I Need A Little Help From My Friends

I’ve been asked to speak to a group of healthcare professionals and social workers employed by the hospice industry.

I plan to share a talk entitled “Lifting the Veil on Grief: the Ongoing Impact of Loss on Individuals, Families and Society”

But I need your help.  

Because Dominic left for heaven suddenly, in a motorcycle accident, I did not have any interaction with the healthcare system specific to his death.  And while I can speak about the grief that comes AFTER, I’d like to also speak a bit on what parents, siblings and other close family members need from these folks when a child goes to heaven in a hospital or hospice care facility.

So I have a few questions: 

  • What did a nurse, hospice worker, social worker or other professional do that blessed you around the time of your child’s death?
  • What did they do that was unhelpful or even detrimental?
  • Did any professional present offer grief counseling or recommend a grief support group?  If they did, did you take advantage of that resource?  Why or why not?
  • What do you want these folks to know about your family’s experience?
  • What would you say if you could speak to them today, in light of your experience?

Please note that comments left on the blog site are PUBLIC.   But you are welcome to comment in the closed Facebook groups where I post the blog everyday and those comments are PRIVATE.  

You can also use the “Contact” link to email me comments that will only be seen by me.

I will not use any identifying information when compiling your comments so please share freely and in complete confidence.  

I want to represent the bereaved parent community honestly, bravely and gracefully. 

Your participation will help me do that.  

Thanks in advance. 

I knew I could count on you!

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

11 thoughts on “I Need A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. I’m speaking for my sister who lost her 21 year old son in a car accident 5 years ago. They had just left from seeing him at college in another state and were half way home when they received the call that he had been in an accident. They turned around and went to the local hospital where they waited for about an hour for somebody to tell them he had died on the scene of the accident. It was late Sunday afternoon and it was like everyone was waiting on somebody else to tell them. Hospital staff should always be ready to handle situations like this. After they found out, everyone treated them good. Then there was the phone call that came into their hotel room around midnight asking if they wanted to donate his skin since there wasn’t anything else they could harvest. Seemed cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lost my son 2 years ago from complications of a drug addiction. He had contracted a flesh-eating infection, most likely from a needle. He died during surgery. The medical staff were wonderful and did all they could, but his heart stopped and they couldn’t bring him back. All those years had taken a terrible toll on his body. When we were allowed to see him, the chaplain on staff went with us. Instead of a bible, he took out his cell phone, which seemed really cold. He prayed with us but then did something I’ll never forget. Of all the verses in the bible he could have chosen, he said “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” It was the worst day of my life, of my family’s life; there was no rejoicing, there was no gladness, only sorrow beyond words. Oh, and he also rebuked me and told me to be quiet, as there were other people in the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I am so, so sorry. Thank you for sharing that experience-painful though it is. I will be sure to share it. My heart hurts that you had to endure that in addition to your son’s leaving. Praying the Lord gives you what you need for each new day. ❤

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    2. Bless your heart!!! I would have lost every ounce of religion I ever had and let the devil completely have taken control on that poor preachers body!!! Unbelievable!! Let him bury a child and REJOICE! I understand where he’s coming from BUT wrong verse and wrong time! 🙏❤️🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Staff asked if they could preform a autopsy on my 11 day old baby girl because “she was out of the text books and maybe with study on her having hypoplasia lungs they could save other babies life’s” I thought to myself ARE YOU KIDDING YOU THINK YOUR GOING TO CUT AND DO STUDY ON MY BABIES BODY TO SAVE ANOTHER BABY??????? Hell no! Why would I care one hour after my baby died if anyone else had to bury THEIR child???? Now I do kinda regret that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda had had the flu for a couple of weeks. So I took her to the doctor office. The the doctor sent her to the hospital. Both nurse and doctor were nice at the office. At the hospital, many doctors and nurses worked on to try to save her. In that nine hours, they were kind and did the best they could to keep her alive. However, she went into septic shock and it took her. We watched almost the whole time. They tried so hard. I’m grateful for their hard work.

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  5. I am an RN and at the time, my husband and I were in full time ministry and had been fir over 25 years.
    David was killed instantly in a car accident. So we did not have face to face interactions with medical staff. However, I did expect some help from the hospital I worked in. When we heard nothing about were his body was, I started calling the hospital.
    No one knew where he was. It took days until I “found” him. Being a weekend no one was working in the morgue and the computer systems did not “ talk” to each other.
    A few months later I met with the CEO of the hospital.
    As I told him, if David had arrived alive at the hospital I would have had access to medical information, social work support and spiritual support. But since he came in “vital signs absent “, he went off to the morgue. Yet, he still had a living family attached to him that had nothing in terms of support.
    With tears in the eyes of the CEO, he told me how they had implemented changes in the system and now supports were given to these families. He could not believe that this had not been addressed in our hospital and wondered how many others had faced the barriers we had faced.
    While I’m grateful we could make changes in the system, with all my hear I wish I was not walking this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t lost a child but I lost my husband to cancer and he spent his last few weeks in a hospice. I can tell you that the people who worked there were some of the kindest I have ever met. My husband spent weeks in hospital before he was moved to the hospice and his treatment was awful for the most part – not the medical side but the emotional side, the nurses and doctors just didn’t have time to do anything other than care for his physical needs.
    At the hospice he still received medical care but he was treated like a human being and not just a patient. The staff always had time for him and for us, his family, they would answer any questions, they’d just listen if that’s what you needed, they’d give you a hug if you needed to cry.
    Beyond that, there was a resident cat who used to fall asleep on my husband’s bed with him stroking her (we always had cats at home so it was something comforting and familiar). They would bring in a dog to meet the residents a couple of times a week because animals have a very calming presence. It was things like that that gave the place a homely feel rather than a hospital feel, if you see what I mean.
    There was a small chapel and a chaplain always present to meet people’s spiritual needs – both patients and family.
    I wasn’t there at the moment that my husband left this world (the guilt from that is still with me no matter how many people tell me that there was nothing I could have done differently) but I take some comfort in knowing that the nurse who was there was kind, compassionate and caring in the extreme.
    Not sure if this will help Melanie but I hope so x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That IS helpful. Thank you so much. I’m going to compile everyone’s comments and group like ones together. I appreciate your sharing. I’m so sorry that you were not with your husband. You’re right, no one can make that better. ❤

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