Creating a Bereavement Box (Memory Boxes)

When a loved one dies, there are memories to be kept. Creating a bereavement box, also known as a memory box, is one way you can secure tangible items left behind by your loved one. The purpose of the box is to gather personal items that held special memories for you and the person they belonged to. Your bereavement box can be as decorative or as simple as you like. It can be a shoe box or a plastic bin, keeping in mind that it is something to be shared and filled, so be sure it’s sturdy.

Deciding what to keep is often not so easy. I wanted to keep everything my mom left behind, but there was no way to do that without building an addition onto my house. So, I decided to keep a few things that had sentimental value. For me, it was small things like a pair of birthstone earrings that she bought a week after my birth, a Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament purchased on a family vacation the year before her passing, a hope beanie baby that I gave her when she was first diagnosed with cancer, pictures and other keepsakes.

My mom passed 14 years ago, and to this day the items in my memory box still bring a smile to my face and warm my heart whenever I see them. Some items you can place in bereavement boxes include:
• Journals
• Photos
• Letters, poems
• Jewelry
• Stuffed animals
• Birthday cards from your loved one
• Special awards or certificates
• News articles that feature the deceased
• Favorite book
• Favorite t-­-shirt
• Wedding bands

To find out more about hospice , please contact Hospice Services at Methodist Eldercare at 614-451-6700 or click here for more information www.HospiceMec.com

 


When Grief Doesn’t Go Away

Grief doesn’t automatically end at a certain point after the loss of a loved one. That is because everyone grieves differently, and there is no time limit to how long one grieves. When you’re grieving, one of the most important things you can to is take care of yourself. The stress of  losing a loved one can take you on an emotional roller coaster, and finding support is important for the healing process.

The most important factor in healing after you’ve lost someone dear to you is to accept and embrace the support of other people. Sometimes sharing your feelings helps lessen the burden of grief. Here are a few suggestions that may help in your healing process.

• Seek comfort in your faith: spiritual activities that are meaningful to you, such as praying, meditating or going to church, can offer relief.

• Join a support group: sharing your feelings with others who have experienced a loss can help.

• Talk to a therapist or grief counselor:  if your grief becomes to much to bear, seeking help from  a experienced professional who specializes in grief counseling is good to do.

• Turn to friends and family: keeping friends and family close is important during the grieving process. Often they want to help, but just aren’t sure where their help is needed most. By sharing with them, you may be helping them through this very difficult time.

Your grief is just that– your grief. No one can or should try telling you how you feel and how long you should grieve. If you aren’t feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help. Remember, grief is a natural response to losing someone close to you and healing takes time.

To find out more about hospice and the grieving process, please contact Hospice Services at Methodist Eldercare at 614-451-6700 or click here for more information http://www.methodisteldercare.org/hospice


November is National Hospice Month

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month. During the month, the home care and hospice community will honor millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists and social workers who provide hours of selfless care to those in need of the special services they provide. According to National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), more than 1.58 million people in the U.S. receive care from hospice palliative care providers every year. Both hospice and palliative care focus on helping a person with a serious or life-limiting illness by addressing issues causing physical or emotional pain, or suffering.

I know first hand how hospice care providers are a tremendous help in what has to be the most difficult time for a family, knowing they are going to lose someone close to them soon. My family had to seek the help of hospice in May of 2000, my mother 57 at the time had been diagnosed with lung cancer in February of 1999. I had no idea why the doctor felt we needed to have someone come in to provide care for my Mom when we were available.

Quickly I learned there was no way we could provide the care she needed. Making the call to hospice was the best thing we could have done for my Mom and for our family. They were able to keep her comfortable and give us a sense of peace in a very difficult time. Saying goodbye to a loved one is not easy to do, having hospice with us in my mothers final days was a tremendous help. Personally, I feel having hospice care providers is one of the best things a family can do.
To find out more about hospice and the grieving process, please contact Hospice Services at Methodist Eldercare at 614-451-6700 or click here for more information http://www.hospicemes.com


The Holiday’s and Grief

Holidays can be a difficult time for anyone who has lost a loved one. What should be a time for family togetherness, sharing, making new memories and reminiscing on the old ones, holidays can bring back feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness making it difficult to enjoy what should be happy times. There is no simple rule in place to help take away the hurt you are feeling with the absence of that special someone who is no longer with you.

• My hope is the following suggestions will help you better cope with your grief during what should be a joyous time of the year.

• Do what you want, not what you feel you should do. Decide what you can handle comfortably and let family and friends know.

• Allow someone else to do the decorating, baking and cooking this year.

• Recognize your loved one’s presence in the family. Have those you gather with share their favorite memory of your loved one.

• Surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive and understanding of what you are going through.

• Consider doing something special for someone else in your loved ones name. Donate to his or her Favorite charity or organization.

• Have fun! It’s okay and not at all disrespectful to enjoy yourself. Laughter heals the heart which is what my grandmother always says.

Remember it is very natural to feel you may never enjoy the Holidays again. They will most certainly never be the same as they were. However, in time, you will be able to embrace them again. Continuing family traditions is a great way to keep spirits lifted not only for you, but others who may be grieving too.
To find out more about hospice and the grieving process, please contact Hospice Services at Methodist Eldercare at 614-451-6700 or click here for more information http://www.hospicemec.com


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