All in the family

Posted on May 13, 2024 by Rev. Pam Reidy under grief, loss, mourning, Inspiration, Miles Funeral Home
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On the one hand, families are the common place we find and build our best and happiest self; on the other, families can be complicated and challenging. Made up of a wide array of persons, some born of biology, others born in friendship, families come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. When a family member dies, each person feels the loss and the disruption in the family system.

While each family member is grieving the same person, the loss is different for individual family members. Consequently, each mourns the loss in their own way. Because we see things as we are, not as they are, even the memory of a single event may be different for each family member. Here are some things to consider in grieving families:

  • When one family member dies, it changes everyone’s relationship. Being attentive to changes in roles and activities, and how these affect individuals in the family is fundamental to systemic healing.
  • Talking about the deceased person keeps them alive in the family, brings members of the family together, and promotes healing. However, it is important to allow each person in the family to share their thoughts, each person’s memory is to be valued.
  • Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or long held traditions in the family can be challenging as can the special days each family member faces, such as first day of school, first prom, landing a new job, academic successes or achievements in sports or other activities. Viewing the loss through each other’s eyes helps build sensitivity and strategy for these particular times.
  • Families are meant to support and care for children in a special way. Be loving, be wise, and stay close to grieving children. Attend to their special needs. (The Dougy Center has wonderful resources for supporting children through loss:

If you want to explore the topic of family loss more deeply, consider coming to this Saturday’s seminar that will look at the diverse ways individuals in a family mourn the loss of the same person and offer helpful guidance for navigating the loss as a family. This seminar includes lunch and a free copy of Grieving Is Loving: Compassionate Words for Bearing the Unbearable, by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

Register Here

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