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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Remembrances /   Editorial List  

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 Remembrances

There are two anniversaries we traditionally mark when we lose a loved one: their passing and their birth. The former can be all the more painful at the one year mark, especially when the loved one was taken very suddenly and was very young. In addition to any religious ceremonies that may be conducted, family members are left to decide what memorials (if any) would be appropriate to commemorate their loved one as the years pass. 

Last week marked the anniversary of the passing of a young woman who meant a great deal to me; someone I wrote about a few months ago on our shared birthday.

I met Sara and her family as neighbors many years ago in Miami, but they all quickly became members of my own extended family and we stayed close even after they moved north.  Last week, Sara’s sister Daryl, niece Kiley and mother Coni came back to Miami to sprinkle some of her ashes into the ocean she loved so much as she was growing up. It was a private and simple ceremony, which seemed to be what Sara would have wanted.

In a city four states away at about the same time, a close friend from when I lived in North Carolina was having a similar ceremony with his spouse and two children.  They realized the end was near for this beloved family member and this seemed to be the day that they would say goodbye for the final time.  That evening was filled with hand holding, final loving messages, laughter and tears.  One of the differences between these two stories is that in one case, the loved one had time to take part in the planning of the final moments and memorial ceremonies and in the other, they did not.

As we complete the family checklist and advanced directives for ourselves and our loved ones, how many of us are willing (or able) to discuss with our loved ones their wishes for how to celebrate their lives upon passing? How many of us are willing to share our own wishes with our loved ones, as well?  Wouldn’t it make a difficult time that much easier to manage?
  
Share your story about memorial wishes conversations

 

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief

gary@caregiver.com