Monday, December 19, 2011

Grief during the Holidays...

I don't know if i have shared this before but in my day job i am a social worker...

i work for a home health and hospice agency.  i am a bereavement social worker for all of our hospice patients and their family, and i LOVE my job.  i feel very lucky to be able to support, counsel, and educate our patients and their families.  I have met and worked with some amazing people because of my job. 

 i met a man who worked as a pipe fitter and he told me CRAZY stories of mixing asbestos to put on the pipes they were fitting, then washing the asbestos off his hands with other caustic materials.  

i was so lucky to meet a woman who had a quite complicated past, her mother was killed over 20 years ago in a murder homicide.  She was the kindest and most giving person.

one of the most touching moments i have ever witnessed in my life was when a man was actively dying and sweet sweet his wife of over 60 years was stroking his face and telling him that she loved him, that she didn't want him to be in pain any more.  i felt so honored to be permitted to see such a sacred moment.  i could see into my future.

i have seen so many people loose their loved ones.  people separated by death when they have been together for over 40, 50, or 60 years...  separated by death from their spouses, mothers, fathers, siblings.

getting through the holiday season without your loved one for the first time is so hard.  during the holiday season that grief is compounded...
because of that i have been working to bring awareness in my little community of the trouble people may have during the holidays when they are grieving.  

i was interviewed by our local news channel because i am doing a couple workshops on 
"How to get through the holidays while grieving the loss of a loved one."

click on the link below and my spot is at 21:21

i had my first workshop today and it went very well.  
not a huge turnout but honestly it was better that way.
those that came got what they needed.
sometimes it is just so comforting to talk about it, and know that someone else understands and feels the same pain you do.

so, if you are having a hard time.  here are some great sites that i visit often.

be gentle with yourself.



  1. I was a nurse and i always felt honored to be with someone and care for them in their last days and then care for them after they had passed.
    For many reasons Christmas this year isnt joyful and happy and i appreciate you recognizing those that are perhaps struggling

  2. Nicke--Having just lost my brother-in-law last week to a long illness, I appreciate your post on bereavement and loss. We tend to live our lives thinking it won't touch us, but when it does, it so helps to have understanding professionals to help us through it; treating the dying individual and their family with honesty, dignity and respect. I think that people in your profession have such special talents and so sorry our society doesn't truly value it until they need it. Thank you for all you do. I appreciate the websites (wish I lived in your community and could go to your workshop!) and will pass them along to my sister. Wishing you a very happy holiday. Jane

  3. Great job girl! I love your stocking idea. I know when my grandfather went into hospice, my mom was so grateful for all of the hospice workers--she said they were the nicest and gave best care my grandfather received during his long illness.

  4. You're many have a hard time during the holidays. What a blessing you are to so many! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  5. It sounds like your work is both difficult and rewarding. Thanks for sharing those priveleged thoughts. Christmas is hard for many of us.

  6. Great post Nicke, and well done you for doing such an essential job :-)

  7. You did a great job family are now all staring at me because I stood and applauded when you are done.

  8. Fantastic work! I used to work for the ALS Association and I burned out in a few years. I have so much respect for social workers, you guys are truly underpaid and underappreciated.

  9. Aww, what a lovely idea, I'm sure your attendees really appreciated it.

  10. See, you are even more of an angel than I thought you were already my friend xxx

  11. Hmm, so, for some reason, my computer is not wanting to play your video. I will try again at home tonight, because I definitely want to see and hear you, friend! I'm so inspired by the work you do. How amazing that you make a difference in people's lives.

  12. i hope it's okay for me to say: you are so fucking awesome!

  13. Such a great post, Nicke! The work you do is amazing...

  14. Nicke,
    I miss u my friend, and also missing a loved one ;0
    thanks for the great work u do during ur day job and quilt job!
    u rock!

    Merry Christmas!


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