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Perspectives on Grief: Jeff Hogan

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jeffhoganThis 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

We all encounter grief at some point in our lives. It is our natural response to a loss and unique to our own personal journeys.

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 location manager, funeral director and embalmer, Jeff Hogan’s personal experience with grief.

Jeff Hogan's Personal Journey with Grief

It was 1989 when my maternal grandmother passed away while visiting Elyria. She was transported back to her hometown where her 96-year-old mother passed away a day later. We ended up having a double funeral and the grief was tremendous. As a result of that experience, I aspired to make funeral service my career. Within the next year, my life began to change as I moved toward becoming a funeral director in the hopes of helping other families through the worst times of their lives. 

About a year later, two days before my sister’s wedding, my mom’s 51-year-old brother passed away suddenly while golfing. Though our family walked through that wedding in a blur, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services stepped in and took care of all the funeral details for my uncle—at that point I had just begun working with Busch for a month. As a result of this sudden death, my job took on a new dimension of serving families with crisis and trauma-related funeral arrangements.

In 2017, my father-in-law passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest. This death was so traumatic to our family and young children. Part of my grief experience was trying to console and comfort my wife who was extremely close to her dad. The realization that time heals all wounds no longer applied. My wife, to this day, grieves deeply for her father and that’s when I began to realize everyone handles grief differently and in their own time.

Just recently, we received news of my mother-in-law’s diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer. From the very first call, it immediately took us back to the time my father-in-law passed, which instilled anticipatory grief in us. Even though her prognosis was three months to live, possibly six with chemo, we are realizing every day is a blessing and are thankful for each day we have left with her. Even prior to death, you begin grieving, but you deal with those emotions by concentrating on the time we have left and making them special.

As I look back over these individual situations, I can see how my journey has been completely different with each passing of a loved one. Proving once more that everyone’s journey is different and unique to them. For me, I can clearly look back and see God was in the process in our past and present, and I know He is in our future. My peace comes from staying in His presence and walking the journey with Him.

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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Jeff Hogan
Jeff Hogan
Passionate about service and community involvement, and one of Busch's longest-standing employees. Jeff is involved in several Elyria-area organizations, churches and schools. He also enjoys serving the diverse cultural and religious Cleveland community.Proudly serving Busch families since 1990.
 

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