Surviving Spouse Provisional Center
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Offering Emotional Support Through Grief Counseling
At Surviving Spouse Provisional Center, we provide counseling and support to the bereaved members of our communities in the Atlanta metropolitan area in Georgia. Read our blog posts and articles below to get helpful information.
There is a scripture in the book of Psalm, chapter 116 and verse 15. It reads,
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
When someone is precious, they are cherished and valued. The Lord Jesus sees His children in that light. When they transition and leave us, we grieve because we miss their presence. But when they are dying, Jesus is with them, and he personally escorts them to their heavenly home. And when they arrive in Glory, there is great rejoicing. They have finally reached their goal; they are safe and secure; delivered from all evil. Heaven throws a "welcome home" party--just for them. Jesus, the angels, and all of heaven are in attendance. What a celebration! What rejoicing for your faithful loved one, and what rejoicing there will be for you when your time comes. Then, a celebration and a sweet reunion-----not just for a moment-----but forevermore!
Thank God For The Gift Of Memories
As I sit and reminisce about the fun times I had with my spouse, I can't help but smile. The time we went to an amusement park and he won me a big, giant teddy bear. The walks we took--just the two of us, around the neighborhood, in the mall, to the park, hand-in-hand. The times we slow danced to our favorite song. Date nights were always a treat. We didn't always do anything fancy for them, but were happy just to be in each other's company. The times we went to the movies and shared a box of popcorn when the funds were low. The times we sat on the front porch, and just admired together the beauty of God's creation. Those are the things I miss most about my love.
I am sure you can relate to those types of memories, having lost your soul mate as well. It's easy to dwell so much on the sadness you feel; on the void inside your life that they once filled, that you don't focus on the good times you had together. And as you think of them, you will find that just reminiscing about those good times, puts a smile on your face and brings healing to your heart. That's the thing about memories--you will always have them. No one can take them away. They will bring you through the fog of loss and grief, and put you in a happy place. You'll find yourself thanking God for all the fun times and the memories that were born from those times. You will also find that you don't have enough fingers and toes to count them all. Try it! Just try it for yourself. You will find yourself thanking the good Lord Jesus for the wonderful gift of memories.
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Let The Comforter Bring You Hope
When my husband first passed away, I was overcome by a multitude of feelings: apprehension, fear, loneliness, grief, emptiness, and loss. It seemed that everything hit me at once, and it was difficult to even think about moving ahead. How could I anticipate tomorrow when my whole world ended today? That was my first reaction to the reality that my spouse of 40 years had passed. There was so much more that I wanted to do for him; so much more I wanted to say. But everything happened so quickly that I never got the opportunity. Though I felt numb and in a bit of a fog, I got through the funeral and even eulogized my husband, something that he'd requested of me if anything happened to him. I got through it. But I didn't do it on my own. It was God who got me through it. His Holy Spirit was my comforter; the comforter that Jesus promised to leave us before He went back to The Father. It's been more than 2 years now, and I'm still being sustained by The Comforter. He strengthens me; encourages me; advises me; and directs me. He constantly reminds me that there's nothing that God can't do. He can replace a multitude of feelings--apprehension, fear, loneliness, grief, emptiness, and loss--with hope. And hope "maketh not ashamed." It will undoubtedly lead you into your destiny.
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You Made It Through!
Posted on January 20, 2019 at 3:15 PM
You made it through the holidays, though you never thought you would. It was a challenging time for you, and you were flooded with memories of holidays past with your soul mate. Through the gift giving, food, and festivities, you are starkly reminded that someone is missing; your beloved spouse. On top of that, you are about to face a brand new year without them. Where most people are happy to celebrate the new year, you're not looking forward to it. For you, time stopped when your spouse passed away. But take heart my friend, there will be brighter days. Though your heart has been wounded, it will heal in time. You will never forget your mate, or the times you spent together. But in time, painful memories will become treasured memories. And those precious, treasured memories will make you smile again. I know, because I myself have been there.
'TIS THE SEASON
Posted on November 25, 2018 at 2:40 PM
No matter how long it's been since your mate passed away, every year the holiday season always comes too soon. It seems like time just speeds recklessly toward Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years day; that magical time of year that everyone looks forward to; that is--everyone but those who have lost a loved one. For those who are still grieving the loss of a spouse, the season is bitter-sweet. It's the time of year when you gather with family and friends for festivities, feasting and fun. But though you are present in body, your mind is with the one you lost. It constantly takes you back to holiday's past that you enjoyed with them. Memories inundate your thoughts, of cooking together at Thansgiving; exchanging gifts at Christmas; and ringing in the New Year with that special kiss. Though you are in the presence of others, you realize that you're not altogether present. You inwardly scold yourself for not being attentive, but it's no use. Your mind insists on drifting back to happier times with your mate.
There's an empty place at the table and an empty place in your heart. You feel that it will never be filled, but it will. It will be filled with fond memories of holiday's past; of cooking together; shopping together; ringing in the new year together. In time, those same memories will fill your thoughts, but with different results. A time will come when they will make you smile; make you laugh—even make you cry—but they'll be happy tears. GOD is a healer of the broken hearted and promises that He will heal you.
“.....weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Clearing Out Their Things
Posted on September 20, 2018 at 1:35 PM
I found in my experience that one of the most difficult tasks that I had to undertake after my husband Larry's passing, was clearing out his things. There was a memory attatched to almost every article of his clothing, and other possesions that were his. There was the Christmas sweater that he wore to the annual Christmas party; the neckties he wore on Sunday's; his favorite hats that he wore for everyday outings; the stylish brim that he wore when we were going out to dinner; his robe that he slipped into when he wanted to feel comfortable and lounge around the house; his after shaving lotion; his Irish Spring soap—so many memories. So many things that belonged to him! How could I possibly get rid of them?
It's a task that no widow(er) wants to accomplish—but you know that it has to be done. When it happens is different for everyone. Some widows and widowers wait months—even longer--before they can bring themselves to follow through with it. In my case, everywhere I looked, I saw my husband. Whenever I went into the closet we shared, or opened the dresser drawers, I was reminded that the life I shared with him for 40 years, had ended. After he had been gone for about a month, I was able to gather his things together. My daughter offered to help me, but it was a task that I felt I had to accomplish alone. I was also propelled to do so once I found that an organization in the Appalachian Mountains had a great need for men's clothing, and was very happy to get them. I felt a peace about it, because my husband was a giving person, so I knew he would have wanted someone in need to have his things.
His more personal possessions, like his cufflinks, his pocket watch, his favorite calogne, his wallet—were given to my children, grandchildren, and close friends at Christmas. Everyone was touched and thrilled to get an unexpected gift that belonged to him, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. As for me, I purchased a curio cabinet, and built a memorial for him. In the case I put the urn with his ashes, his bible, his eye glasses, his watch, and his stylish brim. Those are displayed tastefully in my living room, in the corner curio cabniet. Seeing it there brings
me great comfort.
I shared with you what I did, but like I said, it's different with everyone, and it may be different with you. If it is, it's okay. Let your heart tell you when it's time to let go. Just remember, you're not letting your loved one go—just their things.