CELEBRATION.

I wonder if anyone has seen an Afro American funeral in a place like New Orleans? They carry the coffin through the streets and there’s a band playing jazz and people dancing and singing. Not a time to rejoice you may say. But, to them it’s a celebration of a life. The lost one is remembered by the things they did and how kind they were. Was the life lived well, did they have compassion and understanding? It matters not in the least how much of the worldly ‘baubles’ they had, but how they behaved to their fellow beings. There is a story of a man who woke in the night to see an angel with an open book at the foot of the bed. He asked who she was. She replied ‘This is a book of the names of those who love God’. ‘Is my name there?’ asked the man. ‘No’, replied the angel. ‘Then’, said the man, ‘put me down as one of those who loves his fellow man’. The angel departed. The next night she came again. He asked if his name was there. ‘Yes’, said the angel, ‘its at the top of the page’. We don’t have to be ‘religious’ to love our fellow beings. But when our own epitaph is written it would be good to hear that well, they did their best, were kind and considerate and spread happiness where they could. It’s so easy to be sad but so difficult to be uplifted in spite of the suffering around us, and our own pain.

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Such a lovely post…thank you x

Thank you Jonathan, what a lovely tale. These funeral’s sounds very much like my husbands. I wanted no goodbyes only love for my Brian,he was not religious but he was kind, considerate and generous and always had time for others, helping where he could. Liked by everyone. He was a quiet man, happy to be in the background. The man taking the service spoke beautifully and I found myself enjoying what he was saying although I had written the words. It was all about what Brian has done throughout his life, what he enjoyed. No sadness. He was also a Country and Western singer and I had found a CD of his band and him singing. So he sang at his own funeral. I felt comfort from hearing him strong and imagined him on stage. Everyone thought it was a beautiful tribute to Brian and enjoyed the music as it wasn’t sad, People were tapping their feet and moving to the music. Only his two daughters objected as they thought it should have been more about them but as they hadn’t seen him in some years and non of his grandchildren from his side turned up I saw no point. It was Brian’s day and a celebration of HIS life. So thank you Jonathan I know that Brian is at the top of the list now… Pat xxxxxx.

My little sister was all about life. She radiated happiness and lifted everyone else up. Even through her cancer battle, she kept the rest of us hopeful and positive. When she died her wishes were to be cremated, no funeral, but rather a “Celebration of Life.” We rented a hall, filled it with her photos, placed beautiful Spring flowers on every table, and a large stunning bouquet on the serving table. My brother-in-law is a musician and he played specially selected music. People mingled, shared stories, and some spoke. I spoke and recited her most loved prayer (23 rd Psalm). The room was sunny and bright (just like my sister). Like Pattidot said about her Brian, it was my sister’s day, and about HER life, so we put our sadness aside and focused on her love of life and resilient spirit. This was what she wanted, and what she gave to all of us who loved her; A day to celebrate the gift she was to the world. Thank for letting me share this special memory. Sister2 Xxxx

No, thankyou for sharing it with us. I like those words that you have used. A day to celebrate the gift they was to the world. If there was more of these wonderful people it would be a much better world. Pat xxx

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Hi. Sister2. That must have been a wonderful experience, and my favourite Psalm. ‘He restoreth my soul’. We can all do with some restoration and we get it here. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death is where we are at the moment, but allowing good memories to replace bad ones helps, though not always possible. So you did celebrate her passing. You did rejoice in a good life well lived. You did show your appreciation of your sister’s presence. All these things add up to acceptance. If only we can accept what has happened and rejoice in the life we had together. I feel so privileged to have been with my wife for so long. Her passing is painful, obviously, but how else could it be. I have to endure the pain with the help of all you kind souls on here, and hopefully look ahead for some relief and, possibly, happier times. Bless you all for your lovely posts and your caring.

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“I shall fear no evil…” The good and pure love we shared with our loved ones will override this cruel suffering we are enduring now. Good triumphs over evil.
I try to find comfort in that concept. Sometimes so hard, however, to get past this fear and loneliness…and “accept” what has happened.

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Acceptance is difficult. No good denying that fact. But it can be done given the will, understanding and support. Living day by day also is not easy. We may look into the future and see only bleakness. What’s the point? But we need to accept that these feelings are the ones we have now. It may not always be so. For some the pain may never go away. For others it may diminish in time, but even then, it remains perhaps in the background. The fact is we will never be the same again, but neither will we be as we were, perhaps with little thought about others. This experience can be a learning one and we may emerge from it better more understanding people, able to help others through their suffering. There is no substitute for experience. The pain of bereavement is like no other pain. Physical pain can be treated. Emotional pain is difficult to relieve. But by accepting and going with the feelings it can ease it a bit. Trees bend in the wind. If they didn’t they would break. Go with it as much as you can, but don’t make the mistake of fighting anxiety. You won’t win and, what’s more, you could make your situation worse. True acceptance is not giving up or giving in. It’s the realisation that things are as they are and there’s little we can do but accept. This is not a policy of despair, on the contrary. Acceptance may not instantly work, but given time and much practise it will.

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Heartbreaking emoji in my thoughts take care Adele x

Hi Jonathan I hope your adventure is as good as can be I wish you well I get your words but my heart is shattered in a million pieces witnesing it all happen in front of my eyes sometimes we can’t accept it’s impossible we had dreams of growing old together everything my life has been blown apart taken away so cruelly and tragically every day is getting worse your in my thoughts and prayers stay blessed take care of yourself as much as possible Adele x

Hi Jonathan, all I can say is a big thankyou. Your words bring such comfort. They help me beyond words. This week has not been good as it was Brian’s birthday yesterday. I took him flowers and a card and found it incredibly harder than I would have thought but I am working hard to accept, I am searching for that light. I am going with it as you advise… Thankyou Pat xxx

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Adele, like many of us you have suffered trauma as your partner passed and this is something that you repeat in most of your posts. You do seem to get some comfort from the experience of others but have also indicated no success in getting professional help. Can I suggest you contact the online counselling service offered by Sue Ryder. It’s extremely responsive, personally I was offered an appointment the following day and had sessions from Feb just ending yesterday. It does help deal with the flashbacks and for me has made the anniversary of my husbands passing more bearable.

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Hi thankyou for your kind words means alot im still on the waiting list for cruse bereavement ring Samaritans when desperately I need but thankyou for your encouragement I’ll look into it many thanks for your support I hope you night is kinder to you take care of yourself in my thoughts Adele x

Dear Pat, Sorry your beloved’s birthday was so difficult. It sounds like you marked it in your own special way. We do what we can, but the empty space is always gnawing at us. The milestones trigger so many feelings. I just survived my sister’s birthday, two days after the anniversary of her death (a double hit). I have been sort of in shock all over again. Hoping we all find that light to guide us through this darkest journey. Xxxx Sister2

Tthankyou so much Sister2, so sorry that you have had to have that awful feeling of shock once again I too went back to my first days of grief. I played him singing, I hugged the CD player and felt him singing against me as we danced together On reflection I don’t think this was the best thing to do. What amazes me is we know what the problem is and many of us even know what we should be doing to get back a life yet we seem to be helpless to do anything about the raw emotions that keep attacking us. I have now managed to get through my first Christmas, our wedding anniversary and his birthday. I now have the day he passed away in November and then I have managed all my ‘firsts’. Yes, without a doubt we all now deserve to catch a glimpse of that light. Pat xxx

Tthankyou so much Sister2, so sorry that you have had to have that awful feeling of shock once again I too went back to my first days of grief. I played him singing, I hugged the CD player and felt him singing against me as we danced together On reflection I don’t think this was the best thing to do. What amazes me is we know what the problem is and many of us even know what we should be doing to get back a life yet we seem to be helpless to do anything about the raw emotions that keep attacking us. I have now managed to get through my first Christmas, our wedding anniversary and his birthday. I now have the day he passed away in November and then I have managed all my ‘firsts’. Yes, without a doubt we all now deserve to catch a glimpse of that light. Pat xxx

Hello Jonathan-How are you getting on today on the anniv. of your beloved wife’s birthday? You, and everyone here, helped me through my departed and so loved sister’s birthday in early May, and I want to do the same for you. I hope this day will bring some warm, cherished memories to offset the sadness. Here for you, to listen and support on such a bittersweet day. Take care. XxxxSister2

Hi. Sister2
So sorry to have missed your so kind post. I did manage to weather the storm on that day. Any anniversary is difficult. I share your pain and send you my heartfelt thoughts. But how kind and thoughtful of you to remember. The old saying, ‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved’. comes to mind, but it may not always work in bereavement. Sharing our deepest feelings is so important and is a therapy in itself. Blessings and take care.

So glad you saw my post Jonathan. You were so kind to me when I was struggling with the recent anniversary and birthday of my little sister. I wanted to do the same for you. We lift each other on this forum, that is what keeps bringing me back.
I will share something I heard, along the lines of what you said “Grief Shared is Grief Diminished.” Take care and thank you for offering your warmth and wisdom. Sister2 Xxxx

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