I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for the ‘Loss of a Friend’ Category

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 »

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!

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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 »

We are accepting Article & Interview Submission for 2014

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on January 25, 2014

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 2014 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 Children Grief Support, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Holiday Grief Support, 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, Men & Grief, Military Loss, Miscarriage, Planning For A Future Without You, Share Your Story, Stillborn, Suicide Survivors, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, Virtual Book Tour, What Not To Say, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Leave a Comment »

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on November 30, 2013

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Special Savings for the Holidays on Cyber Monday and throughout December on select gift items.

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
Memorial Ornaments
Memorial Quilts & Throws
Trees, Flowers & Garden Memorials
Military Memorials Gifts
Miscarriage/Stillbirth Memorial Gifts
Personalized Memorial Frames
Personalized gift items
Pet Memorials
Remembrance Candles
Unique Gift Items
And Much More…

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 Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, 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, Military Loss, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Catherine Greenleaf – Author of Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on January 15, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we Welcome Catherine Greenleaf, the author of “Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide”. Catherine’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a loved one that is a suicide loss survivor.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

“Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide” is featured on our Helpful Books page under Healing after a Suicide.

And now our interview with Catherine Greenleaf:

1. What inspired you to write the book Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide?

I wrote the book I wished I’d had when I was first going through suicide grief. My first suicide loss was in 1980. While there were many books written about suicide during the 1980s and 1990s, I found most of them to be published by academics writing for a professional audience of psychiatrists. I was yearning for a book in plain English I could understand, written by a suicide loss survivor like myself, so I could read about how to get through the grief. I wrote my book so survivors could identify the stages, or passages, of suicide grief and know they were not going crazy. I also wanted the book to help survivors know that things do get better and it is possible to hold that special person in your heart and still live a happy life. I finally published my book in 2006 – it took many years to write!

2. How did losing your friend to suicide change your life?

I was so young back then. I was in my mid-20s and I had never really experienced a sudden death before. I was devastated. He was one of my closest friends, and more like a brother to me than a friend. I felt like I had totally failed him as a human being, that I should have done something to somehow stop him. I can remember every night after coming home from work lying down in the bathroom on the cold tile floor and just weeping and sobbing. This went on for months. I ate a lot. I gained weight. I didn’t really take very good care of myself. I didn’t reach out for help. I just kept it all inside and didn’t talk to anybody. But you know, back then, Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicidethere weren’t really any support groups or therapists specializing in suicide loss. Things are a lot different today.

3. How does the death of a loved one by suicide differ from other losses?

Suicide is sudden and violent. It gives you no opportunity for closure. Your loved one is there one minute and gone the next. There’s no chance to even say good-bye. The self-inflicted violence of suicide is appalling, and often family and friends are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, whether they witnessed the suicide or not. Just the news alone sometimes is enough to cause PTSD. Suicide is also considered a form of complicated disenfranchised grief, because there is so much shame and stigma attached to it, and society in general just does not offer support to grieving families. The irony of suicide grief is we are the ones who must reach out and ask for the help at a time when we are most in need of help from the community. I am happy to say that is finally beginning to change.

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

I have to say I am very fortunate that I have incredibly wonderful friends. After the suicide, I had several friends encouraging me to take care of myself and seek help. One of my friends drove me home from work after I got the news of the suicide by telephone. I was so shell-shocked I don’t even remember it, but apparently she drove me home and cooked me dinner! My friends are good listeners. They will let me rant and rave and they will just sit there and offer support. I should add here, however, that some friends will be unable to offer support and may even disappear from your life. This happened to me. Not everyone is cut out to handle the pervading stigma around suicide. It’s another loss, to be sure, but it does happen. Stick with the people who can support you and validate your loss.

5. 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 that is grieving due to suicide?

Be a “first responder.” Since suicide loss survivors are very likely to pull down the shades and hide inside the house, you be the one who rings the doorbell or makes the phone call and offers unconditional love and support. You have to understand that suicide in the family makes you feel like the whole world thinks there is something abnormal about your family. That is not true, of course. Suicide can happen in any family. But you feel the heavy weight of shame nonetheless. The best things you could say would be: “I am so sorry,” and “Is there anything I can do?” Silence is the worst thing. So many people aren’t sure what to say, so they don’t say anything. To the suicide loss survivor, unfortunately, this could be interpreted as condemnation.

Ask them what they need. If they want to talk, then you can be a tremendous help by just listening. If they just want to sit silently and enjoy the closeness of your company, then that can be just as comforting as well. You’ll want to remember that at times they may not know their own minds. Suicide grief is a form of complicated grief because dying through violent self-infliction is extremely traumatizing to the loved ones left behind. Not only are they trying to work through the stages of suicide grief, they are also often diagnosed with PTSD and experiencing various symptoms like agitation and sleeplessness. They may also have to go on medication for anxiety and depression. There are going to be days where they have no idea what they want, so your patience will be key.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your friend by suicide?

I wish my family had talked about it. There wasn’t even a discussion to not discuss it. It was like a silent, unwritten pact to pretend nothing happened. My family didn’t mention Bob’s name for 11 years. It was like he never existed. There was so much shame and stigma and confusion, the decision was made to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it never happened. I think my family’s reaction is pretty typical of many families today who experience suicide loss. Unfortunately, the trauma and repressed emotions don’t go away. They are buried alive and will come out unexpectedly during another loss or crisis like divorce or illness. I would suggest family and friends urge their loved ones to get help, and start talking about it.

7. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss due to suicide?

1. Be sure to find yourself a sudden loss bereavement therapist. Just any grief therapist will not do. You really need someone well-versed in the trauma of sudden, complicated grief. I can tell you Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief do not apply to suicide loss. Kubler-Ross’ created those stages of grief in the 1950s for hospice patients. Unfortunately, since that time many therapists have used a cookie-cutter approach with those stages. I have documented 12 stages, or passages, through suicide grief in my book.

2. Don’t feel guilty if you feel relief after your loved one dies by suicide. Many of us have lost loved ones with brain disorders. Living with someone with a personality disorder, schizophrenia or bi-polar can be extremely stressful. From my own experience, you kind of walk on eggshells hoping they won’t go off their meds and have an “episode.” So when they do die, it’s not that you feel relief because they’re gone, it’s because you no longer have to tiptoe around hoping not to set them off.

3. Don’t isolate. Join a suicide loss survivor support group in your area. Make friends with these people. Go out for coffee and ice cream with them when you are feeling lonely or overwhelmed. Put yourself with friends who validate your loss and encourage your recovery.

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

That my book is strictly for them – for the suicide loss survivor. I don’t go on and on about what to do and what not to do to prevent the suicide of a loved one. My book does not focus on suicide prevention. There are plenty of organizations and books out there addressing that side of things. The big problem is there are not enough books addressing the needs of the loved ones left behind. That is why I wrote my book: to address the confusion, anger, hurt and despair. I want my readers to know they can survive their grief and go on to live happy lives.

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

I’ve lost three people, the first in 1980, the second in 1986 and the third in 1992. Since I had been through it three times, I naturally started to notice a pattern to my reactions, my grief and what I needed to do to get through it all. I started writing it all down and eventually my journaling turned into a book. I would suggest that any survivor keep a journal. It is a very powerful tool for healing. I tell my journal all my deepest, darkest secrets and fears.

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

I just came out of the recording studio! I have created a CD of healing music and positive affirmations called Today, I Am Healing. The affirmations are designed to help restore a person’s self-esteem and self-worth after a suicide loss. I found a wonderful New Age music composer to write the music. It should be out by May of 2011.

About Catherine Greenleaf

Catherine Greenleaf is a suicide loss survivor. She travels all over the United States to share her experiences with other survivors. Her website is: http://www.healingthehurtspirit.com. You can follow her on http://www.twitter.com/todayiamhealing. You can also read her articles on suicide loss at: http://www.healingfromsuicidegrief.blogspot.com.

Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide 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 Loss of a Friend, Suicide Survivors, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Lori A. Moore – Author Missing Andy

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on June 28, 2010

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour. 

Today we Welcome Lori A. Moore, the author of Missing Andy.  We are delighted that Lori has been able to provide us with her insights and suggestions on how to assist a loved one that has lost her ex-husband and best friend.  Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

Missing Andy is featured on our Helpful Books page under Grief Support & Loss of a Spouse.

And here is our interview with Lori A. Moore… 

What inspired you to write the book Missing Andy?

My husband of 12 years died in 2008 at age 49. He threw a blood clot approximately 15 hours post-surgery for a hip replacement. We held his funeral on what should have been his 50th birthday. Even though we were divorced at the time of his death, he was my best friend and we talked to each other every single day and hung out a couple of times a week.  I started writing as a way to express my thoughts and my grief.

Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?  (i.e. a special card someone sent you, a favorite place they took you, listened when you needed support, etc.)

My friends were very patient with my crying and my telling them frequently how much I  missed Andy.  My brother, who doesn’t say much, came through in a big way and was very supportive of me during my grief. Even now, almost two years later, almost 

book-cover-missing-andy

every conversation includes an “Andy” story and they are very understanding about why I talk about him so much even though he’s gone.

What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after Andy had passed away?

A couple of friends, within a month of two of Andy’s passing would say, “You need to get over it,” or “Aren’t you over that yet?”   That really hurt.  You don’t just “get over it.”  Others asked, “But he was your ex-husband, why would you be upset about him dying if you weren’t still married to him?”  They simply didn’t understand the relationship.  After Andy’s death, his family was upset that Andy had made me beneficiary of a larger sum of money than he left to them and they got a little ugly about it. Dealing with those issues on top of my grief was almost too much to handle.

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

Grief is normal and it’s okay to grieve. You’re grieving for yourself because the loved one that you lost, if he/she was a Christian is in a perfect place that is so much better than here on earth.  They’re okay, even if you’re not okay for a while. 

What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process?

  • Talk to a grief counselor.
  • Give yourself time to grieve.
  • Find a creative outlet for your grief, such as scrapbooking, writing, journaling, etc. so that you can spend some happy time remembering the person that you’ve lost.

What do you want our readers to know about you and your book?

I wrote this book to deal with my grief, but also as a way to honor Andy for the wonderful man that he was.  The majority of the profits from this book go to Andy’s favorite charity, The WHAS Crusade for Children, an organization in Louisville, KY that benefits special-needs children.

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

My first book, written at the same time as Missing Andy, is titled From Zero to Christian in Just 35 Years which is a compilation of three stories making up my testimony of how I gave my life to Christ.  The title comes from the fact that I had never set foot inside of a church of heard of Jesus Christ until I was 35 years old.  

My next book is due out this Fall (2010) and is a children’s book titled Grady the Gray Cat. 

About Lori A. Moore

Lori A. Moore teaches college both online as well as in her hometown of Louisville, KY where she lives with her husband Michael and their three cats.  Lori has a passion for adults who haven’t yet experienced a relationship with Christ because everything they’ve heard is kind of formal and scary.  She tries to write with humor and on a down-to-earth level that people can relate to and understand. 

Twitter @Lori_A_Moore

http://loriamoore.tatepublishing.net

 

Posted in Grief Resources, Inspiration, Loss of a Friend, Loss of a Spouse, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »