This past weekend, I attended a memorial service for a good friends father, who was an organ donor (mine was as well). As I listened to some of the organ recipients share their stories about what it meant to them to be given the gift of life, and when I glanced around the room and connected with the other families and individuals who have suffered a loss, it brought up overwhelming emotion for me. I sobbed as I listened to their stories, and found myself missing my Dad, but also feeling a sense of pride for his generosity that helped another person through his death. I cried for both my loss, and the loss of my friend’s family, as well as the other families in the room. The whole process of the day reminded me that grief and loss never completely goes away. It is amazing how hearing about the loss of others can stir up our own grief and loss. I see this as a gift… a way of remembering and honoring the ones we love who have passed. It is a tool that we are given to help us continue our own process of healing, if we allow it to happen. As strange as it might sound, it felt good to allow myself to connect to others, as well as my own pain of loss. It also helps us to have a deeper connection to those we love. Not allowing yourself to feel your pain and reach out to your loved ones through sharing your feelings robs your relationships of intimacy that is so beautiful! I encourage you to share this with your loved ones. I think you will be amazed at how much it can deepen your relationships!
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.