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Save a Seat

Thoughts on Grief During the Holidays and Major Events by Jessamyn Putnam

The holidays are here, and whether it is your first holiday following the loss of a loved one or not, suffice it to say, this is usually a rough time of year for those grieving the loss of someone they loved.

So what do you do?  While there is no “one size fits all” approach, grief does not take a sabbatical at Christmas, or weddings, or birthdays.  First and foremost, allow yourself and others the right to grieve.  Everyone grieves differently, and instead of telling someone how to grieve, allow them the freedom to grieve in their own way and do not take it personally.  I have twin boys, and while identical, they grieve differently.  One acts out and says mean things, the other just cries and cries with very loud, heart-wrenching sobs.  I acknowledge their loss and give them space and forgiveness, while also allowing myself the opportunity to step away and cry my own tears.  We can also be hard on ourselves, but this is not the time.  We must give ourselves grace and space to grieve.  Stifling or denying grief leads to unresolved grief which can cause physiological problems and make you physically ill.

Recognize and commemorate your loved one by saving a seat.  Set a place at the table, include a favorite shirt on the chair, shoes on the floor, and/or photo on the place setting.  Your loved one might be physically gone but will remain ever present in your thoughts for some time to come.  Encourage family and friends to share their memories or stories.  While a loved one might no longer be with us, it is important to remember the good times, to laugh about funny things they said or did, and to acknowledge that he or she is missed.  Yes, there is a strong possibility of tears, but it is also a time for family bonds and bonds of friendship to grow stronger.

Know you are not alone.  Friends oftentimes do not know how to respond to someone grieving the loss of a loved one.  They would love for you to reach out and tell them what you need.  At the same time, it is important for friends to offer specific ways of assistance – cooking a meal, mowing the lawn, folding laundry, a cup of coffee.  Every day tasks can often feel overwhelming when someone you loved has died.  Lean on your churches, funeral homes, hospices, and social/service organizations as many offer grief programs and/or assistance with daily tasks.

Remember to breathe.  Take each day at a time.  And save a seat for the one you loved.

©2019 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory

David Staples Sorensen

Brittany Armstrong

Ruth Darlene Ragozzino

Captain Peter T. Potts

Belinda Gibson

David Chris Heatley

Donald Poston

Memorializing Mom for Mother’s Day

by Jenny Goldade of Frazer Consultants

With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s a time to honor moms and remember those no longer physically with us. It’s a tough time of year for those grieving the loss of their mom. That’s why we’ve come up with these mementos and traditions to pay tribute to mom this Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Mementos

A DIY memento is a perfect keepsake to honor and remember mom. From photo crafts to a shadowbox, there’s something for everyone that captures their mom’s personality.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Make a photo memento such as memorial frame or scrapbook filled with photos of your mom and her adventures.
  • Put together a shadowbox filled with her favorite things such as clothes, jewelry, photos, and items related to her hobbies.
  • Decorate a jewelry box to keep all her jewelry safe in one place.
  • Personalize a vase with her name and other little decorations like gems or ribbon and put her favorite flowers inside.
  • Organize all her signature recipes into a personalized recipe book.

Family Traditions

Family members can come together during Mother’s Day to honor and remember her together. Whether it’s through visiting her favorite place or baking her favorite dish, there are many ways to pay tribute to mom.

Some ideas are:

  • Visit her grave site or ash scattering location and leave flowers.
  • Go to her favorite restaurant and go around the table and share a memory of her.
  • Plant flowers in a memorial garden in her honor.
  • Donate time to a community food pantry, animal shelter, children’s hospital, or another location.
  • Take a trip to her childhood home, school, or another special place.

Personal Rituals

When grieving your mom, it’s alright to have a tradition of your own to honor her. There are many possibilities, from writing a tribute to her or just taking the time to look through old photos.

Here are a few ideas to help find the perfect ritual to remember her by:

  • Take some time to yourself to remember her by just sitting in peace and quiet.
  • Look through old photo albums and scrapbooks.
  • Remember her by lighting a tribute candle in your home.
  • Write and dedicate a song or poem to her (you can share it, frame it, or keep it to yourself).
  • Keep a book of your memories with her and share them with your children or loved ones.

 

Healing Hearts

Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC, which includes Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls and Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram, is happy to be a Healing Hearts sponsor for Camp Agape, a free summer program for children grieving the loss of a loved one.

Registration is now open for the 2019 camp, which is scheduled for July 8-11 at Camp Buckner Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 attend Camp Agape at no cost to their families. Register eligible children now at the Camp Agape website –www.CampAgapeTexas.org.

We cannot say enough good things about this organization. They are wholly committed to helping families that have experienced trauma from the loss of a loved one and we have personally witnessed how their efforts change children’s lives in the Highland Lakes area.

Most children come away from their Camp Agape experience able to process their grief and move past it. There are numerous examples of these children now serving in their organization as leaders and taking what they learned from their hardship and using their experience to grow and help others overcome death. This camp provides opportunities for experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Many times, these children have not left their loved one’s side since the death occurred. This camp pulls them out into a “camp environment” to have fun, process their grief, learn to move forward, and also to realize they are not alone. The children see there are many other children going through what they are going through. In addition, they receive professional help from counselors and have buddy counselors that have walked the path they are walking.

After the camp is over, each child also has the opportunity to come to a Fall Retreat and process grief with their family and also meet other friend’s families. Many of the children that attend camp make life-long friendships with other children attending because they are able to bond at such an intimate level.

In addition to donating to this organization, we volunteer as well. It has been a wonderful experience.  Camp Agape will change the future of a child’s life… guaranteed.

To find out more about Putnam, Cremations, Burials, Preplanning, Celebrations of Life, Monuments, Grief and Aftercare, please visit www.CremationAdvocates.net or www.PutnamCares.com.

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