Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Helping Grieving Families...

This past Friday my Grandmother passed away.  I had lived with her for the past two and a half years.  She went into the hospital on July 3rd and then suffered a massive heart attack two days later.  After 12 total days in the hospital she passed away.  This is the first time I have ever been through an experience such as this and it has been an extremely difficult couple of weeks.  But there have been some wonderful people who stepped up to care for our family in some very simple ways.  I thought I would share some of those ways this week. 

Snacks are a blessing...
For several days, my Grandma was in hospice care at the hospital.  We would eat in shifts, but times would come where we really didn't want to leave and it was such a blessing to have snacks like fruit, chips, veggies, animal cookies, and etc in the room to snack on.  The hospice folks were wonderful and kept us stocked in coffee, drinks and a few snacks, but those other treats that were shared with our family meant a lot during those days.

When you offer to help, be specific
We had people who constantly offered to help us in any way we needed and it was such a blessing.  However, what I noticed was that most of time, my mind simply didn't work very well and if you asked me if I needed anything, I would automatically say, "No, I'm fine. Thank you."  And usually I didn't need anything.  But occasionally someone would say something like, "Would it be ok if we brought you dinner?" or "Would you like me to check on your dogs?" and then that would trigger something in my mind and I would realize that that would be very helpful.  But it wouldn't have occurred to me unless they had mentioned it.

Check in often
During our days at the hospital with Grandma, a few people would text me every day just to see how we were.  Sitting in that hospital room would make for long days and though not everyone could come to visit, just getting a text telling me they were praying meant so much.  More than I can even put into words.  

There was literally nothing that anyone could do during the time we sat by my Grandma's bed and waited for her to enter Glory.  But lots of people were praying for us and it was such a comfort.  We had messages on Facebook, text messages, phone calls and personal visits that continually reminded us that others were walking this road with us and carrying us to the Father when we had run out of words ourselves.   

These last few days have been incredibly difficult, but these few kindnesses have made all the difference in making what could have been nearly unbearable...bearable.  When any of the families in your church go through something like this, I'm sure these same kindesses would be a blessing to them as well.

Until next week...