a loved one. Although I believe "All things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose," when you lose a loved one, you don't want to hear it right then. You just don't! No preaching, just listen to me. Cry with me. Love me. Laugh with me and share memories. Don't tell me "its all going to work out" because you know what, when you lose a loved one, it hurts. It is not going to be all right or work out at that moment. It is painful beyond belief. Let me mourn! Let me go through the process because it cannot be circumvented!

You never get over a loved one, you just learn to live with it. When they are close to you, you love them and miss them as long as you're alive! That is the way it is. (As a Christian, I do have comfort in my beliefs and those who have passed on, but right now, just hold me and be my friend.

3 - Meet immediate needs
If I'm hungry, feed me. Help me. Be there for me. Pitch in. You can't do it all, just do what comes to mind and is in your skillset. If it is hugging, hug me!


Although we thought he'd live several months, as I wrote this post, my father in law died 300 miles away. (I guess somehow, I knew.) I just received the phone call. I may not post for a few days...

Remember, life is never to busy to be there for someone who grieves. These are the truly important things in life, life itself!

Time for time alone... I am grateful for those of you who take time to read and listen to "just" a computer teacher. When it is my time, I'll be glad I spent my time teaching, and blogging.

Later....


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