Archive for Grief Support Group – Page 2

A Story: Show and Tell in Hospice

Story signI told the story again.

Should it have a catchy title like The Ex-Con and His Dying Dad or No Restraining Order at Heaven’s Gate? What about the simple: The Last Bath?

Not long ago, chatting with a colleague, one of my memories as a hospice chaplain was triggered.


I’d visited a patient and his family multiple times over several months. As is sometimes the case on a first visit, I wouldn’t have guessed this husband and father had cancer and would die before summer’s end. He was tending his garden when I arrived. That would be the last time I saw him outside. A visit or two later, he stayed on the couch, and eventually couldn’t leave his hospital bed. His loving wife was attentive and so overwhelmed. On several visits, more of my time was spent with her than the “patient.”

With her worries.

With her need to pray.

With holding her hand while a nurse adjusted her husband’s medication or treated places where his skin threatened to break down. Read More →

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Grief’s 5 Stages of Laughter

laughter medicineLaughter. Giggles. Guffaws. Chuckling.

That’s what I heard.

And that’s all I heard, since the thick walls at the hospice where I work muffled the sounds. But I knew my colleague next door was counseling a grieving client. Busy with exciting paperwork or answering emails, I was blissfully unaware of them until . . .

That laughter! Read More →

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Sudden Death

Don’t hesitate to spend time with that friend or family member whose words and silence and comfort you trust.

Don’t hesitate to spend time with that friend or family member whose words and silence and comfort you trust.

The wife didn’t kiss her husband goodbye . . . since she was in a hurry to leave for the new job. Her commute was now into the city, twice as long as before. But the bigger salary meant their family would have more financial security. Her husband agreed to leave later for his job, first taking one child to daycare and the other to first grade. It would all work out.

Though she called her father every week . . . and knew his daily schedule better than he did—a morning walk to the nearby Starbucks for coffee and pastry; chatting for an hour or three with several of his army buddies; browsing for books at the library; tending to his garden; settling on the couch to play with his cats and (of course) to take a nap; then eating his Meals on Wheels for an early dinner—she hadn’t visited him since Christmas. Read More →

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