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Perspectives on Grief: Cathy Nichols

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perspectives_on_grief_cathyThis post is part of our Perspectives on Grief series, where we ask our caring staff members to share their personal experiences with grief. For more stories like this, subscribe to our weekly grief support newsletter

At Busch Funeral and Crematory Services, we stand by the phrase: No two people grieve the same.  

While we all journey through grief differently, it can help to connect with folks who understand the pain of a loss. It’s possible to learn lessons and begin our journey to healing by listening to the experiences of others.

That’s why we put together the Perspectives on Grief blog series. Periodically, we share the perspectives of our caring staff members who have been personally impacted and touched by a loss. It’s our hope that these personal stories help you find a sense of comfort throughout your grief journey.  

Continue reading to hear Cathy Nichols, Certified Celebrant coordinator, share her personal experience with grief.

Cathy Nichols' Personal Journey with Grief

Every life is worth remembering. This is something that has stuck with me ever since I was a little girl.

Growing up, my neighbor, Timmy, was an only child whose parents both worked. He spent a lot of time at our house, playing with us kids and enjoying meals with my family.

For Timmy’s 16th birthday, his parents got him tickets to a concert in the city. That night, a drunk driver hit the car he was in as they returned home. I remember the sirens that night, only to learn the next day that my buddy was in rough shape. My parents went to the hospital and returned home without saying much, but I could tell my mom’s eyes were red. Timmy had passed away, and plans were being made for his funeral instead of his birthday party.

My brother (10) and I (13) at the time went to school the next day. In the days, ahead we weren’t allowed to attend the visitation or funeral services for Timmy. We heard angry adults whispering, neighbors and teachers crying, and we had a lot of unanswered questions, with no one to ask. We felt very excluded and wanted to tell his parents how sad we were too. 

While my parents thought they were shielding us from the pain, nowadays, we know that excluding children from the memorialization process also means denying them the opportunity to receive support from close friends and family. Fortunately, there are several resources online and in person for children to be supported following a loss. Busch offers the following guides on our website for download:

Children need to understand what happens during a funeral and that it’s okay for adults to cry as well. Missing out on the comfort and support that connects friends and family can lead to resentment. Saying goodbye is never easy, but children should be given the answers and opportunities to participate in the memorialization of someone who was important to them. 

As a Certified Celebrant at Busch Funeral and Crematory Services since 2004, I am privileged to design and conduct meaningful and memorable tributes that are appropriate for all ages because every life is worth remembering in its own, unique way.

Get More Unique Perspectives on Grief

In the days, weeks and months following a loss, it’s important to remember the grieving process has no set timeline. To help guide you through your grief journey, we encourage you to sign up for our weekly newsletter, A Journey Towards Healing. When you subscribe, you’ll receive weekly emails of encouragement across an entire year of your grief experience.

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Cathy Nichols
Cathy Nichols
Considers it an honor as a Certified Celebrant to listen to life stories, and then design and conduct meaningful tributes. Cathy also trains celebrants nationally, equipping them to share those legacies in ways that comfort and enlighten. Honorably serving Busch families since 2004.

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