Healing in the Journey

Posted on July 25, 2013 by Amy Henthorn under Personal Stories of Grief

Steps in woods

If there is one thing I have learned from working in the Funeral Service industry, it is that everyone grieves differently.  From young to old, rich to poor, culture to culture… grief is one of the most personal, intimate, unique emotions we experience

When my dad died after a sudden battle with brain cancer, my personal grief process was writing.  I used social media to post updates and struggles, to keep friends informed and to ask for moral support.  Reading how other people were grieving the loss of my dad, and knowing that his life impacted people beyond our immediate family was an enormous part of my healing.  It taught me that I didn’t have to grieve alone.  That compilation of posts is something that I return to often when I want to remember him, or the journey.

I also watched my three young sons all experience the loss in very different ways.  My oldest observed the adults around him and took his cues from how we were grieving.  He is the one who still comforts me when we visit the cemetery, and writes me notes on Father’s Day.  He is my quiet supporter who has taught me the power of hugs.  My middle son detached from it all.  He loved his grandpa dearly, but yet to this day hasn’t shown the outward expression of grief that I had expected.  He’s not in denial, or unaffected, he just doesn’t have much to say about it.  He has taught me not to dwell in the mourning.  And the voice of the family, my youngest son, has talked it all out.  He often talks about “Pap,” and tells stories about him. He watches the memorial DVD and wants to know every detail about every picture.  He keeps the spirit of my dad alive in all of us.

So, you see, even in my own little corner of the world, grief looks different for each person who encounters loss.  And while we all grieve personally and uniquely, what a blessing it is to grieve together.  Even on the days we want to rush through the process and “get back to life,” sometimes the greatest healing comes from experiencing the journey together.

Have you or someone you know used social media for their grief journey?

How has social media changed the way we support grieving families?

Amy Henthorn

Amy is a Columbus native with a Journalism degree from Otterbein University. She came to Schoedinger in 2009 as a chapel administrator, and is currently the advance planning coordinator. She enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family.

2 Responses to Healing in the Journey

  1. Elizabeth Gerhard Elizabeth Gerhard says:

    When I read your words, Amy, a smile came to my face… because when I think about your dad I can’t help but smile. Just as you and your sons have had unique ways of grieving and facing your loss, your dad’s relationship with each person in his life was unique. So his family and friends can find comfort in knowing that your dad will be remembered and missed by all who uniquely knew him. I think that social media allows us a way to share our special memories and keep his memory alive; and a way to appreciate all of the roles he played during his time here on earth.

    • Amy Amy says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! You are right… a great way for the Celebration of Life to extend beyond the four hour visitation.

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