I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for the ‘Grief Support Discussion Topics’ Category

It’s About How You LIVE – Taking The Fear Out Of Conversations About Advance Care Planning, Serious Illness and End of Life Care.

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on October 2, 2017

My interview will air on Tuesday, October 3.

I am honored to have been invited to be a part of a wonderful telesummit that began airing September 15 called,

It’s About How You LIVE – Taking The Fear Out Of Conversations About Advance Care Planning, Serious Illness and End of Life Care.

You will have free access to my interview which is called, “What to Say…When You Don’t Know What to Say”. Along with my interview, you will also have access to 20 other experts in their respective fields speaking about topics including-

  • Advance Care Planning
  • Care Giving
  • Serious Illness and Palliative Care
  • Hospice and End of Life Care
  • Grief

If you are a medical professional, a care giver, someone who has a serious illness, someone grieving a loss, or if you are simply interested in learning more about these topics, this telesummit is for YOU! If you don’t like to talk, or even think, about some of these topics, if you struggle getting your loved ones to talk about these topics, or if you are ready to take the fear out of discussing these important topics, this telesummit is for YOU!

Each of the 21 experts are passionate about their field, and after hearing their interviews, you will walk away amazed at the amount of valuable information you learned. This is a unique opportunity to learn from the best of the best, so please be sure to take advantage of this free event by registering today. Just click here to register now! www.itsabouthowyoulive.com

I am excited to share my interview with you, as well as the other 20 interviews from this distinguished group of experts. Register today, and share this with your family and friends as well. We want everyone to have the opportunity to listen and learn from this amazing group because… It’s About How You LIVE!

All the best to you! See you at the telesummit! Click here to register – www.itsabouthowyoulive.com

Lori Pederson – www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com

Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say

My interview will air on Tuesday, October 3.

Advertisements

Posted in Caregiver, Funeral Planning, Grief Resources, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Hospice/Palliative Care, Planning For A Future Without You, 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 »

21 Amazing Experts Featured in a Telesummit For You! – Starts September 15, 2017

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on September 12, 2017

I am honored to have been invited to be a part of a wonderful telesummit that will air September 15 called,

It’s About How You LIVE – Taking The Fear Out Of Conversations About

Advance Care Planning, Serious Illness and End of Life Care.

You will have free access to my interview which is called, I Did Not Know What to Say.  Along with my interview, you will also have access to 20 other experts in their respective fields speaking about topics including-

  • Advance Care Planning
  • Care Giving
  • Serious Illness and Palliative Care
  • Hospice and End of Life Care
  • Grief and Bereavement

If you are a medical professional, a care giver, someone who has a serious illness, someone grieving a loss, or if you are simply interested in learning more about these topics, this telesummit is for YOU!   If you don’t like to talk, or even think, about some of these topics, if you struggle getting your loved ones to talk about these topics, or if you are ready to take the fear out of discussing these important topics, this telesummit is for YOU!

Each of the 21 experts are passionate about their field, and after hearing their interviews, you will walk away amazed at the amount of valuable information you learned.  This is a unique opportunity to learn from the best of the best, so please be sure to take advantage of this free event by registering today.  Just Click here to register now!

I am excited to share my interview with you, as well as the other 20 interviews from this distinguished group of experts.  Register today, and share this with your family and friends as well.  We want everyone to have the opportunity to listen and learn from this amazing group because… It’s About How You LIVE!

All the best to you!  See you at the telesummit! Click here to register.

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

My interview will air on October 3!

 

Posted in Caregiver, Funeral Planning, Grief Resources, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Grief Support Workshops, Hospice/Palliative Care, Planning For A Future Without You, 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 »

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 »

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 12, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s here and in Heaven and to my Mom who is always watching over me.

I know Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those that have lost a child, have had a miscarriage or have lost their mother. 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 you are comforted with warm memories of your mom, grandmother or your precious child.

“My mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being.
I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.”
~Graycie Harmon

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.

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

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.

Happy Mother’s Day!

970993_682410778492836_1861968560_n

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

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Julie Saeger Nierenberg – Author of “Daddy, this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 2, 2014

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Julie Saeger Nierenberg author of Daddy, this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad. Julie’s interview offers many insights into life, death and losing a parent.

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

 

1. What inspired you to write the book Daddy, this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad?

In his final days, my father, a writer of his own memoirs, encouraged me to write about the dying experience. For a few weeks after he died, I was “being-with” his death in a way that didn’t upset me terribly. And then, it hit me suddenly in an unexpected way. I felt torn and left behind by my father’s loss. The closeness we shared in life had changed, and I was angry and deeply saddened to “get it” that my life was going on without his physical presence. I began to journal every few days about what had taken place so that I might accept and integrate my feelings. This writing process spanned several months, as each time I would return to it, I reread what I’d written so far. This journal was like a mirror to me; in it I saw what had happened and who I was now, after the experience of death changed my life.

2. What did you learn about dying and life by being with your father through his final stages of life?

I learned not to fear death. My father was a courageous teacher, demonstrating candor and compassion for himself and each of his loved ones, as he prepared to die. I learned to follow my father’s lead, to be silent or to talk, to touch or be touched, to listen or to sing to him. In turns he chose to savor sweet pleasures and endure the depth of pain that convinced him of his readiness to die. I learned that life is a treasure we can share fully and lovingly, all our days, including the final ones. This anonymous saying sums it up very well: “There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”

3. How can a family best support a loved one’s final wishes as they go through the final stages of life?

I suggest that we not wait till the final stages to share our final wishes. Now is the best time to pre-plan and to inform all parties — family, close friends and medical or other care providers — of our specific preferences, if we have them. Advance directives can help with this process, and there is no substitute for clear communication among all concerned. Having this knowledge clearly discerned in advance, and being prepared to talk about death as a normal and natural part of life at any point in our lives, will help us all to be-with loss and grief when the time comes. Listen and ask and answer and listen some more. You may learn something that is life-changing while being-with the dying.

4. What suggestions do you have on how to deal with death?

Love (the verb). Allow love to conquer any fears or misgivings. Love is eternal. It does not die when the physical body expires. Love the dying person with all your heart and let love lead you through the process. Love yourself and your circle of survivors, freely giving and taking what you need: time, patience, permission and understanding. A death can inspire new life in those who allow it. Accept that grief is a never-ending and transformative force born of deep love. Let it cleanse and guide you as it flows freely through your life. Embrace change.

5. How did having a “Celebration of Life” rather than a traditional funeral assist you and your family start the healing process after your Dad passed away?

The celebration, as requested by my dad, gave attenders the opportunity to speak and offer other forms of remembrance, such as song and poetry. It set the tone for the rest of our lives without him, an occasion to rejoice in his life even as we mourned his death. The stories shared onDaddy this is it2 this day enlivened our personal memories of him and gave us a greater perspective on the many lives he touched.

6. Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process. What would be your suggestions on how friends and family can support a loved one that has lost a parent?

Be ready to be-with grieving loved ones. Prepare yourself to accept whatever stage of grief the bereaved might be experiencing, without expectation. Offer unconditional love and truly give it unconditionally. Offer specific things that you can do or bring or activities to share with the grieving. Accept that these things may not be wanted at the time you offer them. Don’t take any of the manifestations of grief that you witness in a personal way. Grieving people may be inconsolable, angry, withdrawn, needy or stubborn. They also may need a break to laugh or dance with joy. They may want to talk about their memories of the parent, all kinds of memories. Inexperience, pride or confusion may inhibit their ability to ask for or to communicate what they need when they need it. Give them patience and time and unlimited understanding. Continue to offer as if support has no expiration date.

7. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your father?

I do not wish for anything different from what my friends and family did. Everyone has his/her own emotional and spiritual perspective regarding death and grief, and I accept those differences; we cannot all be perfectly matched at all times, no matter how close we feel.

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

I felt my father’s love every day of my life, and that love hasn’t faltered since his passing. Indeed, he is with me every day, alive in my life as a powerful, joyful and motivating presence.

9. What would you like our readers to know about you?

I am a writer and editor taking a stand for the culture shift of “elderhood” in North America. I stand for the value of elder wisdom, participation and leadership in our society. I stand for the creation and regeneration of practices that nurture and support elder valuation, connection and integration. I stand for my own evolution as an elder and for that of all elders into roles of societal healing, conscious inspiration and holistic community. Sharing our stories is one very effective way that we build community and communicate value. I assist others to tell their stories and to publish them, leaving a legacy for other readers to enjoy.

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

I am currently co-writing with a social worker a book series about death, dying and end of life issues. In this series, we offer real-life circumstances, attempt to define and describe them, and discuss ways to proactively deal with them. To provide valuable insights we present multiple perspectives: personal, professional and societal.

I have written, edited and published several other books and am currently in the process of publishing more, including some historical family memoirs dating to the early 1800s. I feel very privileged to work with other writers who publish their own works of fiction and nonfiction. My own writing is primarily focused on memoir, spiritual and personal development with some humor sprinkled in.

About Julie Saeger Nierenberg
Inspired by my father’s living example as an author and activist, I write to contribute to how we prepare, individually and collectively, to live and support the final chapters of life. I write to immerse in the moment and to experience the satisfaction that writing can bring.

As a much younger adult, I meandered through a variety of career emphases in environmental and biomedical sciences before realizing I was called to be an educator. I enjoyed nearly twenty years, first as a Whole Language, Spanish and art teacher and then as an administrator of gifted and talented children. I am the proud parent of two daughters, and the joy and purpose I feel in that role is a guiding light in my daily life.

In 2006, I moved from the home of my roots in Oklahoma to Toronto, Ontario. There, I reinvented my career to flexibly accommodate travel between my old and my new homes. I established a freelance business as a writer, editor, author coach and self-publisher.

Please visit my CreateWrite Enterprises website at http://www.createwriteenterprises.com.

Find me on LinkedIn at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/juliesaegernierenberg/

My book, Daddy this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad, can be purchased from:

CreateSpace e-store:
https://www.createspace.com/4226826

 

 “Daddy, this is it. Being-with My Dying Dad” is featured on our Helpful Books page –  – http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/helpfulbooks.html & Our Virtual Book Tour –
http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/griefbooks-virtualbooktour.html

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

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

Posted in Father's Day, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Loss of a Father, Loss of a Parent, Virtual Book Tour | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Will You Choose?

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on April 6, 2014

What Will You Choose?
by Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say.com

You just received a phone call letting you know that your friend has lost a loved one. You now have a decision to make…What kind of supporter do you want to be?

There are many ways to support a loved one after a loss. As a friend you have the right to choose the most appropriate path for you in the moment. There are times that you may choose to be the best supporter you can be, and other times you may shy away from the responsibility due to personal circumstances or your own emotional pain.

Here are a few common ways people respond when they are called upon to support a grieving loved one:

1. The Listener – The person that allows you to talk about your feelings without telling you how you should feel.

2. The Doer – The person that jumps right in and takes care of everyday tasks. They bring970993_682410778492836_1861968560_n groceries, pick up your kids from school, they make sure people are notified about funeral arrangements and generally take care of those daily tasks that you are not up to doing.

3. The Cheerleader – The person that lifts your spirits when you can barely get out of bed. They are there to get you out of the house and will take you on an adventure to brighten your day.

4. The Brief Encounter – The person that comes to the funeral, sends you a card or flowers, but generally believes that grief ends at the funeral and there is not much more that they can do for you. Their support is brief but sincere.

5. The No Show – The person that is not able to be supportive for their own personal reason. They may be uncomfortable with talking about death and loss or there may be life circumstances that make them unavailable.

As you travel through the grief recovery journey with a friend, you may find that you are all of these types of supporters and a whole lot more. Grief is not a linear process; it has many peaks and valleys. As your grieving friend’s needs change, so to will the type of support they need.

When choosing how you will support a grieving loved one, consider the following:

  • Lead with your strength. We all have our strengths that come out when a difficult situation arises. If you are a great listener, be a great listener. If you are a doer, help your friend with daily tasks.
  • Stretch yourself a little to learn more about yourself and how you feel about grief and death. You may find a blessing for yourself hidden inside the journey.
  • Know your limits. We all have our limitations and we can’t be all things to all people. Do the best you can in the moment.
  • Ask for help if you are over your head. A grieving friend may require more assistance than a lay person can handle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your local grief support group or a grief counselor.

After losing many friends and family over the years, the one thing I have learned is that the right people show up at the right time. Often it is not the person we thought it would be. I have to admit that it took me awhile to forgive those friends that were not there for me after my mother passed away. But I have come to realize that it is more important to be grateful for those that were there and understand that those that were not had their reasons.

The choice is yours…what will you choose?

© 2011 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 love 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 love one, please visit our website at http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support Discussion Topics, 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 »

Sign-Up Today for the FREE Grief Healing Telesummit: March 10 -18, 2014

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on March 5, 2014

Grief Healing Telesummit:

Enjoy free access to 17 amazing speakers who share their best information to
help you transform grief into healing and living again!

  Free Registration at http://griefhealingtelesummit.com/lpederson
March 10 -18, 2014
Please share with those with a grieving heart!

1601140_789620637718793_1186739137_n

Look at this amazing line up of experts!
I Did Not Know What To Say – Wed. March 12 at 1pm EST
The Grief Toolbox Toolbox
What’s Your Grief
Peace & Wellness Centere
Embrace Your Inner Self
Simply Kerryy
Dorothy Fitzer
Global Association of Holistic Psychotherapy
With Sympathy Gifts & Keepsakes,
Tina Games, Michael Mapes, Margaret Paul, Maggie Chula, Uma Girish, Tabitha Jayne and
Transcending Loss: Understanding the lifelong impact of grief

Free Registration at http://griefhealingtelesummit.com/lpederson
March 10 -18, 2014
Please share with those with a grieving heart!

Posted in Caregiver, Children Grief Support, Gratitude, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Grief Support Workshops, Holiday Grief Support, Hospice/Palliative Care, Inspiration, Loss due to Suicide, Loss of a Aunt/Uncle, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Father, Loss of a Friend, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Loss of a Pet, Loss of a Sibling, Loss of a Spouse, Memorial Day, Men & Grief, Stillborn, Suicide Survivors, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, 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 »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Maryann Hartzell-Curran – Author of “From We to Me: My First Year of Being a Widow Shared in Letters to a Friend”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 13, 2014

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Maryann Hartzell-Curran author of From We to Me: My First Year of Being a Widow Shared in Letters to a Friend.  Maryann’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to support a widow during the first year after the loss of their spouse.

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.

What inspired you to write the book From We to Me?

My inspiration for From We To Me came from my friend Eddie’s appreciation of the letters I sent to her weekly as she experienced frommetowesmher first year as a widow. As the months passed, she continued to share how helpful she found the stories of my experiences following my husband’s passing. We both decided that others might be comforted by them, too.

How do you feel losing a spouse differs from losing a parent, a sibling or another immediate family member?

This question is especially poignant because Eddie lost her son the year before Chuck died. When we talked about her grief, she made it clear that the difference was real. When her son died, she leaned on her husband. When he died, she no longer had the comfort of his special partnership and support, which is a key difference between the loss of a spouse and other losses. Knowing that children should not die before their parents, Eddie’s grief was aided by Chuck’s presence and love. When he passed, truly the reality of loss hit her.

How did celebrations and holidays change after your husband passed away?

The first year after my husband died, I just got through holidays and special celebrations. The sadness was real, and my family and I respected that in each other. Traditions were not as important, especially the first year. I learned not to have a lot of expectations and was comfortable in accepting the lonely feelings I experienced. As time passed, I implemented things we had done in the past, but placed less importance on them. I learned to accept the void left in my family.

Your book offers many suggestions to your friend on how to face and move forward in her grief. What are your top three suggestions to help a window/widower move forward in the grieving process after the loss of a spouse?

My first suggestion is to allow yourself to feel the loss and pain. I believe this is essential in order to move on. Let others comfort you, but remember their grief is theirs and yours is yours. The sharp pain in your heart does subside with time.

Second, keep active, exercise and eat right. You will know when the time is right for new experiences. I suggest that the best activities, invitations, etc., with which to start include close friends and family. Their support is important because the wave of grief can wash over you at any time. I also suggest you drive your own car to functions, especially in the beginning, so you can leave if you need to.

I also believe a healthy recovery from grief entails accepting that what was in the past is over. The future will offer new opportunities, and that is what they should be. New! You cannot have what you had before, but you will go on. I think you must remember this loss has made you a different person who is learning things about yourself. As scary as this sounds, it is important. Do not spend your life comparing the past and the present.

Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process. What would be your suggestions on how friends and family can support a loved one that has lost a spouse?

Number one: accept where the person is in his/her grief. There will be many emotions including anger, and the people around the grieving person must not personalize a lot of what happens. As long as everyone stays safe, just let the emotions flow. And provide lots of tissues!

Bring coffee, lunch or maybe a favorite dessert when you visit. Even when I was not hungry, these treats still made me feel loved and cared for. Appetites always return, and the memory of small kindnesses is lasting. My friend constantly brought me raisin biscotti hoping I would eventually like raisins.

Have few expectations of the grieving person. Perhaps rearrange appointments to relieve stress especially on the bad days. Driving to needed appointments, running an errand, or making an excuse on their behalf helps ease the pain of change.

Do discuss the deceased, and do not be afraid to mention events in conversation. I think it takes a long time to talk in the “past tense” so stories of the past will make the present time seem real. Talking about the person who has died helps them remain alive in memory.

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

My family called and emailed me regularly, and sent wonderful cards. My friends did the same, and I felt blessed. Still do. One night my son and his wife just stopped by to kiss me on the cheek while I was watering my garden and sobbing over the hose. That moment still makes me smile. Several of my girlfriends dropped by that same week to take me out for dinner, complete with wine. Another special gift of caring that I appreciated.

What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your husband?

Nothing! I just want to be there when I can return the favor of their caring at their time of sadness. That is why the letters to Eddie said “thank you” in a special way. Her love and support at my time of loss was a great gift to me and my family.

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

The most important thing is to feel the feelings of grief. My first year alone was a rollercoaster of emotions. Feeling the feelings is of utmost importance if you want to be healthy. Keeping anger, sadness, or self-pity inside is not good. It’s okay to feel sorry  for yourself, even hopeless. That is normal! When someone says they tear up reading the letters in my book, I’m glad because feeling the loss, emptiness and loneliness is essential if you are going to be happy again.

What would you like our readers to know about you?

That the stories in my book truly are the window to my heart. It is very satisfying to me to help comfort others by sharing how the loss of my husband affected me and being open and honest about my feelings. Eddie said she felt less alone because I, too, had felt the same way she did, and that is my wish for others.

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

At almost seventy, the clock is ticking, but I would like to write a sequel about moving on and stepping out into the singles’ social world. I think readers would enjoy my experiences and realize that going on is possible after a long-term marriage. I had many poignant—and humorous–moments. Presently, I am writing a blog on my webpage, www.maryanncurran.com.  I enjoy continuing to write and sharing my many experiences with readers. The new stories contribute to who I am today after my transition From We To Me.

As a retired educator and therapist, Maryann Hartzell-Curran has always worked in fields where she could best satisfy her desire to connect with and help others. When a close friend lost her husband, Maryann put pen to paper, relating her own experiences as a widow in weekly letters of support. These letters led to the publication of “From We to Me: My First Year of Being a Widow Shared in Letters to a Friend,” a book designed to help anyone who is grieving.  From We To Me is available at Amazon and Barnes And Noble. You can visit with Maryann at her website, www.MaryannCurran.com, and read more at her Overcoming Grief blog, http://maryanncurran.com/blog.

From We to Me: My First Year of Being a Widow Shared in Letters to a Friend is featured on our Helpful Books page – http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/helpfulbooks.html & Our Virtual Book Tour –
http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/griefbooks-virtualbooktour.html

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

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Spouse, Share Your Story, Valentine's Day | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »