In grief process, difficult goodbyes eased by life choices
Published: December 31, 2003
OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) -- The past year has been especially difficult for Erwin Steffen, a member of St. Patrick Parish in Fremont. Five people in his immediate and extended family have died. His mother and mother-in-law died peacefully after long lives. His wife, although chronically ill, died much more suddenly than expected. His brother-in-law and son-in-law also died unexpectedly. It is hard to lose a loved one under any circumstance and grief is a process that no one fully escapes. Still, Steffen is picking up the pieces of his life and living fully because that is how he and his loved ones lived before the deaths. "They did everything they wanted to do," he said. Steffen points to his daughter and son-in-law as an example. They had downsized a few years ago so she could stay at home and they could do more of the things they enjoyed with their children. This past summer they made it a point to go fishing regularly, attend a couple of major league baseball games and visit an amusement park, he said. His son-in-law died July 27, the result of an accident.
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