Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
“GOOD GRIEF!” No, that is not a quote from the Peanuts cartoon character, Lucy, as she cries out in exasperation to Charlie Brown’s latest foible. This is an attempt on my part to invite you to engage in open dialogue with me about what often is hushed or ignored: dealing with grief before and after the death of a family member.
Like any other CCRC, at Bay Village, dying is a regular ingredient in our daily community living. As of this date, we have experienced the death of 29 of our residents in 2015. The circumstances around each of these deaths vary according to the physical, spiritual and family dynamics at play. There is no “cookie-cutter” approach to be employed. It is my conviction, however, that in every situation there is a very real option of experiencing “GOOD Grief.”
This brief article cannot attempt to delve into the complexities of this subject. It is my intent to raise a platform of permission for us as a community to share our concerns and commitments, our fears and faith, our hurts and hopes.
It is my hope we will examine feelings which say death can be an act of faith, not a sense of failure; that there is a difference between curing the body and caring for the spirit; and that death is an act of the community, not just a lonely journey. How we approach these times in our life, and in our dying, make possible the reality of a “good grief.”
In September 2015, The Rev. Dr. Paul Binder (a Bay Village resident) and I will begin this dialogue as we share reflections on Being Mortal, a 2014 book by author and surgeon Atul Gawande. Until then, feel free to dialogue with either of us so we all may grow to experience good grief.