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Help in Times of Loss
November 3, 2014 | Suzanne McAuliffe; excerpted from Thrivent magazine
Thrivent Financial provides materials to help members work through their grief
Shortly after her 85-year-old mother died, Linda McMillin received an unexpected condolence package in the mail. Not from a friend. Not from family. But from Thrivent Financial.
"I remember thinking, 'This is an instrument the Lord is providing to show me how to deal with this,'" she says.
She had been struggling with all the normal emotions of grief, but there was something else. A deep, nagging ache she couldn't name. It wasn't until she read a book in the Thrivent packet that the cloud lifted. "There was a paragraph that talked about feeling orphaned. I thought, 'That's it! That's exactly how I feel,'" says McMillin, an only child whose father died when she was a toddler. "It gave me clarity and a real sense of comfort knowing I'm not the only person who feels this way."
Along with the book, A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance: Help for the Losses in Life, the condolence materials included a sympathy card, a spiritual music CD and Step by Step, a guide to practical decisions that a survivor faces after the death of a loved one.*
For McMillin, the condolence materials were a lifeline. Since her father and stepfather had long since passed away, she bore all the responsibilities of caring for her mom and handling funeral arrangements.
"It was doubly hard doing it by myself," McMillin says. "And then to lose her ... she'd been ill and had Alzheimer's. But I just didn't realize that the six days I'd spent with her in the hospital would be her last." The material from Thrivent gave her the tools to work through her grief and even figure out what to say in thank-you notes.
"Words cannot express how much it helped," she says.
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Any Thrivent member can order one copy of A Time to Mourn, A Time to Dance and Step by Step: Your Guide to Making Practical Decisions When a Loved One Dies each calendar year. Just visit Thrivent.com/membershipbenefits or call toll-free 800-847-4836. (When calling, say "fraternal" at the prompt and your call will be directed to a representative who can help you.)
Membership benefits are not guaranteed contractual benefits and may be changed or discontinued at the discretion of Thrivent Financial at any time.
* A condolence gift, like the one Linda McMillin received, is sent when Thrivent is notified of a member's death (most often when someone submits a claim on a life insurance contract). It is mailed to the last residential address on file for the deceased member. It's a benefit of Thrivent membership to help the surviving spouse or adult child(ren) who receives the package.