Dear Wadie:  you have worked out that death is not the final curtain.

You have worked out that I am accessible and that this connection we have is real…. That’s partly because of our original spiritual connection… and your healing work in the river helped, too.

Karl, 22 December 2016

The need for a social support system after the funeral OR MEMORIAL

I believe that — like me — most grieving people can struggle through the tasks associated with a burial, cremation, funeral, memorial, or a celebration of life.

We’ll have funeral directors, experienced friends, and knowledgeable others to help us. We may even have our loved one’s recorded wishes for guidance. It will be painful and awkward if there is no support system for these initial mourning rituals, but most of us can imagine how to do it. Some people say they want no celebration when they die. Others may want a big party or a wake, with lots of singing and story-telling. So, when I describe the need for social support systems, I’m not talking about those first, accepted, formal bereavement rituals.

Rather, I’m talking about what happens when the candles burn down, the flowers wither and die, and people stop visiting.

Inside the Centre during Karl’s memorial

What spiritual support systems can we call on to sustain us and help maintain a sense of connection with our loved one? Over weeks and months and years?

Often the answer is nothing.

The phone calls and messages diminish and eventually stop.

We sense a sort of expectation that we should be “over it” by now – whenever or whatever that means. We are, sadly, not over it. We are broken, in shock and in pain.

We desperately need rituals, guidance, and structure.

A suggested structure

As there appears to be no timetable to guide us in the Western, modern world, this book proposes a structure for an ongoing connection with a loved one who has died. It sets out the rationale for staying connected and a step-by-step approach to doing just that.


To open this blog at the first post so that you can read the posts in order (recommended), just click on my name below:

About Dr Wendy Sarkissian