It’s About Love After All
By Lisa Levy, BSN, RN, Grief Support Coordinator, Genesis Grief Support
Nothing Else Matters More
“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.”
- Roy T. Bennett.
A colleague recently asked why, after seven years as a hospice nurse, I would become a grief counselor. I decided that it is all about the light of love. If there is one thing my hospice patients and families have taught me, it is this: when reflecting on the meaning of life, nothing else matters more than how you love.
What a privilege to be with those who are facing the end of a life on this earth. There is such a clarity and genuineness found in people who have only months, weeks or days to live.
Losing a loved one has a way of bringing clarity. A bereaved person in a grief education class once said, “Nothing else is important. I just want to be with my family and watch my grandkids.”
She then continued to talk about the holiday traditions their family holds close and how they celebrate each other, their loved one who recently died, and being family. While her eyes filled with tears, she smiled tenderly as she talked about her family.
The Tender Privilege of Companioning
“Love is not consolation. It is light.” - Simone Weil
Genesis Grief Support helps with the variety of losses we face in life: loss of a loved one, loss of health, loss of relationships such as in divorce, loss of a home, from moving for example, or loss of things hoped for. Often there are no words to say in response to deep sadness, yet a hand held or hugs given mean everything as a hurting person shares his or her stories of love. Simply sitting with a person as the tears fall is a profound expression of support.
People ask me if I cry a lot at work. I smile and say of course, daily. However, the tears are a result of the tender privilege of companioning people who are trying to navigate the final stage of their lives together or the new beginning of a life now hurting from significant loss.
An end of life experience does not end with the death of a loved one. Yet it is always a time of celebrating life, reflecting on the adventurous twists and turns, failures and triumphs--and making peace with it all. Time and time again, I hear, “I can’t thank you enough for caring.”
Being Light in the Darkness of Loss
“Shine your light and make a positive impact on the world;
there is nothing so honorable as helping improve the
lives of others.” - Roy T. Bennett
I recently found this quote, “Give light and people will find the way.” Being light in the darkness of loss means providing education on the normal physical, emotional and spiritual grief responses to a difficult loss.
Being light is facilitating support groups and grief education classes and guiding people through their loss. It means going to those who hurt who cannot come to me, whether in their home or in Independent, Assisted Living and Nursing facilities; meeting people where they are in their journey with grief and lending from the heart while speaking kind words in love.
This is being light in the darkness of loss. This is why I wanted to be a part of Genesis Grief Support.
Genesis Grief Support envisions a community where everyone going through the significant loss finds support in their journey with grief.
Learn more about our services--or you may contact a Genesis Grief Support staff member at 563.421.5000.
Get the Help You Need
If you desire to talk with a grief support specialist, simply fill out the form below. Our staff will contact you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience: