HUG Corner: Thought for the Week

Location : North Houston

Healing After Loss (Martha Whitmore Hickman)

"Anyone who tells a story speaks a world into being."

-Michael Williams

One of the customs we have seen develop at memorial services is to have friends and loved ones share stories about the one who has died - tender moments, jokes and anecdotes of their life together. These bring their own joy and serve to lighten the sadness of loss. 

We have done the same thing in a less formal setting when after the services are over, family and friends gather for refreshment and find themselves lapsing into fond reminiscence - stories from recent times or from long ago. 

I recall returning home from the cemetery after my father's death and how family and friends assembled to share food and conversation. After a while someone said, "Wouldn't George have enjoyed this party!" and someone else said, "Perhaps he's enjoying it now." Surely all of us felt his spirit among us.

Especially if death has come under particularly hard circumstances, as in the death of a child, friends may think it an act of kindness to refrain from mentioning the child. All the more reason to "speak into being" a life that has ended so soon. Because a life is over doesn't mean that that life won't continue to enrich and bless the living. 

Shared stories are a gift to the teller and to the one who hears.

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