Caring Bridge and Journeying Through Grief

My good friend’s mother is going to pass away sometime in the next two weeks. That’s what the doctors say.

It is really hard to sit by someone’s bed and watch them slowly fade away. I’m very glad that her mom can talk and be awake right now. I’m sure she is in pain, but I’m happy that my friend can talk with her.

Hubby and I have been married for almost 30 years. Just about every two years we have a close family member pass away. I can’t say we are ‘used to it’ because I don’t think anyone ever gets ‘used to’ feeling cut off from someone they love.

My Aunt sent me some wonderful books to read called Journeying Through Grief by Kenneth C Hauck. A friend or loved one sends one to the grieving person every three months. There are four to guide you through the first year of grieving.

In one of the books it quotes C.S. Lewis describing death as an amputation. Once a limb is gone, it is gone, nothing can replace it. The pain eventually goes away, but the emptiness is left.

Two other things that we have found helpful as we have journeyed through a long illness with someone are Caring Bridge and phone messages.

Caring Bridge is a site that allows you to set up a page for a loved one. Someone can update the page daily or whenever is appropriate. Friends and family can send good wishes and messages through the site to the person who is ill, or to those who are caring for him/her. I loved keeping track of my uncle through the site. I could hear all about how he was doing, his ups, and his downs. But I didn’t have to call my aunt, I could leave messages and let her spend her time with her husband instead of on the phone.

Another thing that my other Aunt did was to have her husband update their house phone messages. She had open heart surgery and, of course, lots of people wanted to know how she was doing. He updated the messages to tell how the day was going. We could leave a phone message and my Aunt could hear it and call us when she was feeling up to it.

Sometimes, when someone is dying, we really want to talk to others about it. We want to share our burden and let them help us carry it. Especially if we know that they understand what we are going through. Sometimes we don’t want to explain the situation one more time. We just want to ‘be still’ and feel the Spirit, that’s when Caring Bridge and phone messages are a blessing.

I know my friend will be okay. It will take a while. She said it is all surreal right now. They were only given the diagnosis a few days ago.

I remember feeling as if I was walking and working in a dream when my mom suffered her aneurysm. It was 13 very long days before she passed away. I ache for my friend, my arms want to wrap around her and tell her that it will be a long recovery for her, but she will recover. I want to do what I can to ease her pain. I don’t wish this burden on anyone, but I know it is a road we will all have to travel sometime in our life.

Good-bye to a wonderful woman who has brought music to the lives of countless people. Good-bye to a mom and a grandma. We will see you again someday, but we will all miss you until we are reunited.

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