Blog

Connecting with the Lincoln, NE community and surrounding areas.

Grief and Self-Care:

Tiffany headshot compressedMy name is Tiffany Eisenbraun and I am one of the grief counselors with Roper and Sons Funeral Home. I wanted to take some time to discuss a topic I have a passion for, with grief work. I currently run our Structured Grief Group for individuals who have experienced a loss within the last 18 months or for people who may not have worked through their grief. I also work as a counselor with an agency in town with individuals who would like to have more one on one attention with their grief work. Grief is what led me to the counseling field and I enjoy the work I get to do with both my group and my individuals.

Self-care is something that is important in our everyday lives however, it becomes extremely important when we are going through grief and loss. Some of you may be asking what is self-care exactly and how do I do it? Self-care is exactly what it says, taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Self-care can look like going to the gym when we need a boost of energy or it can mean staying in bed a little longer to help mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Often our grief can overwhelm us emotionally, which makes us feel physically drained. These are times that are extremely important to make sure our basic self-care needs are being met.

There are five different domains of self-care and it is important to make sure that all five of these areas are being met. Often during grief people are taking care of one or two of the domains, while neglecting the rest. The five domains are:

  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual

There are certain activities that can fulfill multiple domains. Going for a walk or a hike for example can engage the physical domain because of health benefits, spiritual because you are walking in nature and finding a spiritual connection, and emotional because walking is a stress-buster. Below are some other examples that may be helpful to make sure you are maintaining your self-care following a death or any type of loss you may be experiencing:

Listen to your Body- Allow yourself to cry if you need to, sleep if you need to or if you need to reminisce, then take that time for yourself.

Lower expectations for yourself- You may not be able to resume your life the way it was 100% before your loss. Do not be afraid to ease yourself back into your daily routine. Feel free to go back to work part-time for a while or take a break. Educate those around you that you may not be able to meet your obligations in the same way that you did before the loss.

Seek counseling if you need it- There is never a thing as too much support. Often it can be helpful to talk to someone who is removed from the situation and can provide support specific to your grief. This can be done in an individual setting or even a grief support group. Do not hesitate to contact a grief counselor or a medical professional if you are struggling with your grief or are feeling hopelessness.

Let others know what you need from them- Others may not know what you need during this time. Give yourself permission to tell people what you may need from them. This could mean you need someone to spend your evenings with or it may mean you need some alone time.

Take the time to do things for yourself- When you feel up to it engage in activities that you get enjoyment from. These may be activities that you do alone or with a group of people. Whichever that may be, do not be afraid to put yourself first.

Pamper yourself- Take some time to treat yourself. Give yourself a spa day, take a bubble bath, buy a new outfit, or just go for a walk in a new place. Take time for yourself and find the connection with yourself again.

Keep a journal- Using writing to express your emotions can help you work through your grief. This can be something you use in counseling or to just keep to yourself.

Get physical exercise- This is one of the domains that can help fill multiple self-care domains. Try to stay physically active to your comfort level, it can help improve the way you feel.

Make sure you are eating and getting enough sleep- These two things will help you to function to the best of your ability. A healthy appetite and sleep are essential to get through the day. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to help you stay on track with a healthy appetite as well as get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.

Roper and Sons offers grief support through our Guided and Structured groups. If you would like more information on our grief support groups or are seeking a grief counselor, please call 402-476-1225.

Thank you for reading and we will see you next time!

Tiffany Eisenbraun, LMHP

References:
Grief and Loss: Self-Care. (2014, May 9). Retrieved May 16, 2017, from https://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/services/support/grief/self.html
Zamore, F., Leutenberg, E. A., & Brodsky, A. L. (2008). Griefwork: healing from loss: reproducible, interactive, and educational handouts. Duluth, MN: Whole Person Associates.

 

 

 

Coming Soon!

coming-soon_0Roper & Sons Funeral Home is very excited to announce that we will soon serve south Lincoln at a brand new facility.

South Lincoln is growing faster than most other areas in our community, and Roper & Sons is excited to be part of that growth.  Our address is 3950 Hohensee Drive, which is just south of 40th and Yankee Hill.  It is really neat to watch the construction progress.

We will continue to update our Facebook page with weekly photo updates of the construction progress, and share updates through our blog and other media as appropriate.

Hohensee Sign

 

Death & Social Media

facebook_twitter_logo_combo1In today’s society, social media is a very real, and often important part of life.  But what happens when you die? Does your account die with you?

The answer is… sort of.  Google deletes your account after a period of inactivity (this includes any Google+ and email accounts you have).

Twitter and Instagram have a policy in place to allow an authorized person to give them permission to delete the account using a specific form, and Facebook has a couple of options.  The deceased person’s account can be changed to a “memorialized” account, or it can be managed or deleted.  You must go into settings and name a “Legacy Contact”, or authorize Facebook to delete your account.

Of course, you can also just leave your page alone – friends sometimes like to share or have “conversations” on your page as a way of grieving or memorializing you.  As with all of your accounts, be sure to add handling of your social media footprint to your file of instructions for your loved ones after your death.

For further information, TechRadar provided this blog post: http://bit.ly/2a5m1uh

Why Should I Attend a Grief Group?

Hello!  I am Melisloving memory tulipssa,  one of the Grief Counselors at Roper and Sons, and a facilitator of one of the two Grief Groups we offer. Roper and Sons Funeral Home extends multiple avenues of support to our client’s and community. Our Grief Groups have been an area of recent growth and are offered to the public as a way to help find comfort and support during the grieving process. The good news about grieving in a group setting, you don’t have to do it alone.

There are two formats to the Grief Group; the first is our “Guided Group”, a group with members whose loss took place 18 months or more in the past.  The second is our “Structured Group”, a group for those whose loss took place less than 18 months ago, who are facing some of life’s “firsts” without their loved one.  Besides these two groups, on the second Sunday of each month, we offer “Art with Anna”, a creative therapeutic group, where we gather to paint, craft, or otherwise create works of art that allow us a couple of hours to escape our thoughts and put our creative talents to work.  The best part of Art with Anna is that you don’t have to be an artist to join!

Regardless of which group suits you and your current situation, both groups offer the following benefits:

  • The opportunity to begin the healing process. Healing can begin through telling our story, our loved ones story, and hearing the stories of others.
  • Emotional and physical support in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
  • Reflection on feelings, working towards gaining insight and hope through companionship.
  • Gaining coping skills to help get through the most difficult days in our grief journey.
  • The opportunity to discover new ways and share ideas on how to keep your loved one present in our heart and memories.
  • Increase our understanding of how others may grieve differently. This may help us resolve feelings towards friends and family who’s response to grief looked different than our own.
  • Give yourself permission to grieve, it does us no good to continue going about our lives stuffing these feelings and pretending they are not there.

 Why Should I Attend?

  • Because it is hard to heal in isolation.
  • Because Sundays are hard.
  • Because we lost part of our support system and need to take steps to find support.
  • Because in being there for each other we can find purpose in life.

If it sounds like you could benefit from our Grief Groups, please consider this a personal invitation. At Roper and Sons we want to support you through this difficult time. The grieving process is a journey that we should not have to tread alone. If you have questions about our Grief Groups don’t hesitate to contact us at 402-476-1225.

Hope to see you there!

Melissa Thorne, M. A., PLMHP

melissa headshot

But, I Don’t Want a Traditional Funeral!

traditionTraditional funerals — you know, the ones where everyone wears black, and everything is somber, and the eulogy could be for anyone, and the music couldn’t be any more standard — are fine for some people, but not for you!

Good news!  YOU can choose what kind of service you have.  You don’t have to go with anything traditional if you don’t want.   You can have some contemporary and some traditional elements, or whatever you choose!  At Roper & Sons, we strive to make your final remembrance about you.  If that means throwing a big party, with beer & pizza, we’ll do it.  If it means a traditional service with some of your favorite songs and Bible passages, you’ve got it!

We personalize every service, so that when your loved ones say their final goodbye, they are left with good memories.  From personalized service folders, to tribute videos with favorite photos and songs, even to the foods that are served at the reception following the service, everything is about remembering you in the way you want to be remembered.

We take pride in serving you and your family in the same way we would serve our own.  If you would like to learn more about Roper & Sons Funeral Services, feel free to call us at 402-476-1225.

How Can I Help?

The holidays are upon us, and many of us have friends and loved ones who are grieving. candlesOne of the hardest things about loss is knowing how to be a friend, knowing what do say, knowing how to help.  The following list offers some suggestions regarding how to care for a grieving loved on this season.

  • Share memories – happy memories, sad memories, memories of holidays past, memories of favorite traditions.
  • Let your loved one know you are hurting too.  Often those who are grieving feel very alone in their grief.
  • Help find a meaningful way to honor the deceased.
  • Allow your friend to cry, laugh – and leave when he or she needs to leave.  Don’t insist they stay at the party, family gathering, etc when they just want to be alone.  Don’t tell them to “cheer up” or question why they seem happy.
  • Allow traditions to change.  Don’t insist on doing things the way they have always been done.
  • Allow your friend to say no – no to invitations, no to celebrations, no to company.
  • Allow your friend to change his/her mind about parties, celebrations, traditions, and more.
  • Remember that much of what a person does is a reflection of their grief, not of the holiday, or friends and family.  Even though someone is hurting and may seem detached, they still love and care for their living friends and family.

Service of Remembrance

Christmas candle smallRoper & Sons Funeral Services is holding a special Remembrance Service, honoring those who passed away in 2016.  The Remembrance Service will be held on Sunday, December 11th at 2 p.m. in our Chapel located at Roper & Sons Funeral Home, 4300 O Street in Lincoln.  Anyone who experienced the death of a loved one in 2016 is invited to attend, regardless of whether funeral or memorial services were provided by Roper & Sons.

This Remembrance Service is a special program being provided by Roper & Sons to support those who are grieving during this holiday season.  A small gift will be provided for families, and a coffee reception will be held following.

Reservations are appreciated, and may be either called in to 402-476-1225 or emailed to info@roperandsons.com.

Holidays…

AThe holiday season is upon us. A joyous time?  Sure, for many. Not so joyous for many others. Please know that if you have experienced the death of a loved one this year, you are in our thoughts and prayers.  This will undoubtedly be a tough season for you – and that’s alright!  First and foremost, take care of yourself. Don’t worry about traditions, don’t worry about parties and the like, if you don’t feel up to it. Just like the tangled strand of lights with this post – it’s okay to be a “mess” this year – and the next, and many next after that, if that’s what it takes. Remember, grief doesn’t have a timetable. Each person grieves in their own way, and that’s okay!

We here at Roper & Sons want to offer you a safe place to grieve.  You are welcome to attend any of our grief group sessions – even if you did not have your loved one’s service with us! On December 11th, we will offer a very special Remembrance Service, honoring those who have passed away throughout this year. We welcome you to join us!

All of our grief programs are held at 2 p.m. on Sundays. You can contact us at 402-476-1225, or visit our website here to learn more.

But, it’s SO difficult to discuss!

talk bubblesWe all have to have tough conversations sometimes.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, talking about death and our funeral plans is probably one of the hardest. No one likes to say “hey, Mom, so I’ve been thinking about your death…”  However, it’s even more difficult NOT to have important discussions.  Aging and dying are a fact of life, ignoring them won’t make them go away.  Not planning for the future will not change it – it will just make tough decisions tougher when the time comes.

There are a lot of ways to start important discussions.  I know a lady who won’t serve her family dessert on holidays until they have a “medical moment” discussion.  I know others who call big family meetings for difficult discussions.  Others still make them a normal part of daily dialogue.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get all questions answered and plans put in place during an initial conversation. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t seem to make much progress – instead, approach it as the first of many talks to help you learn more about your loved one’s life and what they value most.

Even if you do feel you’ve covered most of the issues you wanted to address, it’s still a good idea to check in periodically to ensure your loved one is comfortable with the plans that are in place. This will also help your loved one understand their plans can be changed later if they realize their preferences have shifted.

To learn more about ways to ease into difficult conversations, visit our Talk of a Lifetime on our website, and request a brochure.  Click here:  Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

What Can I Say?

here-to-help-jgoodeAll too often, we struggle with what to say when comforting a grieving friend.  What is enough? What is too much? What seems contrite?  The compassionate part of us wants to say something comforting, to support our friend, to show we care.  Yet, too often anything we say may feel empty.  Have you found yourself saying “call me if you need anything”?  I know I have!  I also know I am very unlikely to call anyone to ask for help when I need it, regardless the reason.

So, what if, along with offering thoughts or words, we go help!  Show up (don’t just call, it’s too easy to say no), and help with things like laundry, cleaning the bathroom, making dinner, taking the dog for a walk, taking the kids to the park… You get the idea.  What if we are there instead of just offering our words of comfort?

And not just in the early days and weeks following a loss.  Grief can be exhausting, for a long time.  Check in with your friend months later.  Take them to dinner.  Invite them over for a  celebration around special days such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. Take their dog for a walk.  Do the laundry. Allow them to rest and not worry about the mundane day to day tasks.  Be there.