I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for February, 2012

Understanding Spirituality From A to Z by Ellen Gerst

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 18, 2012

Understanding Spirituality From A to Z


Ellen Gerst, a grief and relationship coach, is offering a FREE download of the Kindle edition of her book, Understanding Spirituality From A to Z, today through Sunday (2/17-2/19). You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can download a free reading app available at the link, too. She said many of the concepts explained helped in navigating through her own grief journey. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Spirituality-Z-ebook/dp/B006WQECTQ

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Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Laura Smith – Author of “In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 9, 2012

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Laura Smith, author of In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost.  Laura’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a loved one that has had a miscarriage.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences on how your friends and family have assisted you in restoring balance in your life after the loss of a loved one in the comment section below.

In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost is featured on our Helpful Books page under our Virtual Book Tour.

And now on to our interview with Laura Smith…

1. What inspired you to write the book In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost?

At first I was simply writing through the grief in order to try and understand all of what I had been through. It was a way for me to process the miscarriage and all that God had spoken to my broken heart during that time. Later as I began to expand into writing about all of the trials our family had gone through, I realized the pattern of God’s hand in all of it and saw the amazing grace I was living under because of His love for me. I didn’t intend to write a book that would ever be published in the beginning but when I had one person here or there read it, the feedback was almost an urgency that people needed to hear the message.

2. How did experiencing a miscarriage change your life?

Up until that point in my life, I thought that because I was a believer God protected me from the really hard stuff. I had been through losses of grandparents but that was all a natural part of life. Experiencing the miracle of pregnancy after being told we weren’t able to even get pregnant was a huge confirmation of God’s presence in my life. To lose that miracle was beyond devastating. It completely broke me. I questioned God’s love and his very existence. My husband at one point called God a hypocrite because if He hated abortion so much he wouldn’t have allowed our baby to die.

3. Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?

They just allowed me to grieve in my own way and on my own timing. I am a very private person and a silent griever. I would close myself in the bathroom and sit on the floor in the middle of the night with my face buried in a towel so no one could hear my sobs. One dear friend said to me when I was ready to hear it that sometimes God allows things like this to happen in order to protect us from something worse like perhaps there was a terrible problem with the baby and to spare us from that pain, he instead protected us from it. That’ was different than saying a blanket statement such as “everything happens for a reason”. I didn’t get the constant “how are you?” questions often asked by well-meaning family or friends. I think that would have driven me crazy.

4. Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process. What suggestions do you have for our readers on how they can support a loved one that is grieving?

Be very sensitive to the loved one’s personal grieving process. If they are typically a person to talk through everything then just sit and listen. If they are a private person then allow them to grieve privately and wait for them to come to you when they are ready. Let them know you are there for them when they are ready but you are not going to invade their space. In the case of a loss of spouse and children are involved, be there to do what needs to be done to take care of the children because during the grieving process we completely lose sight of the needs of those around us. Understand that the loved one may have a really great upbeat day one day and then fall on their face the next. If they are not a hugger type person, respect their space but gently touch them on the shoulder or squeeze their hand as often as the opportunity presents itself. Human touch is very healing. Pray for them!

5. How has your faith in God given you the strength to face the losses in your life?

After the vision the Lord gave me which I share in great detail in my book, I know that I know that I know that heaven is real and I will see my loved ones again. He has taught me to see beyond the current situations to look deeply into every situation and see His light shining in the midst. And most importantly I have learned that everything that we go through is an opportunity to learn and to grow in order to someday help someone else through something similar.

6. What is one thing you would like your readers to take away from your book?

Healing. Anyone who has experienced miscarriage or been touched by abortion can find healing in the vision that the Lord gave me to share.

7. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

I am a real person who has experienced real life issues. I’m not pretentious or overtly religious; I’m a believer in Jesus who has always desired to write but had to wait for God to write my story. I hope through my book that others can learn some of the amazing life lessons and blessings from the Lord that I’ve had to learn the hard way. I thought this was just a message of healing through miscarriage and abortion however everyone who has read it has said they could not put it down and there was so much other good stuff they had to pause in order to soak it all in.

8. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?

I am in the process of writing my second book about my father’s spiritual journey through cancer. He lost his battle here on earth but gained eternal life before he passed. This was a miracle in itself for anyone who knew my dad. The two year battle was packed full of evidence of God’s hand in the journey and taught me about the tremendous power we have in prayer and to never take that for granted.

About Laura Smith

Laura SmithLaura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. She spent her youth on a small dairy farm in Northeast Minnesota. She was married two weeks after her high school graduation. Three years and two children later, she was facing divorce and single parenthood. She moved to a college town in north central MN where she hoped to earn a degree and make a life for her and her two young daughters. There she met and married the love of her life. Together they embarked on a life together as a ready-made family facing all the challenges that comes with it. They had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the ultimate challenge, the possible death of their daughter.


In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost is featured on our Helpful Books page – http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/helpfulbooks.html

Grief Support Resources: http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/grief_support_groups.html

Posted in Grief Resources, Miscarriage, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Widow/Widower Valentine’s Day Grief Support Resources

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 5, 2012

If you are a widow or widower or a friend looking for ways to help a grieving friend this Valentine’s Day, here are a few resources to explore:

Virtual Book Tour

Interview with Jennifer Hawkins – The Gift Giver

Interview with Pat Nowak – ABC’s of Widowhood

Interview with Ellen Gerst – Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story

Interview with Michael Corrigan – A Year and a Day

Interview with Carole Brody Fleet – “Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow”

Interview with Lori A. Moore – Missing Andy

Interview with Marcy Kelly – From Sorrow to Dancing


Operation: Heaven Writings & Tips for Those Who Know Someone Who Has Lost Their Hero in the Military
by Taryn Davis – Founder/President, The American Widow Project

Five Things You Can Do for a Grieving Widow
by Marcy Kelly, Author of From Sorrow to Dancing

by Carole Brody Fleet, Author of Widows Wear Stilettos

How to Date/Marry A Widow or Widower
by Ellen Gerst, Relationship Coach & Author of Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story

Valentine’s Day for Widows = No Valentine, Just Pain
by Marcy Kelly, Author From Sorrow to Dancing

Widowhood: A Time for Reinvention
by Ellen Gerst, Relationship Coach & Author of Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story

A Single Woman’s Adventures in Ballroom Dancing
by Marcy Kelly, Author From Sorrow to Dancing

Love After Loss – Writing the Rest of Your Story
by Ellen Gerst, Relationship Coach & Author of Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story

Valentine’s Day: The Best Way To Acknowledge It…Is To Acknowledge Others
by Widow Chick

Sh*t People Say to Widows (Video)
by Fresh Widow


American Widow Project The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter………Military Widow to Military Widow.

Bubba’s Belly Run Bubba’s Run is a 5K run in honor and memory of Captain Brian “Bubba” Bunting’s race to grow his family and for the benefit of his children’s education. All proceeds generated from this race will be used to support Bubba’s children’s education, The Fisher House™, American Widow Project, and Flat Daddies.

Camp Widow is a weekend long gathering of widows from across the country, and around the world. We come together to create a community of people who understand the life altering experience of widowhood. Camp Widow™ provides practical tools, valuable resources, and peer-based encouragement for rebuilding your life in the aftermath of the death of a spouse.

Fresh Widow Young widowed Mom shares resources, ideas, humor, facts, perspective + energy for your path after loss.

Lost and Found Lighting the way to help you find renewal from personal loss
Ellen Gerst, Relationship Coach

Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation Welcome to the community at the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation. We work hard to provide a national network of support for anyone grieving the loss of someone they love–with a special emphasis on those who have been widowed. SSLF offers a variety of programs intended to connect our members for the two-fold purpose of providing peer based support opportunities, and connecting the many wonderful organizations that provide services offering comfort for those traveling the difficult journey of grief.
Widows to Young Helping widows under 50 continue to live.

Widows Wear Stilettos We are pleased to announce that we have formed Widows Wear Stilettos in-person support groups throughout the United States. There are NO CHARGES, FEES OR MEMBERSHIP DUES REQUIRED in order to attend any Widows Wear Stilettos in-person support group.

Widows Wear Stilettos is delighted to announce the formation of the “First Month” Foundation; a non-profit foundation that will be dedicated to providing specific financial assistance to the widowed.

WIDOWS MINISTRY IN RESPONSE to our God-given assignment, Widows International is raising Kingdom awareness by teaching, training and transforming the Body of Christ and the widow. Ever advancing, we provide resources through seminars, conferences on widowhood, speaking engagements, counsel, written materials, along with a residential program. Globally, Widows International in a cooperative effort with international and local ministries provides evangelistic rallies to care for and empower the widows to take their nation for Christ.

theWiddahood.com A free social support network dedicated to anyone who has suffered the loss of a significant other.

WidowChick Grief management through humor and coping using the power of positive thinking.

Young Widow Our mission is to provide a forum for young widows and widowers to connect online. Through these connections, young widows and widowers find understanding and validation of their feelings so that they are able to recover their joy for life, reclaim their identities and rebuild their futures.

I Did Not Know What To Say – Helpful Books

I Did Not Know What To Say – Grief Support Groups

Do you have a resource to share? Please include your resource in the Comment Section below.

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Spouse, Love, Valentine's Day, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »