Light After Life

Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.
Light After Life

Exploring the mysteries of our existence: Life, Death and Beyond. Afterlife, Mediumship, Spiritualism ~ Death is not the end; I am but waiting for you for an interval ...

CORONAVIRUS: All the latest LIVE updates from around the world
Message to all: Stay safe, stay well, stay at home - and stay in touch.
The Video of the Week now showing on our Portal page is: 'Edgar Cayce - The Sleeping Prophet'

Family matters

Candlelight.kk
Candlelight.kk
.
.

Posts : 3068
Location : London
Points : 6781

Family matters Empty Family matters

Post by Candlelight.kk on Tue 26 Nov 2019, 09:38

What we can all learn from this deathbed photo
By Dhruti Shah BBC News, Washington DC

  • 25 November 2019

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50550018

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize
Family matters _109887697_death1
Why would a picture of a dying grandfather having a final drink resonate with so many strangers around the world?
All Norbert Schemm, 87, of Appleton, Wisconsin, wanted in his final moments was his loved ones beside him while he sipped a beer.
Together his family talked, laughed and reminisced before taking an image which Mr Schemm's son Tom shared with the family Whatsapp group.
But hours later when Mr Schemm died and his grandson Adam posted the photo on social media, the entire family was overwhelmed by the number of strangers who took comfort in that last picture.
It has already had more than 4,000 comments, 30,000 retweets and 317,000 favourites on Twitter alone and has turned up on Reddit and other social platforms.
Adam said: "My grandpa had been relatively healthy over the course of his life but it was on the Sunday last week while he was in hospital that they realised it would be the end. He called his grandchildren to tell us on the Monday. We took the picture Tuesday night and then he died from stage four colon cancer on Wednesday."
"My dad told us that grandpa had wanted a beer and now when I look at that picture it gives me solace.
"I can tell my grandpa is smiling. He's doing what he wanted to do - it was an impromptu moment."

Adam said he was hesitant to post the picture on social media first because of the bittersweet context but decided to go ahead because it was just a beautiful moment.
"It's actually helped us with our grief. It's comforting to see that my grandparents and their children were all together in his final moments."
He said the family had been tracking to see how far the image had travelled and they loved that so many people were sharing it.
"It seems to have tapped into a sense of community and clearly is a moment lots of people relate to. The comments have been so kind and we've seen pictures of people toasting bottles of beer in his honour. I thought people I knew might want to see it and respond but had no idea just how many people it seems to have helped."

Ben Riggs, of Indianapolis, was among the strangers who felt prompted to respond to the image on Twitter. He posted a photo of his own grandfather Leon Riggs, 86, enjoying a final cigar and beer too.
Ben told the BBC he spotted the image on his Twitter feed and it reminded him of his grandfather's final request when he died in 2015.
"I don't delete the pictures on my phone. I returned to it and I felt compelled to reply and share my own photo. It brought me back and to see someone else experience that final bit of happiness before death was a good feeling."


Replying to @AdamSchemm @thedad

I don’t know you... but I felt this. Days before my grandpa passed he let my dad and I know he wanted a cigar and a beer. We made it happen. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your grandpas smile is one for the books!

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize
Family matters EJ6pkBYXUAMhdwY?format=jpg&name=small

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize
Family matters EJ6pkBbWkAAneaa?format=jpg&name=small

Ben said his grandfather had had Alzheimer's and his memory would come in waves but towards the end, he and his dad felt it important to fulfil his grandfather's dying wish.
"While death never comes at the right time, I think it's important to always try and find the silver lining."
Ben said the evening his grandfather died, he, his brothers and his father got together to mark the passing and celebrate the life. They took another family photo. Tragically, Ben's father Mike died unexpectedly the next day from heart failure. He says both of these final pictures have brought him much comfort.
Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize
Family matters _109887701_benpic
Brigid Reilly, of Philadelphia, also responded to Adam's original tweet with an image of her grandmother Theresa Meehan who passed away in October this year from heart and kidney failure at the age of 84.
She told the BBC: "My grandmother got put on hospice care so we knew she would be passing soon.
"Towards the end my family wanted to bring her her favourite things which included sushi, Frank Sinatra's music, all of us together, and her drink of choice which was Baileys. As she got closer to the end she requested we all do a final shot together."

Enlarge this image Click to see fullsize
Family matters _109887703_brigid
Theresa Meehan wanted to drink Baileys liquor with her family as she came to the end of her life
Brigid said that the image was printed out and shown at her grandmother's funeral.
"We made a video commemorating her life and included it in that. But mostly I just cherish it personally. I think I'm really lucky to have had those final moments with her."

But what is it about the picture that has led to hundreds of thousands of people reacting to it?

Why did the photo resonate?

Ann Neumann, author of The Good Death, says: "It has resonated because it is something we all long for. Because the image gives us a chance to think of our own loved ones and to join the Schemm family in this most profound moment.
"But it also gives us a chance to grieve with them; in doing so we can think of our own loved ones, elderly, ill, dying and dead."
She said the image captures what everyone would want on their last night - to be surrounded by loved ones.

She adds: "Few of us know the time of our death or have the presence of mind to mark it in this way. We live far-flung lives, with our family members residing in other states or countries. There are millions of stories of adult children missing their parents' death because of distance.
"There are millions of stories of a dying parent being unconscious the last days of their lives. Missing the chance to say goodbye is a great human fear. The opportunity to share this rare and beautiful last gathering resonates because it is one version of an ideal death.
"If there is a lesson in this photo, it is to mark and hold dear all the time we have with those we love. Hoist a beer, hold hands, share stories. Time is finite."

Why do we share deathbed photos?

Dr Kenneth J Doka, senior bereavement counsellor at the Hospice Foundation of America and past chairman of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG) Mission, says there is no specific right thing to say or do when it comes to the final moments of a life.
"I think the key thing is to listen and when someone is dying to let them share their moment of significance."
He described the photo as a delightful image and added he was unsurprised that Adam posted what could have been thought of as a private moment on social media.
"We have always used technology to deal with dying and death. The Ancient Egyptians used pyramids; what we are doing now is adapting our rituals to the technology that is available."
Adam says his grandpa would have found the attention remarkable.
"I don't think he would have minded. He would have got a laugh out of it.
"I think the biggest lesson to be learned and what I believe my grandfather would say is to 'be kind, love each other, and that family matters'.
mac
mac

Posts : 882
Location : east midlands of England
Points : 2129
Job/hobbies : retired

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by mac on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 04:36

moving and uplifting - Something only possible using modern-day communications technology. Smile
Misty
Misty

Posts : 431
Points : 1667

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by Misty on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 15:28

Back in Victorian times it was common practice to take photographs of family after they had died making it look as if they were still alive.  Post-mortem photos were a quite normal occurrence.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36389581


Photographs of loved ones taken after they died may seem morbid to modern sensibilities. But in Victorian England, they became a way of commemorating the dead and blunting the sharpness of grief.

Children would have to pose with their dead siblings or parents. Mothers holding their dead babies.  How unbearably sad and difficult this must of been.  Often it would be difficult to tell who in the picture was the deceased person.

mac
mac

Posts : 882
Location : east midlands of England
Points : 2129
Job/hobbies : retired

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by mac on Wed 27 Nov 2019, 22:08

We took photos of our baby son in his coffin. Just a couple of hourst was the only time he got to be in his intended home, the sun shining on him in our dining room, a photo of his parents and some daffodils from our garden to accompany him.  Symbols of love from his desperate parents who had no other way to show it.  

Thank goodness (God?) we could think clearly enough to do what we did.  So often stillbirth and neonatal death leaves parents reeling and overcome with grief, often struggling by themselves with relatives and friends just not knowing what to say or do - what can anyone say?  

It must have been almost unbearably worse when photos of the sort below were taken.  I took some of our son with his tearful mum holding him, on the day of his birth in the hospital. But it was not posed like the one shown. Even so it's still hard to look at ours even though it's three and a half decades since his passing.

In the past women may never even have seen their child close up or got to hold her/him.  There may not even have been a funeral  How soul-destroying that must have been.  Crying or Very sad
Candlelight.kk
Candlelight.kk
.
.

Posts : 3068
Location : London
Points : 6781

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by Candlelight.kk on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 11:49

mac wrote:We took photos of our baby son in his coffin.  Just a couple of hourst was the only time he got to be in his intended home, the sun shining on him in our dining room, a photo of his parents and some daffodils from our garden to accompany him.  Symbols of love from his desperate parents who had no other way to show it.  

Thank goodness (God?) we could think clearly enough to do what we did.  So often stillbirth and neonatal death leaves parents reeling and overcome with grief, often struggling by themselves with relatives and friends just not knowing what to say or do - what can anyone say?  

It must have been almost unbearably worse when photos of the sort below were taken.  I took some of our son with his tearful mum holding him, on the day of his birth in the hospital. But it was not posed like the one shown. Even so it's still hard to look at ours even though it's three and a half decades since his passing.

In the past women may never even have seen their child close up or got to hold her/him.  There may not even have been a funeral  How soul-destroying that must have been.  Crying or Very sad

That surely must have been an extremely emotional and difficult ordeal for both of you to have to go through, leaving you with a terrible feeling of emptiness and sadness.  As hard as it must have been for you to take those first and last photos, for sure 'something' must have prompted you to do so, and in some ways those lasting mementos will have helped to an extent to ease the burden of your grief, perhaps not so much at the time, but as time went on, especially with the passing of anniversaries and such.
I feel your sadness, mac, just reading what you have said, but I am happy in knowing the healing comfort you must feel in your knowing that your son is not lost and gone forever, his spirit lives on and all of you will be happily reunited when the moment is right.

Family matters 999e419b0b525dd91340c5803ae43fc7--walking-soul
mac
mac

Posts : 882
Location : east midlands of England
Points : 2129
Job/hobbies : retired

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by mac on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 14:13

thanks for your thoughts, kk

It was a horrible time and telling the story - something I don't often do nowadays - brought back some of the feelings of hopelessness and blackness and our loss of a much wanted and planned for child. As you say, something prompted me to take photos of our son.

We were lucky (?) that a few months later we were rescued - and it certainly felt like rescue - by someone out-of-the-blue, someone at work who was a medium, someone who first led me, then led my wife, out of the pit of black despair we were trapped in. I didn't know that person was a medium but he either knew of our circumstances or picked up on it as we chatted one day about nothing at all related to death. Had he not done what he did I probably wouldn't be writing as I do today, knowing what I do now.....

I am extremely grateful to my medium friend, now long passed, and feel exceptionally privileged to have been looked after the way I was; I only wish I could do it for others.
Candlelight.kk
Candlelight.kk
.
.

Posts : 3068
Location : London
Points : 6781

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by Candlelight.kk on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 15:05

mac, I feel pretty sure that had your "rescue" not happened in the way it did with your medium friend, it would have come about in some other way, and most likely in the same time frame.  Your guides and helpers in the spirit world were most definitely aware of your deep despair and suffering, and help would have come about, through their engineering, in some other way.  Of that I have no doubt whatsoever.
As for your helping others, you can be sure that there will be many folk, whether or not you know it, who already have, or indeed will at a future time, find solace and hope through your writing and telling of your experience. happyheart
Misty
Misty

Posts : 431
Points : 1667

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by Misty on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 18:28

@mac  wave   I can tell you that you have been a great help to me in so many ways just reading your posts here,
as I imagine you have been to others. thanks and this is for you. Family matters Sf74
mac
mac

Posts : 882
Location : east midlands of England
Points : 2129
Job/hobbies : retired

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by mac on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 21:06

Misty wrote:@mac  wave   I can tell you that you have been a great help to me in so many ways just reading your posts here,
as I imagine you have been to others. thanks and this is for you. Family matters Sf74

well, thank you! Smile I'm very touched you should say that and I'm heartened my small contributions have been helping you. Smile
mac
mac

Posts : 882
Location : east midlands of England
Points : 2129
Job/hobbies : retired

Family matters Empty Re: Family matters

Post by mac on Sat 30 Nov 2019, 21:30

Candlelight.kk wrote:mac, I feel pretty sure that had your "rescue" not happened in the way it did with your medium friend, it would have come about in some other way, and most likely in the same time frame.

You might well be right, kk, but I'll never know.  It's impossible to know what alternative ways might have been available to whomever it was that did whatever they did to bring about the eventual outcome.  


 
Your guides and helpers in the spirit world were most definitely aware of your deep despair and suffering, and help would have come about, through their engineering, in some other way.  Of that I have no doubt whatsoever.

I expect you're right, kk.

I'm so used to trying to do this stuff for others it's hard to keep it in mind that the same applies to me.  It just feels that what I try my best to do is supposed to be for those who are struggling along in ways similar to how my wife and I struggled to make any sense of things.  

I've said this before that even though we lived through the same bereavement, my wife lost the child she had been carrying for 9 months, a child that was physically a part of her very body, a child she'd carried inside her.  I didn't experience that and can only guess at the pain she was in.  Mine felt near unbearable so how much worse her own must have been.... Crying or Very sad

Mine was a very different loss, a son I was yet to meet, a life none of us would ever actually live together this time in this world.  Both of us reacted in individual ways, my wife even seeing her 'dead' grandma who told her they were looking after him.  She believed what she'd seen and heard yet she is unsure about everything I am totally certain about.  Funny how life works out but it's taught me that every individual will react in their own way no matter what anyone presents them with.

As for your helping others, you can be sure that there will be many folk, whether or not you know it, who already have, or indeed will at a future time, find solace and hope through your writing and telling of your experience. happyheart

I'm so glad about what you've said, kk.  It's nice to hear I've likely helped others because that's what really matters.  I had my help when I desperately needed it and I hope others find theirs when they desperately need it. I just wish I could reach more individuals but I'm thankful that there are at least some  - I should not be greedy.  Embarassed

    Current date/time is Wed 15 Jul 2020, 19:39