At the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home, we pride ourselves on quickly and effectively meeting your immediate needs after the death of a loved one. However, our support doesn’t stop there because we know that the days, weeks, and months after the funeral can be just as difficult.
That’s why Denise Hall-Brown Rollins works hard to ensure your aftercare needs are met. Denise is an author and grief coach who’s using her education, experience and skills to help people navigate their grief journey and the healing process. Through this partnership, you can expect the following:
- Follow-up after the funeral
- Access to grief related information and other resources on the 2Grieve2Gether website
- Free grief care support groups for adults and children
- Periodic support events for clients, such as an annual memorial service, a Memorial Day balloon launch, and holiday candle lighting services
If you have any questions about grief or these services, please contact Denise directly via telephone at 888.378.0202 or at the funeral home at 301.662.5520.
| The 2Grieve2Gether Resource Guide
The concept of 2Grieve 2Gether™ acknowledges that the journey through grief is a process one shouldn’t have to navigate alone. This requires both relationships and resources. 2Grieve 2Gether is designed to help people who are grieving (Survivors) and those who want to reach out to help them (Supporters). Below you will find excerpts from the 2Grieve 2Gether website and book written by Denise Hall Brown.
GENERAL THOUGHTS ON GRIEF
Having experienced the sudden and tragic deaths of my mother, son, aunt and husband, I now realize there were both similarities and differences with each loss. As such, no list could ever be complete when it comes to grief, nor will every item on a list apply to everyone. However, it’s helpful to start somewhere. Hence, the lists below include messages to both Survivors and Supporters. Hopefully, they’ll get you thinking and spark other ideas as you make your way through the grief process. Finally, it’s important to note that this document is not designed to make someone “get over” the death of someone special. I don’t know that you ever “get over” the loss of a loved one, yet I do know that it is possible to move forward and that this guide can help you to do so. - Denise
TIPS FOR SURVIVORS:
1. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect too much too soon. That includes having the perfect reaction or a fixed healing time. Just commit to working through things moment by moment.
2. Open yourself up to others. Try not to cut yourself off. Relationships are key and healing can be difficult to do alone.
3. Let people know if they’ve touched you in some way. Many times, when a loved one dies, we regret the things we were never able to share with him or her. While we can’t go back in time, we can take time out for the friends and loved ones who are still here. Thank them now while you have a chance.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Many times, we don’t want to bother others. However they’re often willing yet unsure of how to help, which may make our requests a welcome gift to them.
5. Show appreciation for the support and gifts you receive. People don’t always know if their gestures had the desired impact. Whether it’s a call or a note, when you have the energy to do so, consider letting them know what their actions meant to you.
6. Document your journey via journals, voice recordings, etc. The process of recording your thoughts can become a key part of your healing because it allows you time for expression and reflection.
7. Find helpful resources (Internet, books, counselors, support groups, etc.). 2grieve2gether.org will help you get started in this area.
8. Work on projects that honor your loved one’s memory. This allows you to put positive energy into something meaningful and lasting.
9. Protect your time and feelings as appropriate. Don’t feel like you have to make time for everyone or have to subject yourself to people and situations that will make you feel worse.
10. Allow yourself to experience a range of emotions. When you have moments of happiness, sadness, anxiety, stress, laughter, etc., know that it’s okay to feel and just let it out. In doing so, you avoid the build-up and eventual explosion that comes from holding in everything.
11. Find constructive ways to express your feelings. Whether it’s writing, talking to a friend, artwork, or another form of expression, look for ways to share what’s in your heart and mind.
12. Forgive people’s insensitivity. No one, including you, is perfect in their response to others. So, if others forget to be sensitive to your loss, go easy on them while appreciating those who actually remember.
13. Forgive people’s absence. Upon hearing of a loss and/or attending a funeral, people make a lot of promises about being there for you. Unfortunately, life goes on and they often forget what they said. Know that you have one or two people, along with your faith, to lift you up, that’s more than enough.
14. Forgive yourself. It’s easy to blame yourself for all the things you should have done or said to your loved one who has died. No one is perfect. As such, forgive yourself and work to let regrets go.
15. Pray continually for yourself and others. Survivors, Supporters, and everyone in between can benefit from this selfless gesture.
TIPS FOR SUPPORTERS:
1. When in doubt about what to say, just be there or tell them you care. A grieving person needs more than your silence. They need your connection.
2. Replace clichés with thoughtful words from your heart. Express yourself in calls, visits, handwritten notes, cards, and other meaningful gestures.
3. Don’t avoid the person because you don’t know what to say. Share any feelings of uncertainty and ask for their patience as you try to help.
4. Ask the person how they’re doing and mean it. Be willing to listen and provide support.
5. Understand that there are many ways to reach out (meals, flowers, donations, visits, memorial gifts, etc.). Think about what may be helpful and then do it.
6. Take initiative. Instead of making the Survivor contact you (i.e. call me if you need anything), go to them, suggest ideas, or just act on what you feel is right.
7. Don’t end your support right after the funeral. There will be many holidays and tough times when Survivors will need you. Invite them places, call or do other things to let them know you remember and care.
8. Be sensitive to the Survivor’s needs. They may not be themselves during this period. Exercise patience, love and, understanding as much as possible.
9. Don’t take things the Survivor says or does personally. Know that they are hurting and may lash out at those closest to them. Your empathy and forgiveness will help them to heal.
10. Don’t overextend yourself so much that you burn yourself out and can’t effectively help the Survivor. Only take on what you can manage, especially if you are grieving as well.
11. If you’re supporting a Survivor in a big way, make sure you have support also. Surround yourself with a few people (friends or professionals) who can be sounding boards, confidantes, and stress relievers.
12. Don’t create extra work for the Survivor. They have so much on their minds and so many tasks to accomplish. Don’t add to that by asking them to call you back or do other work.
13. If a Survivor reaches out to you, reach back. It probably took a lot of effort for them to ask for help, so, whenever possible, find realistic ways to accommodate and/or support them.
14. Know that the role you play in helping a Survivor is a very special part of the healing process. It’s not about being a perfect friend or following some script. Instead, it’s about genuinely being a friend who tries and succeeds in helping.
15. Pray for the Survivor and for yourself. It will give you strength, direction, and peace.
OTHER WEBSITE REFERENCES:
– Great site for those who would benefit from receiving daily emails on grief.