He was Romeo to her Juliet. Throughout their marriage and a year after his death, that’s how she described him.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do. He was the best husband, father, friend. To my daughter, Poppy… Daddy was everything to her,” said Giti Hormozyari.
The loss of a father or husband—any loved one in the immediate family—is life-changing. Initially, practical concerns such as funeral arrangements can distract and delay the onset of overwhelming grief. But shortly thereafter, coping with the daily, profound grief is central to the bereaved person’s focus.
“People came from as far away as San Diego and New York for the memorial. I was pleased so many came from so far. Yet somehow, the people who wanted to help me most, often made me angry. Those who had also lost someone often assumed they understood my loss,” said Giti.
[pullquote2 align=”right” cite=”- Jane Ross, Yolo Hospice bereavement specialist”]Grief is something experienced by us all, but each person’s grief is a very individual journey.[/pullquote2]
“That is common,” said Jane Ross, Yolo Hospice bereavement specialist. “Those grieving are commonly told ‘I know how you feel.’ Grief is something experienced by us all, but each person’s grief is a very individual journey.”
Ross advises that when you offer condolences, keep it simple. “I’m sorry for your loss,” is true, goes directly to the heart of the matter and assumes nothing. Talk about some happy memory you have of the deceased. Offering assistance is a kind thing to do and the willingness to help is always appreciated, but a specific offering of help is more likely to be accepted. The statement, “I’d like to bring dinner on Thursday,” rather than a vague question such as “How can I help?” is more likely to be successful.
“Soon I had to stop talking about him so much,” said Giti. “Because, it seemed like people would get upset when I did. They thought it was time for us to stop grieving. One person told my Poppy to stop crying. I would have been sick if I hadn’t cried.”
To the bereaved, time seems to run differently for those not suffering through grief. If six months have elapsed since the loss of a loved one, some believe the bereaved should have begun to “get over it.” But the experience and expression of grief is unique to every individual. This fact is emphasized in Yolo Hospice bereavement services programs. Helping people to understand and express grief is how Yolo Hospice helps those in mourning cope with their grief so they can arrive at a place where they find new life without actual presence of their lost loved one.
“I was very worried,” said Giti. “My daughter, Poppy, wasn’t eating or sleeping well. I can’t imagine what would have happened to us if our Dixon family physician hadn’t sent us to Yolo Hospice to get assistance from the bereavement services. They saved our lives.”
The Yolo Hospice bereavement team is devoted to providing sensitive and compassionate care and support to individuals in our community during times of sorrow and grief. The team uses individual counseling, family meetings, telephone calls, support groups, and a specially designed program for children and teens, called Stepping Stones, to provide the support and education the bereaved needs.
[pullquote2 align=”left” cite=”-Giti Hormozyari”]Yolo Hospice helped me understand that being angry or upset was normal. I was worried I was crazy or sick until then.[/pullquote2]
“Yolo Hospice helped me understand that being angry or upset was normal,” said Giti. “I was worried I was crazy or sick until then. They even helped me be a better parent to Poppy.”
Survivors continue on, yet, wake every day in a world changed, a world without the presence of a husband, father or partner. Moving through the early stages of grief means eventually redefining your life’s role, goals and, often, family dynamics. It is a time of transition and corresponding emotions—thus having support is important.
Yolo Hospice has a number of support groups available to those who are grieving. Currently, there are two adult grief groups available. These groups meet every Friday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and every Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. These are drop-in groups and pre-registration is not necessary. Yolo Hospice also offers the Stepping Stones program, which provides grief services for bereaved children and their families.
There is no charge for participation in any of Yolo Hospice’s bereavement groups. Please call Yolo Hospice Bereavement Services at 800-491-7711 for more information on any of our bereavement services.