Grief Talk #1 Grief and Unfinished Business

A day or two before I officiate a funeral or memorial service I call a group meeting with as many of the close family members as we can get together.

I use that time together for two reasons. I gather information with which to write the eulogy. We talk about good memories. I ask questions like: If you could give on reason he was a great father, or husband … what would it be. What were his character strengths.

This walk down memory lane leads right into the second reason for the meeting. It kick starts the healing process. It is a debriefing time to start dealing with the grief.

For people who like to hold in their emotions, this might be the first time they shed a tear. It’s an opportunity to see each other hurting and encourage one another.

I point out that there are many different ways to grieve. While some show very little emotion, the emotions of others are all over the place so being patient with each other is important.

At this point it is very important for me, as the counselor, to listen for regrets. There seems to be more pain the regrets.

• I wish I had spent more time with him.
• The last time we talked I yelled at her.
• I never told him I was sorry.
• The last year I had just been so busy.
• I didn’t know she was in so much pain, or so sad, or lonely.
• The what ifs or what if I had not.
• I never should have.

There is always someone left behind who has some regrets.

• I tell them the slate has been wiped clean.
• I tell them heaven is a place where there is no pain
• There are no bad feelings.
• It’s a place of perfection
• There are no fears or doubts.
• Nothing you could have, should have, or did do on earth will mess up that perfection.
• It’s a place of pure love.
• More pure a love than he could ever even given or experienced while in his human state.

Not being able to let go of regrets can really intensify and prolong the grief as a person tries to make up for whatever he regrets.

If you are grieving now over the loss of a loved one and are hanging on to regrets. Let it go.

Let the healing begin.

I hope this helps. If you think this will help someone else, please pass it on.
I will continue talking about grief on next Wednesday’s post.

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Thanks for watching and God bless.

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