The Foreman Family – Ray, Cindy and Ross
The holidays are here! For many, it is a joyous time, for others, it is challenging. The holidays can be difficult for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Below is a story of loss and healing.
“My husband Ray and I planned to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with a two-week vacation with our 10-year-old son, Ross. As a surprise gift, I arranged for Ray to take a one-hour scenic tour in a glider plane while on our vacation.
The morning of Ray’s surprise scenic tour in a glider plane, we were reminiscing about the past 25 years, our dating, Ray’s proposal, our wedding day, our houses, family, friends, Ross’ birth, jobs and our dreams for the next 25 years together. By 11 a.m. on that fateful day our lives changed forever. The day that had been one of the happiest in my life became the saddest. Ray was only 10 minutes from landing at the airport when there was a loud pop and the plane plunged down into the ocean, killing Ray. May 17, 2011 was the day Ross’s grieving journey and mine began.
Time seemed to stand still the first 24-hours after the accident. Thankfully, a grief counselor was provided to us immediately. She helped my son and me through those first 48-hours.
Returning home without Ray was difficult for both Ross and me. As a parent, all you want to do is protect your children from pain. My heart was already breaking with the grief of losing Ray. Ross’ grief was just as unbearable. A school counselor recommended that I call The Elizabeth Hospice and seek counseling for Ross and myself. I made the call and found a compassionate and understanding voice at the other end of the line. This was the first time I told the story of what happened to our family to a complete stranger. She quietly listened and offered words of comfort and encouragement. I knew I had made the right decision by calling and setting up an individual counseling appointment for Ross. Throughout the summer I drove Ross to The Center for Compassionate Care of the Elizabeth Hospice in Escondido and after each meeting his ability to speak about his feelings and use the tools he had been taught were noticeable.
The support Ross received inspired him to create a support group for children who have experienced loss. With the support of Vista Unified School District, Vista Magnet Middle School and The Elizabeth Hospice, ‘A Ray of Hope’ children’s grieving support group was formed.
Tragedy brought us to The Elizabeth Hospice. The Elizabeth Hospice has brought us comfort and healing and a confidence that we will be supported for as long as needed.
Ross and I will be sharing our experiences at Light Up a Life this Sunday, December 8 at the Center for the Arts, Escondido.”
Below are some tips that we hope will help you get through a difficult holiday season:
- Make a plan for yourself during the holiday season. What is important to you in the way of celebrating the holidays? Plan to have good days and bad days—this will make the bad days tolerable!
- Make some changes, if necessary. Sometimes it can be stressful to keep up your holiday traditions so pick and choose what you want to keep a part of your family celebration and what you can let go of.
- Be realistic. Do what you feel is right for you. Avoid situations which will not support you this year.
Especially during this time of year if you take time to quiet your mind, you are better able to see the season as it is intended. In turn, this will enhance your satisfaction in making for a more meaningful and less stressful holiday season.
~Cindy Foreman & Lisa Marcolongo