Grief & Protecting our Loved Ones

Loss can mean many things; loss of a job, finances, a relationship, car, apartment, house, and then the heavier meaning of loss of a person or pet.

Mourning, grief, bereavement…what do these words mean to you? Have you experienced them whether personally or professionally?

Grief, I have been around since I was a senior in high school, so 1987-1988. My great-grandmother died. For many years after starting in the mid 90’s until today, I have been exposed to quite a bit of death between my family, extended family, my ex’s family and extended family, pets, clients, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and more. I could cover all my fingers and toes a few times.

As a bystander, friend or family member, according to what I have been exposed to and according to the traditions of Judaism, it is our role to comfort the mourner. Your reaction to death and loss will depend on many factors including your morals, values, religion raised with, and how your own nuclear family handled the issue.

Some questions for you to think about?

  1. What was your first experience with death?
  2. What appeals to you about assisting someone who is grieving?
  3. Have you thought about or planned for your own death?
  4. Have you personally experienced a loss? If yes, what was it?
  5. Was it a relationship; spouse, extended family, child, grandparent, pet, colleague, friend?
  6. Have you written a mandate? A Will? Named a Power of Attourney for your finances? What about an advanced care directive? Do you know what these terms mean? Some of these terms will depend on if you are in Canada, the USA or another country. POA or power of attorney has a very different meaning in Quebec, Canada than other provinces; here it is for financial only. Otherwise, you make a mandate which is for health, decisions related to incapacity or if needed curatorship if there is no family or friend to step in; so one turns to Public Curator in your province or state.

A lot to think about, right? Do not wait until crisis to think about any of this. Start now…

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