Local author Nina Impala’s recently published book “Dearly Departed” is filled with stories aimed at helping people navigate through the sensitive subject of death and dying.
“I believe people learn well through stories, it helps people feel better because we relate to one another, Impala said. “We are human and hard-wired for connections.”
The book is a compilation of stories featuring Impala’s years of experience as a hospice volunteer in Temecula. Through her years helping people transition through death, she has learned a great deal about the subject.
The loss of a loved one is one of the most fearful and heart-wrenching experiences humans face in life.
“In the beginning of grief, I always tell people to just be present with another and let your heart be your eyes,” Impala explained.
She said a squeeze of a hand or a gentle touch can go a long way in supporting someone going through the loss of a loved one.
Death and dying are part of life and can often times happen in an instant.
The community in Temecula is reeling over the recent loss of 11-year-old, Anthony Fowler, who recently succumbed to his injuries after a cave he was digging collapsed on top of him.
“It is really important to get the kids talking about this because kids tend to hold their feelings about grief inside,” Impala said. “They see the adults around them in pain and many times don’t want to add any further sadness.”
Impala emphasized that although everyone grieves differently, it is important that families dealing with the pain of losing a child talk to someone they are comfortable with.
She also recommends a bereavement group for loved ones to be with people who are going through similar events.
“Sometimes, when a parent loses a child whether it is from illness or an accident, the parent can feel responsible. This is where a grief group, or maybe one on one counseling is important,” She said. “These feelings need to get past the skin, talked about, written about and expressed out of the body in some way.”
She explained that that even though the pain does not go away, it becomes lighter at times.
“It’s important to be patient with yourself,” she said. “Sometimes out of nowhere, when we think we are doing okay, some little trigger will appear and those soft gentle waves of emotion turn into huge tidal waves.”
Impala has dealt with her own loss including the death of her mother last year.
“I remember when my mom died I could feel when people did not know what to say to me, they would put their head down or look away or change the subject and that hurt me.”
“Dearly Departed” is available online at Amazon and her monthly radio show can be heard on www.awakeningzone.com.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a new contributor to SWRNN.