I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there and to my Mom watching over me!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 8, 2016

Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those that have lost a child, have had a miscarriage, a stillbirth or have lost their mother or grandmother. From my own experience, Mother’s Day is filled with mixed emotions of celebration and sadness from the loss of my mother and from my miscarriage a few years ago.

For those that are grieving today, my hope for you is that your family and friends surround you with the love and support you need to heal your heart today.

 “A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.”
~  Franchesca Cox

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“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.”

Do you have a special tradition or celebration that honors your mom’s memory on Mother’s Day? We would love to be able to share your story with our readers. Please email your story to us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Mother’s Day Remembrance & Grief Support Resources
Loss of a child, Miscarriage/Stillborn, Loss of a Mother & Loss of a Grandmother

Loss of a Parent
Resources on how to support a loved one grieving the loss of a parent.

Miscarriage ~ Stillbirth ~ Infant Loss
Resources on how to support a loved one grieving the loss due to Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant loss.

Mother’s Day Remembrance Gifts
Loss of a child, Miscarriage/Stillborn, Loss of a Mother & Loss of a Grandmother

Visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for a wide variety of sympathy gift ideas for your loved ones. We hope the thoughtful gifts listed on our website inspire you to give warmth and joy to your friends and family in their time of need.

Sending lots of love and hugs today,

Lori Pederson, Founder
I Did Not Know What To Say.com

ididnotknow

Posted in Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Mother's Day, Uncategorized, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Easter!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on March 27, 2016

Easter is the gift…
Easter is the gift of HOPE
Easter is the gift of PEACE
Easter is the gift of LOVE
Let us rejoice in Him,
Who gives them all.
May God bless you at Easter,
And keep you all year through.
May God give you all the faith it takes,
To make your dreams come true.
May His love and wisdom always help,
To guide you on your way.
May His light shine down upon you now,
To bless your Easter Day.
Author Unknown

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Happy Easter from I Did Not Know What to Say

For Holiday Grief Support Resources, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/Holiday_Grief_Support.html

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for our Free Monthly Newsletter ! http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/mailinglist.html

Our Newsletter includes tips, articles and inspirational stories on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one. Plus You will receive my FREE Special Report, “Twenty-Five Supportive Things You Can Do For Someone That Has Lost a Loved One ~ Plus Ten Thoughtful Gift Ideas”

Posted in Easter, Grief Resources | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

How Friends Can Help During the First Holidays After A Loss

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 24, 2015

The first year of grief can be a roller coaster of emotions that are unpredictable.  Your friend has embarked on a journey they wished they never had to take, and at each turn they find that life has changed and they have to chart a new course.  The first year of holidays and family celebrations can bring a sense of uneasiness and displacement.  Everything is new for them and yet the rest of the world seems to have remained the same.

Many questions are probably going through their mind – Will I want to celebrate the holidays?  Will anyone remember my loss?  If I sleep through the holidays, will it make all the deep feelings of sadness go away?  And when will they stop showing all the happy commercials of families enjoying the holidays?

After my mother passed away, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas were a blur.  It felt like we were going through the motions but not really present.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays were always a celebration with many family and friends at my mom’s house.  After my mom passed away, I felt like I was lost and did not know where I fit in anymore.  It took many years, but my family found a way to combine new and old traditions and embrace my mom’s memory at the same time.

How friends can help during the holidays

Respect their decisions about the holidays.  Each person’s reaction to the holidays, after a loss, is unique.  Some may find comfort in continuing with family traditions, others may wish to start a new tradition, and still others may want to travel and be away from home during the holidays.  Respect their decision and understand that they are doing their best to make their way through the snowflake-cookiesmany emotions they are feeling.

Encourage Simplicity.  If the person grieving usually hosts the family festivities or has a long To Do List this time of year, offer your assistance.  Holiday dinners can take a lot of energy to prepare, offer to host the family dinner or help prepare the meal.  You may even want to suggest going to a restaurant for a stress free dinner.  Holiday shopping can also be stressful, offer to help them with the shopping or suggest that the family reduces the number of presents by drawing names.

Help them make a plan.  Although your friend may think they are up to putting together all the traditional family activities, they may find that they become overwhelmed in the process.  Assist them in creating a plan for the holidays that encourages self-care and helps them move through the holidays with a little more ease.  And if they choose to skip the holidays this year, be supportive.

Acknowledge the Loss.  Be sure to acknowledge your friend’s loss this time of year and don’t be afraid to use the name of the person that has passed away.  Send a card, make a phone call, stop by with a plate of their favorite holiday treat and remind them that you are thinking about them.

Share Your Memories.  Sharing memories and pictures can be very therapeutic. It allows everyone involved to share their memories and honor the person that has passed away.

Pamper the mind, body and spirit.  The depth of emotions that grieving can bring is exhausting – mentally and physically.  Encourage your friend to take care of themselves by eating nutritious meals, getting exercise and taking time to process the feelings they are going through.

Holiday Gifts – Should you or shouldn’t you?  If your friend decides that they want to exchange gifts, consider buying something for them like you normally would and also include a memorial gift in remembrance of their loved one.  A memorial ornament, a scrapbook with pictures of their loved one, a journal or a favorite holiday pastry, shows your friend that you acknowledge their loss.

Ask Questions.  If you are not sure what your friend needs, be sure to ask questions, listen and respect their decision.  If they want some time alone, allow them to have their space, but let them know you are there for them anytime.

Leave the front and back door open.  Feelings of grief throughout the holidays can be unpredictable.  Allow your friend the space to join-in at the last minute or back-out of holiday activities without feeling guilty.

The best present you can bring is your Love.  Deep feelings of grief can leave your friend feeling lifeless.  Pamper them, hug them, love them, and take special care of them. Remind them that although they have lost a loved one, they still have family and friends that love them.

The first year after a loss is a start of a new life.  Just like walking for the first time, your loved one may feel wobbly and may fall down many times as they find their way.  But have faith that they will work through the deep feelings that come with grief, and with the love and support of friends and family, they will find joy again – one tiny step at a time.

 

® 2011-2015 Lori Pederson WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a loved one through the grieving process.  If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a loved one, please visit our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com

Posted in Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Support a Grieving Loved One this Holiday Season

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 8, 2015

How to Support a Grieving Loved one During the Holidays

Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Grief Support  Groups, Articles & Resources

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Be sure to visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page on our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/gifts.html for special offers!

Christian Memorial Gifts
Gift Baskets & Food Gifts
Kindnotes
Memorial Ornaments
Memorial Quilts & Throws
Memorial Trees & Flowers
Military Memorials Gifts
Miscarriage/Stillbirth Memorial Gifts
Personalized Memorial Frames
Personalized gift items Pet Memorials
Remembrance Candles
Unique Gift Items And More…

For Holiday Grief Support Resouces, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/Holiday_Grief_Support.html

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for our Free Monthly Newsletter ! http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/mailinglist.html

Our Newsletter includes tips, articles and inspirational stories on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one. Plus You will receive my FREE Special Report, “Twenty-Five Supportive Things You Can Do For Someone That Has Lost a Loved One ~ Plus Ten Thoughtful Gift Ideas”

 

Posted in Children Grief Support, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on November 26, 2015

Wishing You & Your Family a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~Melody Beattie

May Your Thanksgiving be Filled with Many Blessings!

Lori Pederson
Founder
I Did Not Know What To Say

Holiday Grief Support Resources  The holidays can be a difficult time for those that are grieving.  Click here to explore the many resources we have compiled on how to support a grieving loved one this holiday season.  If you have a resource you would like to share, please email us.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there and to my Mom watching over me!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 10, 2015

I know Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those that have lost a child, have had a miscarriage, a stillbirth or have lost their mother or grandmother. From my own experience, Mother’s Day is filled with mixed emotions of celebration and sadness from the loss of my mother and from my miscarriage a few years ago.

For those that are grieving today, my hope for you is that your family and friends surround you with the love and support you need to heal your heart today.

 “A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.”
~  Franchesca Cox

Do you have a special tradition or celebration that honors your mom’s memory on Mother’s Day? We would love to be able to share your story with our readers. Please email your story to us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Mother’s Day Remembrance & Grief Support Resources
Loss of a child, Miscarriage/Stillborn, Loss of a Mother & Loss of a Grandmother

Loss of a Parent
Resources on how to support a loved one grieving the loss of a parent.

Miscarriage ~ Stillbirth ~ Infant Loss
Resources on how to support a loved one grieving the loss due to Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant loss.

Mother’s Day Remembrance Gifts
Loss of a child, Miscarriage/Stillborn, Loss of a Mother & Loss of a Grandmother

Visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for a wide variety of sympathy gift ideas for your loved ones. We hope the thoughtful gifts listed on our website inspire you to give warmth and joy to your friends and family in their time of need.

Sending lots of love and hugs today,

Lori Pederson, Founder
I Did Not Know What To Say.com

 970993_682410778492836_1861968560_n

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Support & Holidays, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Miscarriage, Mother's Day | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

10 Important Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Grief and Loss

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 25, 2015

Expert Author Lori Pederson

I was only 25 years old when my mom passed away and at that point I had only experienced a few losses in my life. But that would quickly change. In a matter of a month, I lost my mom and one of my mentors to ovarian cancer and my aunt was killed in a car accident. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. As I reflect on the many lessons I have learned over the years about healing after a loss, I wish I could go back and give my 25-year-old self some reassuring words to help me get through the many rough days ahead. So here are a few important things I would share with my younger self:

1. LOVE IS NEVER ENDING. Your mom’s presence and love will ALWAYS be with you. Her loving spirit will comfort you throughout your life.

2. YOU WILL SURVIVE. Although the pain right now is unimaginable, each day it will get easier and you will find your way through the grief and create a new normal in your life.

3. BE GRATEFUL. Wonderful people will show up to support you and help you work through your grief; be grateful for them every day.

4. FORGIVE. Some people will not be there for you, realize it is not their journey to travel down this new road with you. Even though it will be difficult, forgive them and let it go. It does not serve you to hold on to the anger.

5. LIFE IS SHORT. Life is truly short, don’t let it pass you by. My mom was 50 years old when she passed away and now that I have just turned 48 years old I can truly see how quickly time passes. As the famous line from the movie The Shawshank Redemption goes “It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying.” Embrace life and live each day for you and your mom.

6. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS. The pain you are experiencing now will help others who are going through a loss. Be willing to share your experience and be open to allowing others to share their stories. Through sharing our stories we all heal.

7. EACH LOSS IS UNIQUE. I am sorry to tell you, but you will experience many more losses in your life. Each one will be unique in its own way, but the lessons you have learned today will help you work through the grief you will experience in the future.

8. LET THE TEARS FLOW. Let the tears come and allow all the feelings you are experiencing to flow. Holding back your emotions will only delay the healing process. The only way to heal is to go through the pain, not around it.

9. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AND THAT IS OK! Losing your mother will forever change who you are and how you see the world. Embrace this change, it will open you up in ways you never could imagine.

10. LET JOY IN. Remember to have a sense of humor and let the joy in. It is OK to laugh even when you are grieving. Embrace the fun times you had with your mom and be open to exploring life again. Laughter will help breathe life back into your world.

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, what would you like to tell your younger self?

©2014 Lori Pederson
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a loved one through the grieving process. If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a loved one, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Loss of a Aunt/Uncle, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Share Your Story, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

We are accepting Article & Interview Submissions for 2015

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 19, 2015

Are you an expert in the grief recovery field? Do you have a story about your own life experience dealing with the loss of a loved one that you would like to share? Do you have tips or suggestions on how to assist a loved one after a loss? We would love to hear from you. We are open to article and story submissions for our website, newsletter and Facebook page.  Please email us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

We are open for article submission for our I Did Not Know What to SayTM newsletter on the following topics:

• Tips on how to assist a loved one through the grieving process • Inspirational stories on recovering after the loss of a loved one • Special ways to remember a loved one during the holidays • Featured stories on individuals and organizations that are making a difference in the grief recovery field • How to articles on planning for a future without you (i.e. Life Insurance, Estate Planning, and Funeral Planning) Visit our Newsletter archives: http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/mailinglist.html

We are also looking for authors to be interviewed as part of our Virtual Book Tour.

If you are an author of one of the following types of books, please contact us to be included in our 2015 Virtual Book Tour: • Recovering from the loss of a loved one (child, spouse, sibling, significant other, parent, grandparent, friend, and pet) • Inspirational stories on recovering from the loss of a loved one • Inspirational books on living your best life Visit our Virtual Book Tour: http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/griefbooks-virtualbooktour.html

We are looking for the following types of professionals to interview as part of our Planning for a Life Without You™ series: • Funeral Planner/Director • Estate Planning Attorneys • Life Insurance Providers

Have an idea for an article? Want to be interviewed? We would love to hear from you. Please submit your idea or article to us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com

Sponsorships If you have a product or service that you would like to advertise on our website or in one of our upcoming newsletters, please visit our website for more details on our advertising opportunities – http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/advertise.html

Posted in Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Grief Support Workshops, Planning For A Future Without You, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour, What Not To Say, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Holiday Grief Support Resources

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 13, 2014

How to Support a Loved one During the Holidays

The First Holidays After a Loss – How You Can Offer Your Support by Lori Pederson

12 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend this Holiday Season by Lori Pederson

Be the Gift of Comfort, Joy and Love this Holiday Season by Lori Pederson

Less than Perfect by Lori Pederson

Eight Tips to Help Families Survive the Holidays After a Child Has Died – The Compassionate Friends

Eight Things Not to Say to Bereaved Parents During the Holidays – The Compassionate Friends

How to Choose a Thoughtful Sympathy Gift by Lori Pederson

How can you help me this holiday seasonGrief Tool Box

 

Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas – Holiday Discounts Now Available

Memorial Ornaments – Holiday Discounts Now Available

Christian Sympathy Gift Ideas for Christmas

Tips on How to Choose a Thoughtful Sympathy Gift by Lori Pederson

 

Holiday Grief Support  Groups, Articles & Resources

 It’s not Happy Holidays for All by Uma Girish

 Stop Sending Cheery Christmas Cards by Kay Warrensnowflake-cookies

HANDLING HOLIDAY GRIEF #1: Holidays? Yeah, Right. by Gary Roe

 Thanksgiving Day Can Be Painful by Mary Jane Hurley Brant

Not-So-Happy Holidays?: 8 Tips For Enjoying Your Holiday Season by Carole Brody Fleet

10 Ways to Help a Grieving Teen by Amy Morin

The Holidays, How We Survived – Healing Improv

GriefShare – Surviving the Holidays events & resources – http://www.griefshare.org/holidays

Good Grief CenterGrief and the Holidays – Survival Guide

Grief & the Holidays: a Survival GuideGood Grief Center for Bereavement Support

 The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting –    December 14, 2014 Click Here for Services in your area.

 Surviving the HolidaysThe Compassionate Friends

 How to Survive Your GriefHoliday Grief Support Teleconference

 Surviving the Holidays – Thoughts on Coping. . . – GriefNet.org

 Coping with Grief during the HolidaysFuneralplan.com

 Getting through the Holidays When You are Grieving by Maureen Hunter

 Coping with Holiday GriefSutter Care at Home

 Grief and the HolidaysHospice Foundation of America

 Children and Loss: When Holidays Trigger GriefPsychology Today

 Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief WedMD

 Meaningful Remembrance Ideas for Holiday GriefBeliefnet.net

 7 Ways to Deal with Holiday GriefWorld of Psychology

 The First Christmas After a Death by Susan Dunn

Helping Yourself Through the Holidays by Dr. Lee Drake, Ph.D. – The Compassionate Friends

Grief takes no holidays by by Karen S. Sibert, MD – KevinMD.com

What’s Under Your Tree? by Nan Zastrow

Pre-Planning for the Holidays in BradentonSenior Care Bradenton

The Gift that Keeps on Giving by Carla Blowey – Open to Hope

Grief and the HolidaysHeart2Soul.com

 

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Be sure to visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page on our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/gifts.html for special offers!

Christian Memorial Gifts
Gift Baskets & Food Gifts
Kindnotes
Memorial Ornaments
Memorial Quilts & Throws
Memorial Trees & Flowers
Military Memorials Gifts
Miscarriage/Stillbirth Memorial Gifts
Personalized Memorial Frames
Personalized gift items Pet Memorials
Remembrance Candles
Unique Gift Items And More…

For Holiday Grief Support Resouces, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/Holiday_Grief_Support.html

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for our Free Monthly Newsletter ! http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/mailinglist.html

Our Newsletter includes tips, articles and inspirational stories on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one. Plus You will receive my FREE Special Report, “Twenty-Five Supportive Things You Can Do For Someone That Has Lost a Loved One ~ Plus Ten Thoughtful Gift Ideas”

 

 

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Holiday Grief Support, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

10 Important Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Grief and Loss

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 12, 2014

I was only 25 years old when my mom passed away and at that point I had only experienced a few losses in my life. But that would quickly change. In a matter of a month, I lost my mom and one of my mentors to ovarian cancer and my aunt was killed in a car accident. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. As I reflect on the many lessons I have learned over the years about healing after a loss, I wish I could go back and give my 25 year old self some reassuring words to help me get through the many rough days ahead.  So here are a few important things I would share with my younger self:

  1. LOVE IS NEVERENDING. Your mom’s presence and love will ALWAYS be with you. Her loving spirit will comfort you throughout your life.
  2. YOU WILL SURVIVE. Although the pain right now is unimaginable, each day it will get easier and you will find your way through the grief and create a new normal in your life.
  3. BE GRATEFUL. Wonderful people will show up to support you and help you work through your grief; be 197grateful for them every day.
  4. FORGIVE.  Some people will not be there for you, realize it is not their journey to travel down this new road with you. Even though it will be difficult, forgive them and let it go. It does not serve you to hold on to the anger.
  5. LIFE IS SHORT. Life is truly short, don’t let it pass you by. My mom was 50 years old when she passed away and now that I have just turned 48 years old I can truly see how quickly time passes. As the famous line from The Shawshank Redemption goes “It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying.” Embrace life and live each day for you and your mom.
  6. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS. The pain you are experiencing now will help others who are going through a loss. Be willing to share your experience and be open to allowing others to share their stories. Through sharing our stories we all heal.
  7. EACH LOSS IS UNIQUE. I am sorry to tell you, but you will experience many more losses in your life. Each one will be unique in its own way, but the lessons you have learned today will help you work through the grief you will experience in the future.
  8. LET THE TEARS FLOW. Let the tears come and allow all the feelings you are experiencing to flow. Holding back your emotions will only delay the healing process. The only way to heal is to go through the pain, not around it.
  9. YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AND THAT IS OK! Losing your mother will forever change who you are and how you see the world. Embrace this change, it will open you up in ways you never could imagine.
  10. LET JOY IN. Remember to have a sense of humor and let the joy in. It is ok to laugh even when you are grieving. Embrace the fun times you had with your mom and be open to exploring life again. Laughter will help breathe life back into your world.

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, what would you like to tell your younger self.

 

©2014 Lori Pederson WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a loved one through the grieving process. If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a loved one, please visit our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Posted in Loss of a Aunt/Uncle, Loss of a Friend, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »