A recent conversation has started some interesting thinking about the roles that PLAN Network members take on. One of the things that our conversation brought up was how powerful it is for each of us as Network Members to have a dedicated role in our loved one’s life and how important it is to have good clarity about what that role is.
So many important things bubbled up in this conversation! We talked about how an overarching goal of any network is to support families to feel confident that the right things will happen for their loved one when they are no longer able to do them, and that many times, members of the Network will step up and fulfil those roles. We also recognized that sometimes, these are very tender and emotional topics and how important it is to have them (sometimes it helps to have someone facilitate them!)
We reflected about our own lives when we have lost key people and what helped us through that tough first month or two as we adjusted to our loss and looked for a way forward without the person. We all realised that in some way, we had figured out a plan that included people, tradition, ritual, nourishment (of all kinds) and celebration. One person talked about the meals that her friends brought her after her dad passed away and another talked about how her community came together to help out when a flood had upended her life and the lives of many in her neighbourhood.
We talked about how in our lives, we let go of expecting ourselves to know what to do next and that we leaned on our own people to support us through. We talked about how as Network members, we think about this with the person at the center of the network and families in ways that are unique to each one- no two plans are the same, no two people need the same things in times of change and honouring this is a foundational principle at PLAN!
I came away from that conversation thinking about different ways to explore with families- that would ground and support us in times when things change. If the goal is ongoing peace in our lives, it seems that these conversations and planning with people is closer to being achieved if we talk about it!
What kinds of things ground you when you are in turbulent times of change?
Do you have a story about ways that your Network Members play important and specific roles in your life? We’d love to hear it. Please email us, or join one of PLAN’s Family Check’s Wednesdays at 4pm (PST)
– Shelley Nessman