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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!

Life During a Pandemic

Published: September 22, 2020 by Sister Pat Fesler, HM

Here we are in the beginning of fall, the leaves are changing, cooler
temperatures and more darkness. With this new season, we are still living
in a pandemic and people are asking the question when will my life go back
to normal? I hear over and over what is really normal? So many people
are saying I have never spent so much time with family, my husband and
kids than now. We have had meals together, game nights, movie nights
etc. What feelings are your children experiencing in all of this turmoil and
death that is talked about day after day? Where do they find their comfort
and the person to pour out their fears and concerns? Then the question
becomes what will our lives be like as things begin to somewhat go back to
normal? Families have to make decisions about what is important and
what will go back as before; no dinners together, no game nights, no more
movie nights. That decision comes from each and every one of you.
We are by no means over this pandemic. We have a long way to go. Yes,
we are living amidst so much pain and frustration with peoples’ anxiety and
grief heightened. People continue to say why is this happening to me, my
family, why can I not see my loved one who is in a facility? My loved one
died and I did not get to see him or her, hold their hand, sit next to them
and be there during those last weeks, months of his or her life. “I kissed
him good bye and told him I loved him when the ambulance took him to the
hospital and the next time I saw him was the funeral home.” I miss him so
very much and there is so much I want to say to him. My heart hurts, my
anger is so deep. Calling hours and funerals are also so different. I need a
hug, where is it? I see people paying their respects from a distance and
family members wanting so badly to reach out for a hug. I recently was

with a family that I knew the deceased well and the daughter comes up and
hugs me. So difficult to say no because of my ministry. Because of the
large funerals I have officiated at even though people have worn masks, I
have been unable to attend family functions because I have a niece due to
deliver in five weeks.
I have been meeting with a young lady whose mom died and immediately
after her death four family members ended up in the hospital with Covid19
and mom’s funeral was put on hold for several weeks. She is not only
trying to deal with her mom’s death but also the after effects of Covid19
which have hit her very hard. She, like many physicians and nurses, say
day after day I can’t fix my own family and how the pain is within them as
they treat their patients with compassion, gentleness and love.
Funeral directors, counselors and grief support specialists become the
people on the next step of the journey for those whose loved one has died.
They see people differently than before but still walk with them with
gentleness, compassion and love in their hearts. Some of the deceased
family’s decisions have to be put on hold. A celebration of life and
luncheon will be held at a later date. Then the grief starts all over again as
if the person just died. My heart feels like day one, the tears are nonstop.
The pain is unreal but I know I do not walk this journey alone. My loved
one is my life so I need to talk about that person and share memories with
someone who will listen to my story as often as I need to tell it. Each of us
during this pandemic needs to embrace, incorporate and be good with what
we need to do. For some, Covid19 touches in a very personal way; for
others their healing touch is what is important and for some, it may be a
listening ear and heart that journeys with families during this most difficult

time. Those many family members who are grieving the loss of a child, a
spouse, a parent, a sibling, other family members or a friend are not only
grieving because their loved one died from Covid19 but for so many other
reasons. I have found, more than ever, peoples’ grief is heightened and
more complicated. So today, each of us needs to be the listening ear to a
friend, family member or community member or maybe someone we don’t
know who has come into our lives. What is my response or my gift to
another during these trying times?

By: Sister Pat Fesler, HM
Grief Support Specialist
Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes
September 22, 2020

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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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