Difficult Decisions

Mourning Coffee, by Tracy Renee Lee

I buried my friend’s husband this weekend. He was much too young to die. He had a heart attack about a week prior to his death.

Our town is very tiny, so hospitals are not equipped for cases requiring extensive care to survive catastrophic events. Therefore, when my friend called me, the call came from a hospital in Dallas TX rather than the one downtown from my home.

She said that her husband was not doing at all well and that if he did not improve over the weekend, she would be faced with a difficult decision. Monday morning, she called me once more. Although her husband remained living, she asked me if I would be able to handle his services once mechanically sustained life support ended.

It is very kind of friends and loved ones to call me ahead of death’s arrival and ask me if I am up to handling my chosen field of labor. I find that only those who genuinely love me call and ask me that question. In their deepest depths of fear and confusion, those who genuinely love me, take the time to worry whether or not the death of their loved one will be too close to my heart for me to bear. That is a very dear consideration.

I assured her that I could do this for her, in fact, I begged her to let me. You see, I went into funeral service to serve those that suffer, even when my heart is involved. I am compelled to help and comfort those who mourn. When family or friends go to another funeral provider, it saddens me that I will not be of assistance to them, that I will not be able to ensure that their needs are met, and that I will not be there to protect them from those who would abuse or take advantage of them. My heart yearns to help even though I cannot.

My friend’s husband died that very afternoon. I arranged for his transport back to our area so that we could prepare for his services. We buried him Friday afternoon. His service was sweet and touching. He had been such a kind man, giving of his time, his heart, and his abundance. During his life, he helped the needy, served the sick, and fed the hungry. He cherished his wife and his children and understood that not everyone has been treated fairly in life. Her husband was also my friend, and I will miss him.

Lori must now live with the decision to end life support for her husband, Hogan. She and I talked a bit about that. Hogan had asked his cherished wife to give him a fighting chance. She followed his wishes implicitly.

Today, Hogan has been gone for a full week. I feel his loss deeply in my soul. He was a man of honor, a man to be emulated. My life has been blessed by virtue of our association. As I continue my life, I will keep a little bit of Hogan in my heart. I will help others, I will serve gladly, and I will greet each day with a smile as I remember and emulate his goodness.

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. 
It is my life’s work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.

About Tracy Lee

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

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