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How to handle conflicting grief feelings

It’s common for grieving people to struggle with the following conflicting thoughts:
If I feel okay today, this must mean I’m forgetting my loved one!
My suffering is a sign of how much my loved one meant to me. If I’m not suffering, my love for them must be diminishing! 
If I stop feeling the deep pain of grief, it means life can move on without my loved one and I won’t let that be true.
The only thing that keeps me connected to my loved one is the pain of my grief. Any piece of that grief that disappears is another piece of my loved one disappearing.

It’s common to gravitate towards the pain, especially when it feels like the only alternative is losing connection to your loved one.

Remember, your loved one’s memory does not live in the pain of your grief.

Say it out loud: My loved one’s memory does not live in the pain of my grief.
It lives in YOU; in the stories you tell about your loved one, memories you share with others, things you do that your loved one taught you; things you do in their honour and memory; in every little thing you do to stay connected to them –
like taking photos, listening to music they loved, or making their favourite food.

In your initial grief, things like music, photographs and reminders can bring pain, so you may think if the pain starts to heal that these things mean less to you, which means your loved one’s memory is disappearing, which means your love for them is diminishing.

But that’s not true, say grief experts. As time passes our brain learns to manage the emotional pain. Slowly but surely, we gain a bit more control and pain starts to ease slightly. This doesn’t mean your loved one is disappearing as your pain eases; rather, you are learning to live with the memory of your loved one in a different way.

Embrace the idea that as pain diminishes, you may actually find more space to consciously continue bonds and to keep your loved one’s memory alive.

One grief expert shared how following her dad’s death, if a CCR song came on the car radio, she had to change the station or she’d cry hysterically. As time passed, when a CCR song came on the radio, she’d sing along, “do a ridiculous car-dance,” and tell whoever was around how much the song reminded her of her dad.

Your connection to your loved one can be part of your daily life, as you move forward and find a “new normal.” Figure out what that looks like for you, find positive ways to continue bonds with your loved one, and let go of more and more of the pain without fear of letting go of the person you love.

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What can I do to help?

When a friend is in need, everyone asks, "What can I do to help?"
The answer is always to make a meal. When many friends make and deliver a meal, this is called a meal train.
Meal Train is a system of organized meal giving around a significant life event, such as the birth of a baby or a death, based on contributing one meal from one person per day. Participating in a Meal Train is free.
Mealtrain.com includes a free shared Meal Train calendar and provides answers to questions such as: What do they like? When are they available? What have they already had? Are there any allergies? When should I drop off a meal?
To organize a Meal Train, identify a friend who could use a little support and
enter their name, email address, and where to drop off meals. Enter your friend’s food likes, dislikes, allergies, and the best dates and times to drop off a meal. 
Add an optional Donation Fund to increase participation.
Invite friends, family, congregation members via email, Facebook, twitter,
newsletters, and more. Invited friends respond to the invitation, sign up for a date, and take a meal.
For a one-time $10 fee, Meal Train Plus coordinates organized support which includes multiple meals per day as well as rides, childcare,
housework, dog-walking and more. Questions?  contact@mealtrain.com

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A Unique, Memorable Christmas Gift IdeaOur Blog

While working with hospice patients, Kimberley Robb found a way to help them tell their life story.
She created RetroScripts, a meaningful method of preserving your precious memories—or the legacy of a loved one—in a beautiful bound hardcover book, with stunning images.
RetroScripts features Alzheimer’s or Dementia memory books, Life Legacy books, Birth and Milestone memory books, Family Legacy books, or Wedding and Anniversary memory books.
Kimberley takes great care in customizing every book to reflect the unique life of each individual. They can include music or audio clips—which record your loved one’s story, in their own voice, for eternity.

For more information, contact us at Bocchinfuso Funeral Home, or Kimberley@retroscripts.ca


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A Guide to Lightening Holiday Grief for Adults

A family tradition, familiar food or holiday scent may trigger feelings of loss or memories of your loved one, bringing added grief and a desire to escape until the holiday season is over.
But experts advise it’s better to accept—not avoid—these emotions, as a way of healing.
Skip a party if you’re not up to it, but don’t isolate yourself completely, since being with family and friends—who are likely grieving too—can create an opportunity to reminisce and share stories about your loved one and lighten your heavy heart.
Psychologists say one of the most effective ways to handle holiday grief is to create new rituals, which incorporate the memory of a loved one into the holidays themselves.
Keep their memory alive by lighting a memorial candle, hanging a special ornament, or cooking their favourite meal. Set a spot for them at the table, and toast their memory.
Or start a whole new tradition.
Grieving families can lift their spirits by donating gifts or funds to people (or pets) in need, or volunteering at a soup kitchen.
Remember, the holiday season is only temporary.

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Our BlogMeaningful Gifts

Looking for a meaningful keepsake gift for someone who’s experienced a loss this year?

Stitching Memories makes various size pillows, memory (stuffed) animals, and memory blankets from your departed loved one’s garments.

It’s recommended that any garments intended to become keepsakes are not laundered. Sense of smell is 1,000 times more sensitive than other senses and the recognition is immediate.

These hand-crafted items are designed to lessen the stress of separation while soothing, comforting and easing a child or adult’s emotional distress.

Seamstresses at Stitching Memories can embroider a personalized sentiment on your keepsake items, with prices starting at $15. The possibilities are endless.

Contact us at Bocchinfuso Funeral Home and we’d be happy to help you find unique thumbprint keepsake jewellery and other meaningful, memorable gifts to brighten someone’s holiday season.

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Welcome to Bocchinfuso Funeral Home

For two years, owners Kelly Liddycoat and her husband, Rick Westlake, have nurtured the deep roots of five generations of Liddycoats who have made their home in Thorold.

Kelly’s father, Ted Liddycoat, was born and raised in Thorold, and apprenticed under two of the town’s founding funeral directors, Noble S. Crowe and Bill Lamb, before establishing his own successful funeral home.

After managing several funeral homes in north Ontario, Rick and Kelly came ready and willing to serve the Thorold community in 2015.

And serve it they have.

An avid reader and animal-rescuer, Kelly graduated as a licensed Funeral Director from Humber College, where she won awards for her outstanding compassion.

Having helped guide hundreds of families through the painful process of losing a loved one, Kelly remains as caring and compassionate as ever.

She serves on the Board of Managers of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the Thorold Community Activities Group, and is Chair of the Niagara Area Business Women’s Network.

Rick is also an experienced Funeral Director, whose philosophy is: “I want to serve people, not be a salesman. The corporations have to maximize their profits and hit targets. The independent funeral home is more about serving families and the community.”

Rick has devoted 24 years of his life to volunteering with the Kiwanis Club, and now serves as president of the Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines. In 2012, he earned a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service, and as founding chairman of the Children’s Wish Foundation in Peterborough, Rick helped terminally-ill children realize their dying wishes through fundraising and dream vacations. Currently, he volunteers on the executive of the Port Dalhousie Bridge Commission, a group dedicated to safe boating through education, and is a member of St. John’s Anglican Church in Thorold.

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Much More Than Just A Funeral Home

Kelly and Rick take tremendous pride in providing extra personal touches, and offer a variety of services for every type of funeral imaginable—from traditional visitations to simple memorial services and immediate dispositions. For those who wish to honour their loved ones in a slightly less traditional manner, Celebrations of Life can be completely customized to capture the essence of a life in a very personal way.

Bocchinfuso Funeral Home can direct you to Grief Recovery sessions, designed to help people heal from the loss of a special loved one, regardless of which funeral home they have patronized.

We also host Vision Board workshops to help terminally ill people express their final thoughts, or for those who wish to use self-empowerment and creative energy to manifest positive change in their lives.

At Bocchinfuso, our motto is: Compassion for Families, Passion for our Community.

And if you’ve met us, you know that we don’t just say it; we live it!

We're proud of our deep commitment to supporting the community we serve.

Whether a funeral is imminent, or you just have questions you’d like answered, we’re here to welcome you at any time and expertly guide you through the entire funeral process.

Please feel free to visit our friendly family-owned funeral home at 2 Regent Street, contact us at 905-227-0161, or through our website: www.bocchinfusofh.com.

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