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Grief & Healing

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We're Always Here

Our commitment to you does not end at the funeral.  Whether you feel comfortable speaking in a group or individually, we're always here to listen. If you wish to learn more about our bereavement services please contact Sister Pat Fesler at the funeral home at 330-792-2353. 

In Response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are still here to help.

A Message from Sr. Pat Fessler, HM, Grief Support Specialist: 

"In these times of pain, sickness, fear and so much unsettledness, we need to more than ever reach out to God. Maybe now more than ever find a prayer style that works for you and put it into place. Find a prayer partner that you can share with and pray with via the phone, text or email. Every single one of us now have hearts that are breaking and crying and searching please don’t do it alone. Somehow through all of this we are going to become stronger and more faithful. Yesterday Dr. Amy Acton said “life is waking us up.” Yes, I think life is waking us up and helping us to look at what and who is really important. This is a time for families to really be there for each other. We have been a society that is so busy with work, sports etc that we don’t even have meals together, we don’t sit down and have a normal conversation. We are too busy running from here to there. It’s now time to stop and reevaluate what family, life and faith mean to us.  

I have more people than you can imagine telling me how this has heightened their grief. Not only their grief for the death of a loved one but for so much more in life. There are people all over the world who are dying and trying to bury their loved ones, people who have lost their jobs permanently, people who don’t know where the next meal is going to come from. I could go on and on. Now more than ever we need to reach out to people in love. Many of us are working from home, learning new ways to communicate to people, to teach our students and how do we keep our children busy when they are use to being on the go. Put your technology down for awhile and listen to those people that are in your home. What new things are you learning from them. Those that are grieving the death of a loved one are so lost and fearful that someone else they love is going to get sick or die. I am hearing my teens who have had a parent die say I am afraid my mom or dad is going to die and what is going to happen to me? What is going to happen to any of us and how are we going to journey through these uncharted waters some people alone and some with others at their side. This is our time to find new ways to connect and reach out in love.

Please, I beg you, don’t forget about your neighbor who is alone, old, your parents who live alone and are elderly, those people in nursing facilities that feel so isolated because they can’t see their family. What Can you do? Send thinking of you cards, notes, phone calls, pick up a dinner for someone. When you go to the grocery store call them and make sure they have everything they need. Sometimes that flower gift is all that is needed to bring a smile.  

We have so many health care workers, first responders, people that work in a grocery store those essential places that are needed to keep each of us going. When you are at the grocery store do you say thank you? Yesterday I thanked two checkout clerks and they looked at me strangely and said no one has said thank you. One clerk told me she has people coming in yelling at her because her hot counter is not open. Above all kindness and compassion is what we need as a world right now. Yes I say world because it is not only us in the United States going through this coronavirus it is EVERYONE. So what would Jesus say to us? What would Jesus do? What are we going to do?  

Above all, please everyone pray. I am available if I can be of help to anyone. I am working from home and hold all of you in prayer and in my heart. Please be safe and Gentle with You, your loved ones and all those you come into contact with."

Sister Pat Fesler, HM 

Grief Support Specialist Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes

You can find our latest posts on this page. Click on the calendar to review postings from prior periods and remember to check back here often!

Published: May 29, 2020 by Sr. Pat Fesler, HM

Here we are three months after the coronavirus started with masks,
washing our hands and social distancing, they have now become a part of
our everyday lives. When we leave the house, one of the things we make
sure we either have on or on our being is a mask. Wherever we go that is
essential along with social distancing. These are difficult days with
everything opening up and being unsure because the proper requirements
are not always being followed. People are not only fearful of the virus but
also of the unknown. Who do I know and love that is going to get the virus
and what is going to happen to them. Are they going to get better from it or
are they going to die? None of us want to see anyone we love die and it is
so painful when we can’t be at their side holding their hand, telling them
how much we love them and saying everything you want to them. There is
an angel comforting them but your heart is broken and empty because it is
not you. However, you have so much you want and need to say that is in
your heart. Write them a letter and pour your heart out. Remember that
letter is for you and that person, no one else. So many people have told
me this virus is like a cancer that sneaks up on us and we don’t even
realize it. Yes, it is, that is why we need to be cautious and careful.
As days go on, we are continually hearing our God say to us to stop, to
listen, to pray, to enjoy the beauty of creation and be in contact with the
people in our direct circle. I hear so many people say to me they are so
fearful of going out of the house but more than anything we need air and
need to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. This
virus has affected us whether we want to admit it or not in all of those ways.
I have a friend who is continually saying to me “you have to meditate. It
helps you in so many ways including feeling better about yourself.” Yes, I
am quiet, pray and listen to what God says to me. But maybe I don’t go
deep enough to really help myself in all those ways. We continually hear
that this affects us in so many ways but we tend to ignore those ways and
not stop and pray and take time to build our relationship with God. As I
listen to people day after day who are hurting and grieving, it becomes so
clear that all of this has made it so much more difficult and painful. When
someone dies, our funerals are not the same and people plan to celebrate
that person’s life down the road. That celebration of life is not only
important for that person who has died but so very important for the many

people whose lives he or she have touched and those who have touched
his or her life. It is a time that we say funerals, which are truly a celebration
of life, are for all of us not just the person who has died. We all need time
to grieve, to share those memories no matter whether they are happy or
So as all of us move forward, we need to continue to reach out in love,
peace and joy to not only those who are hurting but to all that we meet
each and every day. Those are the gifts that will get us through these
difficult months ahead because none of us know how long it will take to find
a vaccine. As I always say, Be Gentle with You and with each other and
know that God walks by your side or leads you every step of every day.

Published: May 15, 2020 by Sister Pat Fesler, HM

No sunshine today to brighten our spirits. Instead, we need to look inside
our hearts for the rainbow that will help us to see sunshine and send it to
another. I bet I am not the only one with so many thoughts racing through
my mind and wondering what tomorrow will bring. I just read an email from
an associate in my community with pictures of her granddaughter who is
autistic. She is unable to speak at all. She is three and the pictures are of
her looking up into the sky. So beautiful, but what does her little mind/eyes
see that we cannot? What does she wish she could tell us? What is there
in our hearts that we want to scream from the mountaintop? That we want
someone to know and maybe think he/she won’t get. So instead I/we keep
hidden, locked in our hearts and share only with my God. These days are
extremely painful and difficult for each one of us and I hear over and over
from people that are hurting so deeply they want it over but they also know
that isn’t possible. How do we reach out to that person who has a loved
one in the hospital that they cannot visit? Maybe not even talk to because
they are so seriously ill. What about that family member, friend who has
died alone but not really alone. Instead an Angel stepped in for you talking
about your love for him/her and giving that person your permission to die.
It feels so different, so foreign, so wrong but instead it is so right, so today.
I wish deep in my heart I had the right words to comfort those people but no
all I/we can do is listen with an open heart and send our love to them. No,
we can’t do the normal thing; give them a hug, sit and be present to them,
share a meal with them. No the energy, warmth, peace and love we send
them has to be enough. For me these are very painful days. Being a
chaplain I am so use to sitting with that dying patient/family so they don’t
feel so alone but my/our sitting with is done with a phone, FaceTime, zoom
or some other technology. Hopefully that will be enough. Today and
everyday let us remember our family, friends and those throughout the
world because this pandemic affects every single one of us. This is a
journey we are all on. For some unfortunately, the pain is so much more
brutal. So, as we go forward let us hold all in our hearts and reach out to
God for strength to get up each day and face the challenges that are before
us. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Each day is a gift. May
God’s blessings and peace be upon each of you. Be Gentle with You and
Each Other.

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Stepping Stones Newsletter 

These messages of hope, healing and affirmation are delivered to your email inbox every day. Subscribe easily, and unsubscribe when you're ready. Such small doses of comfort will help you move through the cycle of grief, and work wonders for your outlook.  

Because we care about the well being of every family we serve, you will receive continuing care and support through our Stepping Stones program after the funeral. You can sign up and receive monthly grief and recovery newsletters to appear in your email inbox, full of great information, stories, poems, and inspirational quotes that will help you through this difficult time. 

Sign Up

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Stepping Stones to a Better Tomorrow For Kids

Children's grief group meets once a month at Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg. For further information, contact Sr. Pat Fesler, Bereavement Coordinator. 

For further information, please contact:

Sister Pat Fesler, H.M. Grief Support Specialist 

Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home


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