We are proud to announce our Spring 2013 Shred Day will be on Saturday, April 27th between 10am – 1pm at Ivey Funeral Home. Bring your documents to be properly shredded. Due to the popularity of Shred Day, there is a 5 box maximum.
Ivey Funeral Home and Rose Hill Burial Park Blog
Tragedy can be difficult on children, and often parents are unsure how to discuss it with their children. In light of the Boston Marathon Bombing, many resources have are available to help parents talk with their children about the bombing.
- ABC News, Boston Marathon Bombing: How to Talk to Your Kids
- Huffington Post, What to Tell Your Kids About the Boston Marathon Bombing
- Katie Couric, How to Talk to Your Kids about the Boston Marathon Bombings (video)
- NBC Today Show, 8 Tips for talking to kids about the Boston Marathon bombing
You are encouraged to sign our online tribute to express your support for those impacted by the Boston Marathon Bombing.
We have created an online memorial in remembrance of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
By: Alisha Krukowski
Recently, we all watched in horror yet again as one individual took the lives of far, far too many others. It’s hard for any of us to comprehend something so big and so awful. Our brains are wired to manage things like math exams and driving in the rain and deciding which city we should live in, not for trying to untangle and categorize a web of information that makes no logical sense.
For those personally impacted by today’s events, I sadly have no words. Not because I have nothing to say, but because my small and limited language has left me ill-equipped to speak on something that I simply cannot fathom. My heart is bursting with sorrow, and it is all I can do to send hopes and prayers and wishes to people I will both never meet, and never forget.
As I write this, I realize that these public tragedies are always so different, and yet have such similar impacts on me and the people I come into contact with. School shootings, natural disasters, terrorist attacks. They all share a common thread of leaving us stunned, enraged, and adrift in something larger than we can possibly grasp.We all seem so so deeply sad, and also so unable to adequately voice the feelings we are left with. In our attempt to make sense of something senseless, we watch tv, we read the online updates, we look at photos over and over and over again that had no business being made public in the first place.
We do this in hopes of finding some solace. And yet none of this makes us feel one bit better.
In recent years, I’ve been very mindful of monitoring my news intake and emotions following public tragedies. Today, I caved, and went online for a few moments to find out what happened. I found exactly what I was expecting: horrible facts, disturbing possibilities. Then I found a photo that knocked the breath out of me. A photo of a young woman weeping, screaming in a visceral and raw way. She held a cell phone, and the byline said she was waiting to hear if her sister had been a victim. She stood next to a row of cars. She was alone. I doubt she knew or cared that photographers were hovering nearby.
I was immediately taken back to a time, quite a few years ago, when I saw a similar photo of another young woman, a friend of mine. There has been a similar tragedy, and she was also weeping, also shattered. She had just learned that her brother was indeed a victim. I imagine that was the worst moment of her life. And photographers made this immensely private moment horribly, horribly public. It was obscene then, and it is obscene still to take individual tragedy and turn it into media sensation. Seeing both of these photos left me feeling sick, and far worse off emotionally than before I had seen them.
We cannot control public tragedies, or what the media shares in their aftermath. We cannot control how others around us may react to the events. We can control when and how much we personally take in, how we spend our time, and how we try to find balance in confusing and frightening days.
I am not a therapist, a counselor, or a psychologist. I am neither an expert in public tragedy nor a trained responder to traumatic events. I am a human. I am a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife. I am a woman who has lost loved ones and been there for friends when they have lost loved ones of their own. By nature of my age, I have lived to learn of more public tragedies than I care to count.
At this particular moment, I am just one person, looking for a way to find and convey some semblance of calm while standing in a storm of unimaginable things.
I have no answers for what has happened today, or for how any one person should try to move through such an unexplainable series of events. What I can offer are a few suggestions of how I personally work my way through days and weeks like these. You may find yourself inclined to try one or more of these things, or you may find them to be ill-suited for you personally. My hope is that in reading the list, you will at least consider some ways you may wish to help yourself and your loved ones as you try to find your way back towards a less scary and sorrow-filled place.
- Put yourself on an immediate “news diet.” Make a conscious and implementable plan about your news intake. That may mean allowing yourself to check in briefly with the news once every two hours. Or perhaps you’ll decide that giving yourself one solid hour, and then no other news for the day is a better fit. Regardless of your specific decision, make a plan and commit to sticking to it. Let friends and family know, so they are able to respect and support your choice. Take note of how you feel after checking in with the news. If you find you feel worse than before you checked in, more reason to limit your news intake. Tragedy is not, and should not be a spectator sport.
- Do something kind. It doesn’t matter what you do, but make a point to do something good or kind today, and each day as the crisis continues to unfold. Let someone ahead of you in traffic, leave a few extra dollars for your waitress, take your dog (and yourself) on an extra long walk. I’m betting you’ll feel better after doing something kind for someone else. There’s something inherently therapeutic about acts of kindness, which can help you to balance out the negative emotions you may find yourself inundated with in times of publicized sorrow.
- Refrain from posting “news” of the events on facebook, twitter, etc. If you feel inclined to post about your feelings of sadness, your wishes for impacted families, or your thoughts on tragedy in general, that may be something to consider. But posting updates about the tragedy itself will likely not help you or others. The specifics are often irrelevant, since the facts remain the same: Something terrible happened. Innocent individuals were injured or killed. There will never, ever be any bit of information or any new development that will make any of this make sense.
- Reach out to those you love, and tell them you love them. It sounds a little clichéd, I know, but have you ever felt anything other than good after sharing your feelings of love or friendship with people in your life? It’s an easy way to both offer support, and feel support yourself.
- Ask for help if you need help. If the news of tragedy has left you feeling overwhelmed with grief, sadness, fear, or any other emotion, please seek immediate support. If you need a shoulder to cry on, call a friend or family member. If you feel that you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 or go immediately to your local emergency room.
- If you have children in your life, be mindful of what they may be seeing and hearing. Again, I am not a therapist, but it is always a good idea to ask your children what they are feeling, and how you can help them to process those feelings. They may have created some “truths” in their minds that are not accurate or helpful for them to be holding. Ask them what they have learned. If you have any concerns about how to support your child through tragic events, you should reach out to school or grief counselors, therapists, or other local support services.
- Physically do something to help. This doesn’t mean you have to fly to the impacted areas. This means choosing to devote time, energy, or money to a cause that is close to your heart. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, send money (even a few dollars) to an organization that speaks to you, or help to clean up litter at an underfunded playground or park. When you immerse yourself in something that is helping those in need, you may feel a sense of connection to people everywhere who are helping where help is needed. It’s a good feeling, and again, that can help to balance out some of the negative feelings.
The truth is this: We cannot, through any good deed, positive thought or thoughtfully-worded blog post change what happened today. We cannot go back in time and prevent tragedy. We cannot still the hands of those who perpetrate violence.
I certainly don’t mean to suggest that we can or should pretend that nothing has happened. What we can do is change the way we decide to personally move through times like these. We can make a choice to surround ourselves with positive thoughts and individuals rather than repetitive and horrifying images and news stories. We can make a choice to help our children digest and understand what has happened in a way that is appropriate for their age. We can decide to do lots and lots and lots of tiny positive things in hopes of helping to counter-balance the few large and terrible things that will happen in this world. We can decide to focus our time and energy towards creating a small bit of healing in a time of large sorrow.
Really, that’s the most any of us can hope to do in a time like this – find or create a small piece of healing. In my opinion, it’s a pretty good goal to work towards.
If you have other positive suggestions for coping during times of tragedy, please add them in the comments section below. You may find that offering support to others can help you to find your own sense of healing.
Family Services and Sales Representative, Rose Hill Burial Park and Ivey Funeral Home
Renee joined Rose Hill in April, 2009. She and her husband have been married 24 years and they have two daughters, 20 and 22. One daughter is attending Miami University of Hamilton. The other is in the planning stage of enrollment.
Renee as well as both daughters was originally from Hamilton. Her husband hails from California. Renee attended high school as well as college in California. She had a career with a well known steak house chain and after 11 years was recruited by one of the customers to sell Ford automobiles at his dealership in California. She sold cars until she was promoted to the finance department where she worked until she met her husband, John. Soon after they were married, Renee and her husband moved to Ohio. However, when the children were two and four, they returned to California near Mt. Shasta were Renee spent much of her time as a stay at home mom. While at home, she managed a 100 acre sheep ranch where she took care of not only her girls but 100 head of stubborn black face sheep. Every year in February the lambs would arrive and that job became nearly a 24 hour a day job until all of the lambs were born. Usually the flock grew to about 300 and the chores just kept on mounting until market day, when the market lambs where sold. At the same time both girls were heavily involved in 4-H, school basketball and cheerleading. It was not unusual to see Renee in carhartts and boots cheering on the team and then running back to the ranch to deliver another lamb. Who was the wise guy who scheduled basketball and lambing at the same time of year? Life was busy but Renee enjoyed every bit of it. If asked after everything she has done, what would be her ideal life, she would say” ranching and spending time with her family; that was the good ole days.”
The girls became independent (that’s the polite way of saying get out of my bedroom) and Renee turned to selling real estate with Coldwell Banker. She was successful and really enjoyed her work. However, a time came when the market went south and so did her office. She lost her mother around the same time and decided she wanted to moved back home to Ohio where her brothers and family lived. That is when she joined the Rose Hill staff.
She is dedicated to helping families and believes in the services Rose Hill offers. She states, everyone goes through good and bad times, its how we handle them that counts and what we learn from it. Life is a struggle but it is life and as long as we do our best and believe in what we do, how can we fail.
When not at work, she spends time with her girls and family and attends church. Her passions include working in the yard, decorating for all the holiday seasons and of course who could forget her love for the 49ers.
Renee loves her job and the opportunity to make money while at the same time offering encouragement to those in time of need. We all need help sometimes. She also appreciates the support of the office staff.
Be sure to join us on Wednesday, December 13 for a special Candlelight Memorial Service. Service starts at 7pm at Ivey Funeral Home.
The holiday season approaches once again and whether you are looking forward to it or dreading it, remembering the person or persons you’ve lost can be a healing experience. I like the way Mary Oliver phrases it in her poem “Heavy” that she wrote soon after losing her life partner of over 30 years.
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it—
books, bricks, grief—
It’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it.”
Popular culture tells us we are supposed to be joyful, cheery and warm and filled with family and friends at the holidays. Grief, however, often invades this time and we experience sadness, pain and loneliness. Life changes when we lose someone we love and changes our experience associated with the holidays. Grieving is an inseparable part of your holiday experience. Friends of ours no longer have mother and father who made Hanukkah rituals such a warm and joyful experience for them and the grandchildren. Our family no longer has some of the intense expectation our parents generated in us and our children. The holidays may still be a bright occasion, but tinted at times with the dull hues of loss.
The wonderful fact is the holidays provide a powerful way to move forward in our grief journey. It’s all in the way we “embrace it, balance it, carry it.” Here are some suggestions for using your holiday memories to heal and rediscover the joy.
Embrace the memories as they come. Trying to push them aside seldom, if ever, works. When we do they often actually become more intense. Share your memories with others and listen to those of others. You may find that in the sharing the person or persons you lost actually seem closer and more a part of the present. In our family we have sweet and tender memories of friends, a childless couple, who visited our child-intensive Christmas morning to share in the chaos and joy of opening presents. We think of Sally, who died of cancer twenty years ago, every Christmas morning and it’s a warm experience. Remember the funny stories too. There are plenty of laughs, like my father-in-law who gave each of his four daughters a toy truck and lacy nightgowns as a hint that there were no grand children yet. We still smile at that one as we watch the grandchildren celebrate the holidays.
Whether with family or friends story telling is contagious and memories come alive and bring those we’ve lost closer in spirit. We honor them by sharing and they become present in a new way. Remembrance is in itself, though sometimes painful, healing.
Take advantage of opportunities offered during the holidays. Energy and joy can be found in making the season better for those in need. Get in the spirit by wrapping presents for children of parents who are incarcerated, visiting those in nursing homes who may not have family close by, attending church or synagogue services –even if you haven’t been there in awhile. Some have special services of healing and remembrance.
Find new ways of celebrating the holidays. Don’t neglect tradition, but shaping a healthy future sometimes requires breaking some traditions. Perhaps staying at home or attempting to recreate the past just doesn’t work for you. I have friends who gather the extended family at the beach where they just spend time “catching up” and “enjoying each other”. ”We’re making new memories,” they say. This year our family will be doing things differently. Newly married couples are merging and changing how the holiday is celebrated and now there is the addition of grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Life moves forward. The past with its memories is not forgotten. We look at it as celebrating the lives of those who are no longer with us and celebrating new life and the creation of new memories.
Find peace and wisdom in the season’s spiritual messages. You don’t even have to be “religious” for this to be helpful. There are powerful symbols for us in our grieving and mourning. For me, one of the most powerful is the coming of “light into darkness”. In our northern hemisphere the daylight hours are shorter and there is the winter solstice which is the shortest day of daylight. I like the symbol of the star shining light and menorah candles shining light. Hope is the message of both traditions. There is the power of light this time of year that can shine into the darkness of grief and bring hope when we give it permission to enter.
Let the light of the season be a gift for your grief. As my yoga teacher says at the close of each session, “May the light of peace overcome all darkness. Victory to the light!”
Since you have entered this website we invite you to share here how you remember and celebrate the holiday season in ways that bring you healing. It’s an opportunity to help us all grow through sharing stories, memories and new ways to move on the journey.
By Patti Cox
The holidays can be an especially difficult time of year for those who are grieving. When everyone around you seems happy and full of holiday cheer, you may want to just skip the holidays all together. The sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season can be overwhelming and the period of time leading up to the holidays can actually be worse than the day itself.
Before Thanksgiving Day, think about what might be tough and plan ahead, for example the “empty chair,” should you keep it in place or remove it from the table all together? Should the oldest child or another family member sit there now? Should you set a place in honor of your loved one? There’s no right or wrong answer, do what’s best for you and your family.
Be realistic… Don’t over schedule, you know yourself better than anyone. Set realistic goals and always have more than one plan. By having multiple plans – plan A, B and C – you can quickly move to the next plan if the previous one isn’t working or becomes too difficult.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do things the way you’ve always done them. It may be a good time to start some new traditions, this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the old traditions; you can always go back to them or incorporate them again when you’re ready. Just because you’ve always put on a huge feast doesn’t mean you have to this year, have everyone bring a dish, have another family member host Thanksgiving dinner, or go out to a restaurant this year.
Address the “elephant in the room,” by acknowledging your loved one and including him or her in your gathering by lighting a candle, making a toast in his or her honor, or sharing favorite memories and funny stories about them. It may be difficult to start these conversations but it will benefit everyone around you and help each of you heal a little bit at a time.
A wonderful new tradition is to cover the table with a plain table cloth, provide permanent markers for family members and guests to write what they’re “thankful” for on the table cloth, a favorite memory or message to your loved one, and children can have fun by drawing pictures. Bring the tablecloth out at each holiday until it’s full and then start a new one!
Remember to give “thanks” for what you had and what you still have… memories, love and feelings in our hearts can never be taken from us unless we let them. This year give thanks that the grief you feel is based on the enormous love you’ve shared!
On October 11th, Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery is going Pink for the Cause. In memory of those that have lost their lives to breast cancer and in honor of breast cancer survivors, our staff will be wearing pink in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. Through their website or app, you can create your Early Detection Plan to receive reminders to do breast self-exams, and schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history.
To better serve the Hamilton community, the Jewish Hospital Mobile Mammography Program will be at Ivey Funeral Home on Wednesday, November 14th. Appoints are available from 1:30pm – 5:00pm. Call 513-686-3300 to schedule your mammography. Appointments fill up quickly with this popular program; call today.
Thank you to HelloGrief.org for the article.
Summer is supposed to be a time for sleeping in, daydreaming, and playing outside for hours on end. But the long days can also be a difficult reminder that a loved one is no longer around to share in the fun. Since you and your kids may already be feeling the loss more acutely now, why not take this opportunity to talk about it, and to find new ways to make summer a fun family time?
Here are a few suggestions for discussions and activities that may help you as you work towards finding a new normal for your family’s summer time:
- Take turns describing your dream vacation with your loved one. It can be one that you took, or one that you wish you could take. After each person shares their idea, talk about how to make it a reality. If it’s something simple and within your budget, like a family picnic at a local park, make plans to make it happen. If the dream vacation isn’t something within your means, find a creative way to act it out. For example, if your 6 year old says wishes he could have gone ice fishing in Alaska with his father, you can build an igloo out of ice cubes in the bathtub. Add a small amount of water, drop in some goldfish crackers, grab a kitchen strainer or measuring cup, and go fish! It’s ok to be silly!
- Look through old family photos, and find some favorites from summer months if you have them. Tell stories about what was happening in each photo, especially if the photo was taken before the kids were born or old enough to remember. Help them to create new memories through the stories you have to share. You can also have fun by encouraging your kids to make up fun stories about what they think is happening in the photos.
- Go to your local travel agent, and get a few brochures for local attractions that are within your budget, but that you have not been to before. This can include amusement parks, hiking trails, shopping malls, or local oddities (think “largest ball of string on the West Coast!”) Spread the brochures out on your floor, and let your child or children pick which one they would like to do. When you go, make it a point to talk about things your loved one would have enjoyed about the trip. Help your child to see that your loved one can still be included in these new activities, and that it’s ok to have fun without them there.
- If your family is taking a vacation to a place that you used to go with your loved one, talk about how you would like to celebrate your loved one’s memory while you are there. Do you vacation at a cabin in the woods? Take a nature walk ad have each family member pick out things that remind them of their loved one. Is your favorite vacation spot at a lake or beach? You can work together to write your loved one’s name in the sand and decorating it with rocks or shells. If you vacation in a particular city or town, you can all enjoy a meal at your loved one’s favorite pizza place. You may even want to try to do something different each day – it’s totally up to you and your children.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to handle summer and vacations after the death of a loved one. You may choose to do the usual family vacation, or you may want to steer towards something entirely new. What’s most important is that your children feel supported and loved as they find new ways to have fun and enjoy family time. You can to help them see that having fun doesn’t mean they don’t miss their loved one, and that it’s actually a great way to celebrate their memory. You may be surprised at the wonderful new traditions you build with your children!
Finding the strength to find support in others is an important step to recovering from the loss of a loved one. This article from Open to Hope written by Deb Kosmer describes the importance in allowing others to support you.
Rebuilding a life isn’t easy especially when we may not want to, feel like it, or know where to start. When just getting out of bed makes us so tired we want to go crawl right back in. When we can hardly remember the way to the grocery store or our best friends phone number, when we don’t feel like cooking or eating or want to eat everything in our sight. When the phone never rings when we need it to and rings all the time when we don’t. When we feel like we have been forgotten and our friends have gone on with their lives. When someone starts to talk of rebuilding, we may wish they’d just get on with their life.
If any of the above resonates with you, chances are you are grieving the death of a loved one. There are probably people in your life who just don’t get it even if they sincerely want to help. Even though it’s hard when someone says the wrong thing, it may be helpful to realize they are at least trying, while others make no attempt and will often do everything to ignore the griever. That can be infinitely more painful. Suddenly people we’d depended upon disappear.
As difficult as this can be, the good news is there will also be some people there for you, that you would have never expected. As a well-known grief speaker and author, Dr. Alan Wolfelt says, “Grief has a way of re-writing your address book.”
Being open and receptive to the ones who are there for you is a first step towards healing. They may be people who have already been in the peripheral part of your life or people you meet after the death. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It takes courage and stamina to begin again, two things that are in short supply when you are grieving. Allowing those who want to understand to support you, drawing on their courage and stamina is a place to begin.