Letter To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 13, 2005

Helping survivors honors the dead

Nov. 11 was a day to honor all those Americans who have served our country in the armed forces. It was a day for us, as a nation, to reflect on the values, commitment, and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

Many of us extend this tribute to remember those who are no longer with us. This is particularly important when the painful loss of our nation's brave military personnel is so keenly felt.

Honoring those no longer with us can be an important part of Veterans Day. However, there is an additional group of people who need to be remembered and cared for. Veterans Day should be a time to reach out to the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our country.

Remembering the bereaved is an important part of honoring those who have died. We do this by acknowledging their loss and the grief they may be feeling.

Even if a loss is years old, feelings may still be strong and deeply felt by family and friends. One of the most important gifts we can offer is that of our presence. Simply being there and allowing the bereaved to share their thoughts openly, is an important role we each can play.

Sharing in the grief of another person is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes the most important thing we can do is provide a sympathetic ear or hold a hand. To those left behind, the opportunity to share memories and emotions is a very important aspect of living after the death of someone close. This advice comes from hospice professionals who work with loss on a daily basis.

The value of putting our own discomfort aside and being present for friends and family living with a loss should not be underestimated. It can be emotionally difficult but ultimately very healing.

Veterans Day provides an opportunity to honor those who have given much to our country. For those who have died, supporting their loved ones is a privilege and a fitting tribute to their memories.

Resources are available to help people struggling with loss. Hospice of the Chesapeake can be an important source of information on grief and loss.

For more information on the grief and loss services available to you and your loved ones, call Hospice of the Chesapeake, 800-745-6132, or visit www.hos picechesapeake.org. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization also offers information on grief and loss on its Caring Connections Web site at www.caringinfo.org or by calling HelpLine at 800-658-8898.

Dana Disborough

Annapolis

The writer is a staffer with Hospice of the Chesapeake.

we want your opinions

THE ISSUE:

The Anne Arundel County school system, reacting to an Oct. 28 incident in which an Odenton teenager was shot in the thigh outside an Annapolis High School football game, moved the starting times for all county varsity football games to 5:15 p.m., from 7:15 p.m. The administration also pledged to increase police supervision and stop selling tickets after halftime. Spectators who leave the stadium after that time will not be allowed to come back and will have to leave school property immediately.

YOUR VIEW:

Are the new regulations an over-reaction, or did the school system handle the issue correctly? Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Wednesday. Please keep your response short and include your name, address and daytime phone number. A selection of responses will be published next Sunday.

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