Archive for Grief Support Group – Page 2

Hospice, Grief, and the Well-Dressed Guy

He was dressed for success.

His suit was charcoal gray, the shirt the color of a spring sky, and the tie was snappy. The shoes were shined into mirrors. I figured, since this was my hospice’s grief support group that met mid-day (for those 55 and over), that he was coming from work.

Or maybe the fellow was retired and chose to wear his “Sunday best.” My father, long after his final days of full-time work, frequently donned a nice shirt and cinched up one of the ties he’d worn years before. Until his cruel dementia stole nearly everything about him, Dad might add a sports jacket or color-coordinated sweater to complete the look.

Some guys, office bound or happily retired, like to maintain appearances.

My new group member did.

It was the first session. Read More →

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Grief Support Groups are Not for Everyone, But…

She called mere minutes after the first grief support group had ended. Which meant she was likely still out in the parking lot, using her cell phone (I hate cell phones, I love cell phones), telling me she was quitting before beginning her drive home.

Yeah, quitting.

I was still putting materials away when the office phone rang. I hadn’t even written the required brief summary for the medical charts about what happened in the opening session.

I answered the phone.

She identified herself. “Do you remember who I am?” Read More →

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That’s Daddy

What is your name? Or should I say . . . names?

Why did your parents give you your first and middle names? Do you have more than three names? Is there a Jr. III, or Ph.D. after your last name? Do you have a title in front, like Dr. or Rev. or—if you’re in Congress—Honorable? During the recent presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton was often introduced as, “Secretary Clinton.” That represented a traditional gesture of respect towards her for the last official office (Secretary of State) she had held.

Let’s focus on middle names. Why do you have that name?

For me it’s “George.” As far as I know, it was chosen because it was Dad’s middle name. Beyond that spare early fact, George later inspired personal connections to cartoon characters and World War II heroes. During high school a few jokingly called me “George of the Jungle,” a reference to a dumb cartoon on television. There was also the famous World War II military figure, General George Patton (note his “misspelled” last name!), which led to a few “general” nicknames. And let’s not forget the nursery figure, Georgie-Porgie*. When bad as a kid, my little used middle name served as a warning for impending doom. If my parents demanded that Lawrence George Patten come to them “right now,” it was Trouble, with a capital T.

What about your middle name? What’s the history? Has it prompted lasting nicknames or is it part of lifelong family stories?

But why ponder names when my usual subject is hospice? Read More →

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