AUTHOR: Jackie Naginey Hook
TAG LINE: Jackie Naginey Hook, MA, is a spiritual director, celebrant and end-of-life doula. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College. For more information, please call 814-237-2712 or visit www.kochfuneralhome.com.
AGENCY: Koch Funeral Home
A character in Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Book of Longings, made a statement that jumped off the page and has resonated with me since. A brother said to his sister, “Your grief will come. Let it be sooner, than later.” This comment was made after the brother shared the news of the death of their mother who had badly mistreated the sister. Wise and encouraging words. “Your grief will come. Let it be sooner, than later.”
Once while facilitating a grief education program, I was talking to the participants about embracing grief. One woman said to me, “Embrace is too kind for grief!” I said, “Okay, ho
w about allow?’ She liked that. Again, “Your grief will come. Let it be sooner, than later.”
There are people in other cultures who say that Americans think death is optional. Tha
t our culture avoids talk of grief, mourning and death, and many of us do what we can
to push our grief away, hold it in or run from it. Yet again, the reminder, “Your grief will come. Let it be sooner, than later.”
Grief is the natural reaction to loss. We experience loss every day – when we go to bed at night we’re letting go of another day. Obviously, some losses are more significant than others, like the death of a loved one. And your grief will come. So why not allow it soon
er, than later? Many people tell me that their fear of grief was actually harder than the grief itself.
The grief journey is unique for each individual and each loss. Some losses are complicated, like the death of the mother I described earlier. Sadly, some losses carry stigmas. Some grief is intense for a long time. Some is lighter and easier to release. There is only your way of allowing it so the grief can transform you to make your life good again.
In whatever way your grief comes, we hope you allow it sooner in a healthy way. Grief is what we feel on the inside, and mourning is moving it to the outside. At Koch Funeral Home, we want to give you the opportunity to do both on your terms.
We’ve created a variety of safe spaces for you to grieve and mourn in authentic ways. We have our monthly virtual Monday’s Moments Gatherings, in-person Monday’s Moments at Millbrook Marsh, virtual Grief Healing Circles and virtual Death Cafes. In March we’re beginning Stories of Loss, a six-week grief education and support series and, in partnership with Centre Region Parks and Recreation, in April we’ll begin A Walk with Grief, a six-week Tuesday morning walk series. Please visit www.kochfuneralhome.com for details.