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EMOTIONAL NEEDS:
In his book, When We Must Say Farewell, Karl Jennings writes, "In the end, your death doesn't belong to you, it belongs to anyone who has ever cared for, loved or shared life with you."

RELATIONAL NEEDS:
As we move into the Gathering Phase we begin to attend to our Relational Needs. Those who care about your family will stop their lives to be with you during this time. Your job is to let people know the time and place people can see you. The job of friends and family members is to get there. We normally call this a gathering or visitation.

SPIRITUAL NEEDS:
At Borek Jennings, your most important decision isn't whether to choose burial or cremation. Your most important decision will be to fully understand how your choices impact the emotional, relational and spiritual well-being of those who cared for, loved and shared life with your loved one.

What are the needs of your family?

The Universal Response to Loss

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The journey starts with Hearing. The moment that Acute Loss enters into our lives. Our mind struggles to receive what our ears have heard.

Knowing that your loved one will die versus actually HEARING the news that they have died are two completely different emotional events.

  • We immediately hurt emotionally because you have never lived a day without your loved one.
  • This news almost always hits our hearts and forms a lump in our throat.
  • The more unexpected the loss, the more intense the physical response will be.
  • Our body responds and often tears are not far behind.
  • It is natural to suppress our emotions and feelings at first, but these feelings will eventually emerge.

Soon after HEARING, we immediately seek the comfort of others by SHARING the news of what has just happened and it is how we begin to cope with our EMOTIONAL NEEDS. All of these feelings and emotions are normal, healthy and unavoidable.

Sharing is to healing like oxygen is to the body… life sustaining and affirming. We often share the news with those we care about to feel secure.

The SHARING phase begins when you tell the news that you have heard to someone else.  Often, the first calls are to people who we know will be supportive to us, a spouse or child.  We call others because this is how we begin to cope with our EMOTIONAL NEEDS.

  • During the first few hours after a loss, we HEAR and SHARE the news of our loved one's death. 
  • The news continues to expand like a spider web from family to friends and extended family and their friends
  • SHARING is our attempt to both inform others and to build our emotional support team.

While SHARING, we are reminded that while something significant has changed in our lives, not everything has changed and we will not face our loss and grief alone.

Seeking Comfort

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Embracing the Pain

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Our senses interpret for our hearts that which our mind is unable to comprehend. If we couldn’t believe it when we heard it, we can’t deny it when we see it.

In his book, When We Must Say Farewell, Karl Jennings writes, "In the end, your death doesn't belong to you, it belongs to anyone who has ever cared for, loved or shared life with you."

Therefore, at Borek Jennings, our focus is to help the living successfully navigate the Acute Loss Period, the crucial time between the event of death and the onset of grief.

At Borek Jennings, your most important decision isn't whether to choose burial or cremation. Your most important decision will be to fully understand how your choices impact the emotional, relational and spiritual well-being of those who cared for, loved and shared life with your loved one.

We are pioneers, educators and experts in the field of Acute Loss Management. This groundbreaking field in Thanatology is viewed both nationally and internationally as the palliative care model replacing the traditional funeral experience.In his book, When We Must Say Farewell, Karl Jennings writes, "In the end, your death doesn't belong to you, it belongs to anyone who has ever cared for, loved or shared life with you."

Therefore, at Borek Jennings, our focus is to help the living successfully navigate the Acute Loss Period, the crucial time between the event of death and the onset of grief.

At Borek Jennings, your most important decision isn't whether to choose burial or cremation. Your most important decision will be to fully understand how your choices impact the emotional, relational and spiritual well-being of those who cared for, loved and shared life with your loved one.

We are pioneers, educators and experts in the field of Acute Loss Management. This groundbreaking field in Thanatology is viewed both nationally and internationally as the palliative care model replacing the traditional funeral experience.

Gatherings are a time and place set aside where relationships both comfort and sustain.  

Failure to make time for gathering and connecting indirectly tells others that you do not wish to share your loss and is seen as a "no trespassing" sign.

The old adage that we only get together for weddings and funerals is true. And between the two, most believe that only funeral are mandatory.

People will stop their lives to be present with your. They don't stop their lives for much these days. But they will stop their lives because you matter to them and they want to be with you at the most difficult time in your life.

Seeing you helps them to make the loss real, allowing them to share both in your loss and your memories.

Building an Emotional Support Team

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Sharing Memories and Building Hope

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Love spoken in a hug… a connection that nurtures hope and healing. While we gather with many, we will connect with just a few.  

People want to let you know that they share your loss and need direction from you on how to do this.

Connecting is a powerful way of reminding us in the midst of loss that life will go on. We are not alone and will not be left alone.



Reflecting on the life that was lived, the loss that is felt, the love that is shared, an essential task for healing. 

In the Acute Loss Period, both those in the immediate family and everyone close to the family will reflect on three things:

  • First, they reflect on the life of the deceased. They think about the person they were, the memories they have, and what those memories mean. 
  • Second, those attending will think about the close family members and wonder ho this will impact them.
  • Finally, as mourners grapple with the death of their friend, they subconsciously begin a review of their own lives, examining their feelings, contemplating their values, and considering if they may need to change the direction their life has taken.

Taking Inventory of Our Losses and Loves

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Making Room for Joy

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There needs to be a time to mourn, but also a time to celebrate. Healing begins as we make room for joy, in the midst of our sadness. 

Celebrating is when we are reminded of what is most important, and we pause to appreciate the greatest and least significant moments of our lives as meaningful.

Celebration acknowledges both the significance of human loss and the value of human love. It is heat-warming, uplifting and meaningful to those closest to the loss.

Loss takes on two dramatically different faces. The first is the pain of loss and the other is the joy of having shared life and love with the one who has died.