Cemetery Memorials Since 1905 ~101 Years of Memorial Service

 Coping With The Loss Of A Loved One

As a memorialist I have met many people who have had to cope with the loss of a loved one. I remember many of them but I specifically remember a gentleman who had lost his wife. I designed and installed a memorial for him and we became friends during the process. He stopped in to see me one Saturday just after we had completed the memorial and we talked. He indicated to me that he was having a very difficult time dealing with the loss of his wife. He said that he often goes to the mall and he often gets angry and jealous when he sees other couples passing him by. I tried to console him the best I knew how. He had a smile on his face when he left but it was a forced smile at best. After he left I began to think about him and the pain he was experiencing and I decided to write him a letter to give him some thoughts about how to cope with the loss of his wife. I mailed it to him. Several days later he came back to the office and in front of my staff he said that he had to give me a big hug. My thoughts he said were very kind but more importantly they made him realize that life is precious and it must go on and we must cope with our loss by living and loving those who are still with us. He asked me if I would share my thoughts with others and ever since that day, I have sent my letter to many more grieving families. I continue to share these thoughts with those in need and I ask that you read these words with a positive frame of mind. I sincerely do hope that these few words will help.
 The loss of a loved one is certainly a devastating experience for anyone. There are no words one can say to stop the pain. Time will help ease the pain better than anything. In the meantime, I would like to share a few thoughts with you in the hope of helping you to cope.
 People by nature grieve and cry. This process is natural. We all experience it. Some people internalize their grief while others let it out. Your focus and outlook on life are very important at this time. In most cases the grieving is focused on ourselves. It is in fact a rather unconscious but yet selfish type activity. Please stop a minute and think about it. Begin to focus your feelings and thoughts positively. A positive attitude is the first step.
We are born. We must die. The time we spend on this earth is not decided not by us, but by our Maker. Learn to appreciate the time you have had with your loved one. You were blessed to have had this time. Remember the times you spent together. Remember both the good times and the bad but focus specifically on the good. Remembrance is in fact the key to coping.
As human beings we have needs, both physical and emotional. Your physical health is important. Eat properly and get the proper rest. See you doctor for regular check-ups. Take care of yourself physically. More importantly, please do not neglect your emotional needs. As human beings we need companionship. Keep busy. Get involved in as many activities as you can. Meet new people. Renew old acquaintances. So often men and women refuse to go out simply because of some unfounded guilt or fear of betrayal. When you are ready, that is the time to seek new friends and relationships.
Activity is another key to coping. Increase the level of activity in your life. Try to lead as active or a more active life than before. Join clubs and organizations, volunteer to do charity work, go to church regularly, visit friends and relatives as often as possible. Consider the possibility of entering the work force if you have not been working. You may want to work part-time or full-time. However, be sure to develop interests other than work to occupy your time and mind. Take trips when possible with family and friends. Get involved in activities that interest you. Make a difference in other peoples lives. Doing so will make a difference in your life and your happiness.
Escaping from your past is not an answer. Remembrance is! The memory of your loved one will live on in your heart forever. There are more memories however to be made, more experiences to share with others. Learn to live and to laugh again and to love again. This is what life is all about. Life today is just as precious as the memories in our hearts.
I hope this will in some way help you to cope. I invite you to contact me when you are ready to discuss an everlasting memorial for you which will help you remember and cope. Feel free to call me as well if you simply need someone with whom to talk.
 Thank you so much for your time. I truly hope that this will help you in some small way. If you have any words which you think might help others please email your thoughts to me. I will share your thoughts with others in order to continue to help as many people as I can to cope with the loss of their loved one.

Robert A. Silkworth has been counseling grieving families for 42 years.

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