As Mountain Valley Hospice begins to welcome guests at the SECU Hospice Home in Yadkinville, I cannot help but consider the several individuals I know who have recently lost a loved one.
It is overwhelming really the number of friends who have experienced a life changing loss in the past few months.
They are the kinds of deaths that are renewed each time anyone nearby experiences a similar situation.
The loss of a child.
The loss of a spouse.
The loss of a parent.
The loss of a sibling or friend.
So many losses can stir memories and emotions for years after those first horrible moments you think you will never overcome.
It is in those dark times when it is most important to carefully choose the memories you will dwell on, submerging in shared laughter while skipping through times of tears. Sharing stories of loved ones lost can help heal the chasm they leave behind, especially when with others who also appreciated the person.
Most people are fortunate enough to have special individuals who have helped them through those times of great transition. Although we all turn to those closest to us, there are also professionals to guide us. In working with hospice in a variety of situations, I am grateful for the programs that have become available to help people through this inevitable event.
I remember a time when the only way people dealt with death was through the friends and family plan or whispered behind the closed doors of a professional that might as well have been Voldemort. Dealing with death is never easy, but it can be easier than it once was.
It is important for people to take advantage of the opportunities available. The years of study and effort by the evolving sciences of psychology and sociology since my great-grandmother died on Mother’s Day in the early 1970s have opened a pathway of comfort in a variety of forms intended to ease death from every perspective.
Not only do the professionals help patients who are dying, but they help the families of the patient as well as assist healthy people with the practical concerns of our own demise. There are programs to support loss in every situation, and even camps to show children how to relate to death.
None of these will help you if you don’t use them.
It may be helping someone else connect to the resources available to them in their time of need, or it could be giving of your own time as well as participating in a support group, or visiting your loved one at the new SECU Hospice Home, that is your kind of participation. Like leaving this world, our needs are different and so is our involvement. Take time to investigate what is available to help you and your loved ones with The Great Transition.
Beanie Taylor is a staff reporter for The Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.