This powerful emotion can change people and communities. New and better support structures can arise. The power both of grief and of support have gripped us several times in the year since Cheverly Village was established.
It is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one. Village Volunteers join other neighborhood and religious organizations to assist and support members as they navigate this difficult transition. We support those who are grieving even as we grieve ourselves. Village co-founder Laila Riazi says that when she helped create the Village she envisioned “volunteers alongside community members in such a way that they would feel loved and supported through and through.” This vision is becoming a reality. Grief does not go away when this happens, but it can be witnessed, and the burden thereby shared.
Medicinenet.com states that grief is the normal process of reacting to loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death), social (such as divorce), or occupational (such as a job). We can know and honor ourselves more deeply when we fully experience our emotional responses to grief, especially within the context of a caring community. We may grieve the loss of a specific person or the loss of our sense of safety for our children or for our limited abilities as we age.
Cheverly Village carries in our hearts the losses of a Board member and several Village members and potential members. At the same time, we celebrate their lives and the opportunities ahead for us to serve others. Cheverly neighbors, please care for yourselves, honor your connections, share your joys, strengths and lives lived well as we embrace and try to make peace with grief.
On September 25, Cheverly Village will be hosting a live streaming event celebrating 15 years of the Village movement and featuring Dr. Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal. Details will be posted on the CheverlyVillage.org calendar as they become available.
To learn how to become a Cheverly Village member or volunteer, or how to make a tax-deductible contribution, please call us at (240) 770 1033, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out www.cheverlyvillage.org.
— Teresa Williams, for Cheverly Village Board of Directors