‘When Everything is Stripped Away, What is Left is All We Really Need’

We approached grief counselors in the greater Washington, D.C. area, to find out how their clients were managing during the pandemic.

Bunny, a counselor who works at a hospice in Maryland, has been impressed by the creativity and resourcefulness of her clients, clients like Patty. After her mother died of COVID, Patty wanted to give her the same kind of funeral she’d given to her father many years earlier. But there was no gathering, and most hurtful, no flowers. Her mother loved flowers. Before the burial, Patty went to her mother’s house and picked the few azaleas that remained in the yard.

“I cut sprigs and then tucked them in the grave by the coffin. I think these were more meaningful than store-bought flowers because they were her flowers. Her azaleas.”

Patty reflected, “I don’t know who said it, but when everything is stripped away, what is left is all we really need.”