Here’s the text of an article written by International Grief Expert Gloria Horsley that can help you know what to say and what not to say:
What Not To Say To A Grieving Person:
• You will never get over it. - This comment really drove me crazy as it always felt so condescending and minimizing and how do you respond? I didn’t want to “get over my son and his cousin’s death,” yet I wanted to move on to become strong and hopeful once again. I did want to get over the hurt. I now realize that I have “never gotten over it” but with time and work have transcended the pain and suffering and have again found joy.
• They are the first things you will think of every morning. - This was a comment was made by my husband’s secretary at Scott’s funeral. It’s true Scott being killed in an automobile accident was the first thing I thought of every morning for a while, and then as time went on I noticed that I started giving equal thought to my three living daughters and now my ten grandchildren.
• It wasn’t meant to be. - This is very fatalistic. How does anyone know what was meant to be. Someday when we join our loved ones we will know all the answers or not.
• You’re young. You can marry again. - I know that this comment drives widowers crazy. That special person will always be a part of your life.
• You can have another child. - Again, people are not replaceable. Our loved ones are unique and fill a special place in our lives.
• Maybe God is trying to teach you something. - Now, this must be a really crazy God if he/she wants us to suffer. I just can’t buy into this idea of a God.
• You must move on. - Who says? It is your life, and people move and change when they are ready. As a therapist, I always try to remember, “Don’t want more for people than they want for themselves.”
• They had a good life. - My sorrow is not about their “good life.” It is about how I will construct a new life without them.
• Be thankful you have other children. - As if I wasn’t thankful for my living children already. Our special children can never be replaced, but that doesn’t stop us from having a unique and special place in our hearts for each and every child that comes into our lives.
• Be strong for your parents. - This comment really bothered Scott’s sisters — Heidi, Rebecca and Heather — because they felt as though it discounted their loss.
Helpful Things To Say Or Do For A Grieving Person:
• Show up. - I used to send a card. Now, I send myself. My friend Sally showed up at our house before our first dinner alone, brought a book, and just read while we ate. It was very comforting.
• Do a kindness. - Friends mowed my lawn, took out the garbage, walked the dog and took the kids to movies.
• Answer the telephone and take notes. - We had dozens of casseroles, walls of flowers, and random gifts. Without careful notes taken by friends, we would have had no idea what to do with the empty dishes or who to thank.
• Create a memorial website. - When I was working on the Columbia University 9/11 project helping the fire fighters’ families whose loved ones died in the Twin Trade Towers, we created a memorial website where our staff could tell his family the great things their son and brother had done to help those in need.
• Be willing to sit down and listen. - This is important, as people often get anxious when confronted with grief and have difficulty being silent when those in grief talk. I needed to tell my story over and over again in order to have the enormity of my loss become a reality.
• Ask how they are really feeling. - Don’t ask this question unless you are willing to take some time to listen. You feel dropped when people ask you to dig deep and then look at their watch.
• Don’t try to be profound. - This advice was given to me by a very insightful priest. Just showing up and sitting with grievers is profound.
• Be patient. Learning to live again takes time. - Friends and family don’t like to see you suffer, and they really do want you to get on with life. They want you to be the person you were prior to the loss. They don’t want to hear the reality that “you will never be the same but will have to find a ‘new normal’.”
The environmentally-conscious natural burial and cremation area is a first for the Lake Macquarie-Hunter region. Only a handful of Australian memorial gardens offer natural memorial options. It's not necessarily just for people who specifically identify as environmentalists or "greenies", but rather those who've tried to reduce their carbon footprint during their lifetime.
There are no traditional headstones, but families can opt to have a natural rock with their loved one's details placed on a perimeter rock marking the boundaries of the Natural Reserve.
Lake Macquarie Memorial Park's Natural Memorial Reserve fosters the sustainable use of land and features native vegetation. Normal decomposition is encouraged by the prohibition of preparatory chemicals and the requirement that all coffins or cremation containers are fully biodegradable.
Beyond the mandatory requirements for the natural burial area, families can select the extent to which they lessen their environmental impact. Graves can be hand dug instead of machine dug.
Lake Macquarie Memorial Park has the facilities to offer a selection of tranquil settings in either our Remembrance Garden or Natural Memorial Reserve for Outdoor Funeral Services.
News vision courtesy of NBN News.
We've had an overwhelming response to our Online Memorials.
So much more than a simple death notice. It is here that you can create, for free, an everlasting tribute, a memory, of someone special you have loved and lost. Our website is not about death, it's about life. It's about appreciating the beautiful gift of being alive and taking the time to remember those who are no longer with us, and those that are.
Here you can create a free online memorial to reminisce, remember and pay tribute to those special persons who have enriched your life, family and friends. France Family Funerals Online Memorials is a place for families to come together and a stark reminder to not waste a single day, a reminder that every day together is precious, and beautiful. We hope our website and system will help assuage your grief and bring a positive perspective to your memories and appreciation of everything around you.
We have many members now and many memorials. Young and old alike, all races, and all places around the world. Whether we like it or not we all have a tenuous grip on life and occasionally we need to be reminded of how much we have to live for. That is the purpose of France Family Funerals Online Memorials.
If we have served your family in the past and you would like an Online Memorial setup for your loved one at NO COST, please contact our Administration Office on (02) 49814488 or send us a message.
Sandgate Cemetery Trust have launched a website this month with some interesting features.
Visitors can now search for graves online and receive Google Maps coordinates and photos of the headstone.
Using the huge database of records, Sandgate administration staff have provided us with some intriguing statistics regarding the age of people interred in the cemetery.
All cemetery fees and charges are also listed on the site.
Go to: www.sandgatecemetery.org.au