Copy
Find us on Facebook or visit our Website
View this email in your browser
GriefPerspectives

Local News

Scholar's Corner

Resource Review

Bookshelf

Greetings to Our Partners in Care!

Welcome to this month's edition of GriefPerspectives!

 


Scott Lockwood                                                                                        

Director of Community Development & Education                                 
Windsor Chapel Funeral Homes Ltd.

slockwood@windsorchapel.com
Cell  519-566-8175

GriefPerspectives

 

Ringing in the New Year

by William G. Hoy
 

If you have read my column over several years, you know I sound a little like the proverbial “broken record” when the year is drawing to a close. The last couple of weeks of December provide a consistent time for me to reflect on the year ending and to plan for the year ahead. Coming to the university five years ago has facilitated that calendar only because at least at Baylor, we always finish final exams in mid-December. In keeping with the tradition, I thought I would share the strategy that has been useful for me in recent years as I look ahead to the year to come.

 

 First, I review and occasionally revise my tribute statements. Many years ago, I heard the late Stephen Covey talk about imagining oneself attending one’s own funeral. Imagine, he said, hearing a representative from each key priority in life—spouse, child, professional colleague, fellow-congregant, community co-volunteer, etc. As each stands to speak in the visualization, the person offers just a few sentences of tribute. “What do you want them to be able to honestly say about their relationship with you?” I recall hearing Covey ask rhetorically. I took the charge seriously all those years ago and wrote out those paragraphs of “hoped-for tributes.” It has become my habit to review those seven relational tribute statements during the last week of the year and ask myself, “Am I doing what it takes for this to be an honest portrayal.” Here is the one I wrote about my kids, adapted over the years as they have become adults: “Our dad has always ‘been there’ for us. Though we are now adults, he continues to show his love by the time and interest he invests in what we are doing. We always feel welcomed “home” as it continues to be a place of warmth where love, kindness, respect, patience, fun, and compassion prevail and where he models love to our mom over the “long haul.” Above all, Dad helped us see, know, and love Jesus as he taught us to walk with God.
 
Perhaps one year, I will have the courage to share these tributes with the people whose perspectives I hope they represent for an honest evaluation of how I am doing! In the meantime, I use these tributes as I think about projects and goals for the year ahead.
 
This second part of my look back/look forward each year includes setting specific plans for each of the core six arenas of my life: faith, family, friends, faculties, finances, and field; you can easily see the overlap with the tribute statements above. Most of these are self-explanatory but I try to set aside some time during these final days of the year to ask, “What are the most important things I could do, the most important areas I need to develop in each of these areas?” Obviously, being a friend or a loving family member is not really about “accomplishing” anything. My goals in arenas like this tend to revolve around what I can do to make these relationships a priority: phone each of my brothers at least twice monthly or schedule a regular date night with Debbie each week.
 
Some of the words I use for these “core six” may not be so obvious—but those who know my penchant for the alliterative know they all have the begin with an “F!” Faculties is the word I use to describe my cognitive development, my mental growth goals. The books and journals I read and the papers and books I write contribute to this arena and are often the subject of my three or four big goals for the year ahead in this arena.
 
Field is the broad term I give to my professional arena but it could easily be separated into several sub-categories. Of course, goals that are important in one of the core six are sometimes applicable to a second or third of the core six; a book I read likely significantly contributes to my professional effectiveness. I almost hesitate to include finances as one of the six, implying that it stands on equal footing with the others. Nevertheless, what I have realized over the years is that many of the priority things in life do cost money and carrying around debt or struggling to pay the bills are not especially conducive to living a low-stress, high-relationship life.
 

Third, I have tried to write these ideas down as an annual manifesto. Some people call these “New Year’s Resolutions” and others call them just their annual goals. Whatever they are called, I think it is absolutely vital that they get written down. Something in the writing (or keyboarding) process causes the ideas to become more firmly fixed in our minds and hearts, etching them into our memory and helping us unconsciously plot a course of action, even before we take the first step.
 
Is all of this really important for the successful care of the dying and bereaved? I think it is invaluable. Having a clear plan for our lives—even when we deviate from it by January 8—is vital. Perhaps you have heard of the old traveler and the young traveler who met at a roadside rest area where the old man was studying a map. The young fellow saw that exercise as a waste of time and said with some derision, “It’s better just to go where you feel drawn.” The old man looked thoughtfully at the youngster and quietly replied, “That’s only good advice if you don’t care where you end up.”
 
Here’s to a great 2017. In both your professional arenas and in your personal ones, start out the year envisioning, as much as depends on you, where you want it to end up.



The Author:
For more than three decades, William G. Hoy has been counseling with the bereaved, supporting the dying and their families, and teaching colleagues how to provide effective care. After a career in congregation, hospice, and educational resource practice, he now holds a full-time teaching appointment as Clinical Professor of Medical Humanities at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


| back to top |

Local News
Resource Review
 
Perhaps one of the most perplexing topics for caregiving professionals and volunteers has to do with managing personal and organizational finances. I was elected as the Treasurer of the Association for Death Education & Counseling (www.adec.org) three years ago because—get ready now—I actually like this stuff. Well, that and the fact I was the only one the Leadership Recruitment and Development Committee could persuade to run for the office. Keeping up with what we budget, earn, and spend—I love it. Managing our personal stock portfolio is a hobby for me. I realize I am just a wee bit of an anomaly in our profession!
 
But you know what I have discovered in the financial struggles in private practice, cash-flowing two kids through private universities, and enjoying a home without a mortgage? I have learned that the less money we had, the better we better become at managing it. Here are three lifesaving resources that every caregiving professional and volunteer should know about either for ourselves or for our patients, whose stresses that bring them to our offices, incidentally, often involve finances. Perhaps one of the most perplexing topics for caregiving professionals and volunteers has to do with managing personal and organizational finances. I was elected as the Treasurer of the Association for Death Education & Counseling (www.adec.org) three years ago because—get ready now—I actually like this stuff. Well, that and the fact I was the only one the Leadership Recruitment and Development Committee could persuade to run for the office. Keeping up with what we budget, earn, and spend—I love it. Managing our personal stock portfolio is a hobby for me. I realize I am just a wee bit of an anomaly in our profession!
 
But you know what I have discovered in the financial struggles in private practice, cash-flowing two kids through private universities, and enjoying a home without a mortgage? I have learned that the less money we had, the better we better become at managing it. Here are three lifesaving resources that every caregiving professional and volunteer should know about either for ourselves or for our patients, whose stresses that bring them to our offices, incidentally, often involve finances. Mint.com is a free online financial management tool with more than 10 million users and can track bank accounts, credit card spending, expense budget, debt repayment, retirement goals, and savings plans. Like mint.com, mvelopes.com has free applications one can use from an iPhone or Android device. I like this app because of the optional features of consultation with knowledgeable experts (an added cost feature). For people just starting out with financial fitness, that can be an important benefit. I also like the financial planning tools and educational resources available from DaveRamsey.com. Its EveryDollar budgeting tool is invaluable, especially for people who struggle to “make ends meet.” Reflecting its faith heritage, EveryDollar emphasizes the importance of giving to others every month regardless of how little one has.
is a free online financial management tool with more than 10 million users and can track bank accounts, credit card spending, expense budget, debt repayment, retirement goals, and savings plans. Like mint.com, mvelopes.com has free applications one can use from an iPhone or Android device. I like this app because of the optional features of consultation with knowledgeable experts (an added cost feature). For people just starting out with financial fitness, that can be an important benefit. I also like the financial planning tools and educational resources available from DaveRamsey.com. Its EveryDollar budgeting tool is invaluable, especially for people who struggle to “make ends meet.” Reflecting its faith heritage, EveryDollar emphasizes the importance of giving to others every month regardless of how little one has.
 
Bookshelf

Kogon, K., Merrill, A., & Rinne, L. (2015). The five choices: The path to extraordinary productivity. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
 
This may be one of the best time- and life-management books of the decade. Its title uses the word that could describe the strategies employed here: extraordinary. How we manage our time and our life is central to managing stress, preventing burnout, and “staying the course” in caring for people and this book is great end-of-year reading as you evaluate the year just finished and plan the year ahead.
 
The five choices are: 1) act on the important; don’t react to the urgent; 2) go for extraordinary; don’t settle for the ordinary; 3) schedule the big rocks; don’t sort gravel; 4) rule your technology; don’t let it rule you; and 5) fuel your fire; don’t burn out. Many of us will resonate with and find life changing strategies in the fourth of these choices.
Scholar's Corner
 
Shea, M.L. (2015). Determined persistence: Achieving and sustaining job satisfaction among nurse practitioners. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27, 31-38. DOI: 10.1002/2327-6924.12119
 
Like most qualitative research studies, Shea’s (2015) study provides important information about job satisfaction among a group of advanced practice nurses. What Shea found was that nurses offered many examples of ways they found job satisfaction even in the face of difficult experiences with patients, families, and administration. One of the most important observations shared by all interviewees was the meaning they discovered in relationship-building with patients, a clear advantage advance practice nurses have over physicians because of the amount of time available for primary care providers. Clearly, the nurses interviewed derive much job satisfaction from their ability to build these therapeutic relationships.
 
Caregiving professionals and volunteers providing care to bereaved individuals likely derive the same kind of satisfaction from their work with the dying and bereaved. The article is available for as little as US $ 6 at the journal’s webpage, click here.
Copyright © 2016 Windsor Chapel Funeral Homes Ltd., All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp