I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for the ‘Virtual Book Tour’ Category

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 »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Uma Girish – Author of “LOSING AMMA, FINDING HOME: A MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND LIFE’S DETOURS”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on August 7, 2014

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome UMA GIRISH, author of “LOSING AMMA, FINDING HOME: A MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND LIFE’S DETOURS”. Uma’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 LOSING AMMA, FINDING HOME: A MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND LIFE’S DETOURS?
When a loved one dies, all hope dies with them. In picking up the pieces of my life, and finding a way to make meaning of my loss, I felt that this message needed to be shared to inspire everyone dealing with a devastating loss. That was the main reason why I felt compelled to write this memoir. Also, I have long since known that the gift of writing was given to me to serve the world. This was one of the ways I was called to do that.

2. How did your mom’s passing help you learn more about Love, Life and Life’s Detours?
Amma’s passing caused a deep existential ache within me. In trying to figure out my own purpose and what I was meantLosing Amma to do with this life, I discovered that love is all there is. Our biggest purpose in this life is to love one another. Life is all about the soul’s evolution and the wounds we are given are meant to be used as lessons. The only way we can use the pain of loss is by reaching out and helping someone who has lost a loved one. My life took a detour, both geographically and spiritually. That detour saved me. It opened me up. It taught me that when a path opens up for me, I am meant to walk down that road with trust and integrity.

3. How did finding your life purpose assist you in the healing process?
It taught me that my life was less about me and more about everyone I touched. And that was the only way to heal. It taught me that I could only heal when I connected with and served another who was in pain. I am only able to do that when I am willing to open my heart and share the truth of my story. When I share with honesty and vulnerability, I make the greatest of connections: the human connection. So finding out what I was meant to do with this wonderful life was key to not only how I healed, but how I helped others heal their pain.

4. What are some of the cultural differences in working through grief that you experienced between your home country of India and the US? What cultural differences should people be aware of?
In India, grief and mourning are communal and collective events. It I much more public than it is in the West. It is not uncommon to see funeral processions take over the main thoroughfares and inconvenience traffic, even during rush hour. The body is atop a decorated carriage which is then paraded through the streets, rose petals are showered through the journey to the crematorium and there’s dance and music to accompany the funeral party. I experienced isolation here because I didn’t know too many people or have friends. I was new. My mother had no context. It was very alienating. I longed for the familiar: my family, my environment, my cultural context where I knew what was appropriate to say and do.

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 one that has lost a parent?
• Don’t be impatient with their grief. People take as much time as they need to, to mourn and grieve a loss. If you’re unable to bear witness to their pain, don’t. If you are, then be patient with their recovery process.
• Share stories. Tell them stories they don’t know about their loved one, about your interactions with them or an act of kindness you received from them. Don’t make the dead person invisible by not mentioning their name.
• Allow them to lead. A lot of times we feel the need to tell the griever what they need. Ask them to voice what they need and serve that need if you’re able to.
• Avoid clichés like “You had her all these years” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” or “Time heals everything.” If you don’t have words, say nothing. Just listen. Hug. Show up. That’s all we need to do when there’s nothing to fix.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your mom?
I wish they hadn’t buried my mother all over again—by not mentioning her name for fear that it would make me cry. I wish they had been more patient with my grief instead of telling me that I’d cried enough and that it was time to move on. I wish I hadn’t heard the words “So many orphans don’t know what it is to have a parent. At least, you had her all these years.” I wish they’d been more interested in stories about my mother, the only way I had of keeping her alive.

7. What is one thing you would like readers to take away from your book?
That pain and grief are not given to us by some avenging God. They are part of our soul’s growth and when we turn our pain into purpose, we heal and we use our pain to serve from a bigger platform and help others heal.

8. What would you like our readers to know about you?
I am passionate about helping women who are grieving a loss turn their pain into purpose so that they can find new meaning and joy in their lives. As a Certified Dream Coach, I also help women who feel lost, or those who are in transition, to get clear about their passion and purpose using a 10-step program.

9. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?
Yes to both! My eBook is called “Understanding Death: 10 Ways to Inner Peace for the Grieving” and is available as a Kindle and Nook version, and also on iTunes. Writing, speaking and teaching are as integral to me as breathing. I’m halfway through my next book and also plan to teach writing workshops soon.

UGirish 2

 

ABOUT UMA GIRISH

Uma Girish is a Grief Guide, Certified Dream Coach, and award-winning author whose work has been published in 7 countries. She hosts a weekly radio show “The Grammar of Grief.” For archived shows, visit http://uma.creatingcalmnetwork.com to buy a copy of her memoir “Losing Amma, Finding Home” please visit http://www.umagirish.com. You can also stay updated on her events by subscribing to her newsletter via her website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Virtual Book Tourhttp://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/griefbooks-virtualbooktour.html

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

Posted in Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Mother's Day, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour | 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 »

Valentine’s Grief Support Resources

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 9, 2014

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Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives. For love is the creator of our favorite memories and the foundation of our fondest dreams. Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all – one known only by those who love
….Unknown



How to Support a Grieving Loved one on Valentine’s Day

Articles – Valentine’s Day & the Loss of a Loved One

Grief Healing – Remembering Our Loved Ones on Valentine’s Day by Marty Tousley

Getting Through Valentine’s Day Alone by Open to Hope

Dealing with Holiday Grief by Beliefnet.com

Grief Healing: Remembering Our Loved Ones on Valentine’s Day by June Cook

The Heartbreak of Valentines Day by Maureen Hunter

Self Healing Expressions Grief Course Instructor Suggests 7 Grief Rituals for Valentine’s Day


Loss of a Spouse 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


ARTICLES – Loss of a Spouse

25 Things You Can Do For A Widow On Valentine’s Day Sheryl Kurland, The Relationship Insider

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

HAVE A “SINGLE-Y SENSATIONAL” VALENTINE’S DAY
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


I Did Not Know What To Say – Additional Resources

♥  Loss of a Spouse/Significant Other

♥  Helpful Books

♥  Additional Grief Support Resources 

For additional Valentine’s Day Grief Support Resources, visit http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/Valentines_Day_Grief_Support.html

Posted in Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Sibling, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, Valentine's Day, 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: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Annie Mitchell – Author of “HOLDING BACK THE TEARS”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on January 26, 2014

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Annie Mitchell author of Holding Back the Tears. Annie’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to support a parent that is grieving the loss of their child from suicide.

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 Holding Back the Tears?

The loss of my son to suicide on 6th February 2000 age 26yrs born 1st June 1973 the hottest day of the year.41zzqnU-RmL__SL210_

How did losing your son to suicide change your life?

It affected my health mentally and physically.
Mentally, I became a recluse, I was frightened to face people in fear of what they would say to me or not say to me.

I felt at the time I had to justify myself as to why my son took his own life as I felt I was to blame somehow. I was also frightened as I did not know what to say to them so I hid myself away from the world for 6yrs the only contact I had was with people on the internet and medical staff and my husband. I lost all contact with all family members who could not accept me for the person I had become. I felt low self-esteem and did not like myself for a long time, with having to cope with depression and anxiety on top of my grief it all became too overwhelming to cope on my own so I went and asked for help and accepted I needed it. I can be forgetful and very nervous in a social group but I can cope with these feelings by using self-help methods which again I learned through my journey.

Physically I tire very quickly and get stressed very quickly now. My energy is low so I have had to learn to pace myself out more over a day time. I can only take on small tasks and when I do, it takes me longer to complete these. This made me very frustrated indeed, but now I accept this is me now.

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

In my own opinion, it differs as it is very unexpected if you expect a death of a loved one you prepare yourself for the worse to happen when this happens, it is unexpected and out of the blue and the last thing on your mind. So you are unprepared and in a state of shock.

Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?
Yes, they did not focus all of my attention all on my grief, I was given space to for some me time to deal with my grief with a little guidance from them when I needed it also a lot of reassurance telling me it was normal to feel how I did at the time.

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 the loss of a child due to suicide?

Have patience and understanding and do not put a time limit on their loved ones grief recovery as for me, I did not really start to grieve until around two years later, even then I was still not believing my son was not coming back I did not want to accept that I would never see him again. I feel also for family and friends to accept you for who you are and not look for the person you once were as I felt I lost me after the very first contact of receiving the news of my son’s death. Something inside me broke and I knew then it could never mend. A bit like someone telling you shall never be able to stand up and walk the way you did ever again.

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

I wish they had, had a better way of communicating with me and did not pussyfoot around the fact my son was not coming back. For when they did this it only led to me feeling more and more confused and holding onto my belief that one day he would once again walk through my door.

Learning to cope with Grief is bad enough for the mother or father, etc. Who has been affected by their loss, but it is just as difficult for others around us as they too have to learn how to cope with you too. For some, especially those around me they would sometimes change the subject quickly or pretend you had not spoken or ignored the fact you were in the same room as them. Anything rather than cope with your pain. It was horrible for them and also for myself.

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

Do not rush into anything, no matter what it is; going back to work or moving houses or even writing a book about your loss. Take time out to enjoy what you have in your life and what is going on around you at that moment in time.

Appreciate that you do have a future ahead of you to spend with your loved ones all around you.

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

To realize their loss was an important milestone in their life, one in which no parent ought to have had to face but to accept they did face it and that they can and shall come through it and go on to give themselves and others around them a stronger family bond, not take what they have for granted and to love and cherish every moment of every day they spend together which in return shall give their own life a purpose and a meaning.

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

Annie Mitchell (D.O.B 1953 – born in Scotland, to Scottish parents, a true Scottish Lassie grew up in Scotland and still lives in Scotland.

A Highly skilled ARTIST/WRITER/POET/MUSICIAN/THAI-CHI/POET/DANCER
Has sold many Art pieces throughout her life from miniature to full wall murals /pet portraits /Scottish landscapes to 3D textured sea scenery.  Master in all mediums.

I now put all my energy and time into devoting myself to my writing and promoting books my aim is to help others who have lost a loved one.   “HOLDING BACK THE TEARS”.

You can sit back and do absolutely nothing to help your bereavement grief loss situation and continue to feel the pain for longer with choosing not to try to help yourself.
Or you can choose to learn new ways of coping and accepting your loss and pain by using trial and error coping skills.

Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?
Yes, I have a poetry book coming out soon with mothers in mind and others if they so wish. Available pocket size, I felt if I had had some little support which I could carry around with me in my pocket I could bring it out and read it whenever I felt the need for an emotional link to be once again with my child in thought and spirit it would give me great comfort on the darkest of my days.

BOOK IS AVAILABLE
http://www.rosegardenbooks.co.uk
HOLDING BACK THE TEARS 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 Gratitude, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Loss of a Child, Suicide Survivors, 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 »

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 »

I Did Not Know What To Say Newsletter Archive

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on July 18, 2013

I Did Not Know What To Say Newsletter Archive

Over the last several years we have provided articles and interviews on a variety of topics on how to assist a loved one through the journey of restoring balance in their life after a loss. I have put together a resource list below for you to explore and/or pass on to a loved one that might benefit from these tools. 

If there is a specific topic that you would like us to include in one of our upcoming newsletters, please email us.
 

Understanding Grief 

Are Grief & Depression the Same Thing? 
by Mark D. Miller M.D.
Dr. Miller explores the differences between Grief and Depression.
 

Helping Dispel 5 Common Myths About Grief
by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.,
Alan D. Wolfelt’s article describes five of the most common myths about grief. Through understanding and overcoming these myths we can find positive ways to help ourselves and others heal. 

Anticipating Grief
by Cheryline Lawson
Cheryline’s article gives an overview of how anticipating the loss of a loved one that is terminally ill can affect family, friends and the person who is dying.  
 

How to Support and Care for a Grieving Loved One

What To Say… When You Don’t Know What To Say 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Finding the words to support a loved one through the grieving process.
 
What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One  
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Knowing what not to say can be just as important as finding the right words to comfort a  loved one when they are grieving.
 
SHOULD I OR SHOULDN’T I? 
by Ann Leach, President, Life Preservers: a global grief support community
Ann’s article will give you concrete ways to provide support in the simplest of ways to a     
grieving loved one.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Helpful way to assist your love one find fun & adventure again. 
 
by Joan Hitchens, Storybooks for Healing
Tips on how writing about a loved one can be an effective tool for those grieving to process their feelings and help them restore balance in their life.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
After the loss of a loved one, there is nothing more important you can do for a friend than being a good listener.  The Gift of Listening offers 10 Tips on how to improve your listening skills.
 
by Jill Rheaume, Creator, Our Stressful Lives
Jill’s article will explore healthy ways to handle the little and big stressors in your life. 
 
by Tamar Fox
Tips to take into consideration if you’re called on to bring food to a family member or friend who’s ill, recovering from surgery, or dealing with a recent loss. 
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
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? 
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Tips on how to choose a sympathy gift that expresses your deep concern.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Sharing gratitude to those that have provided support during a loss.
 

Walk Beside Me and Be My Friend
by Nan Zastrow 
Explores how relationships can change after the event of grief. Some relationships will strengthen, some relationships will end and new relationships will begin.
 
Please Cut the Grieving Some Slack
by Maribeth Coye Decker, Sacred Grove Bodywork
This article reminds us that we are all human and that we need to let kindness and forgiveness guide us when we encounter strange behaviors from those that are grieving.

Reaching out to the bereaved and getting no response
by Robbie Miller Kaplan, Author How to Say It, When You Don’t Know What to Say
Explores the reasons why someone may not respond when they are grieving and how to not take it personally.

How to Talk to Someone Who is Grieving
by Rachel Walton, MSN, CRNP
Rachel’s article offers many valuable suggestions on how to talk to and more importantly listen to someone who is grieving.

Effective Communication Skills During Grief and Mourning Following a Family or Relationship Death
by Rick Goodfriend
Rick Goodfriend’s article offers several useful suggestions on how to communicate effectively with a loved one that is grieving. 
 
Interview with Robbie Miller Kaplan – How to Say It, When You Don’t Know What to Say


How to Support a Grieving Loved One during the Holidays
 
 
The First Holidays After a Loss – How You Can Offer Your Support
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Tips on how to support a grieving friend or family member as they experience the holidays for the first time without their loved one.
 
 
Helping Children Grieve during the Holidays
by Miri Rossitto founder of Valley of Life memorial website & author of
 
A Guide to Children and Grief
Useful suggestions on how to assist a grieving child express their feelings of sadness as well as honor the memory of the loved one that passed away.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Having the support of friends and family during the holidays can make all the difference. Sometimes support and love are the best gifts you can give a friend that is grieving.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To SaySometimes the perfect gift is not perfect at all. It is your willingness to look awkward and not know what to say, and yet still show up and be there for a friend that is grieving that matters most.
 
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Holidays can be a difficult time for those that are grieving. We have compiled a list of 12 simple and meaningful ways to support your grieving friends this holiday season.
 

Thanksgiving Memories: Love, Loss and Good Eats
by Gloria Arenson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 
A wonderful reminder of the simple ways to remember a loved one during the holidays.

How to Support a Grieving Window/Widower

by Marcy Kelly, Author of From Sorrow to Dancing
Marcy has provided us with her insights and suggestions on how to assist a grieving widow.
 
by Carole Brody Fleet, Author of Widows Wear Stilettos
Carol offers several fun filled suggestions on how to get through – and even enjoy Valentine’s Day when you are a widow or on your own.
 
by Taryn Davis, Founder, The American Widow Project
Writings & Tips for those who know someone who has lost their hero in the military.
 

How To Date/Marry A Widow or Widower
by Ellen Gerst
Grief and Relationship Coach, Ellen Gerst, offers several practical suggestions on how to be sensitive to your partner’s loss and at the same time grow your relationship.

Interview with Pat Nowak – ABC’s of Widowhood 

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

Interview with Carole Brody Fleet – Widows Wear Stilettos 

Interview Marcy Kelly – From Sorrow to Dancing 

Interview with Lori A. Moore – Missing Andy 

Interview with Michael Corrigan – A Year and a Day

Interview with Jennifer Hawkins – The Gift Giver


Suicide Survivors

Helping a Suicide Survivor Heal
by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. article provides many useful strategies on how to support your friends and family dealing with this type of loss.

The Myths Surrounding Suicide
by Catherine Greenleaf
Catherine Greenleaf offers insightful information on how to assist a loved one that is a suicide survivor.

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


How to Support a Grieving Mom

What Grieving Moms Want for Mother’s Day: The Comfort Company Offers 10 Simple Ways to help Moms Cope When Mother’s Day Hurts
Survey conducted by the Comfort Company – What Grieving Moms Want for Mother’s Day is a compilation of over 200 survey responses on how you can help the grieving moms in your life cope with Mother’s Day.

Broken Angel
by Janet Kohn, Co-Founder The Broken Angels Grief Support Group
Janet offers a simple, yet profound way to explain to friends how grief changes parents who have lost a child to substance abuse.

Am I a Mother – Tips for Handling Mother’s Day After Miscarriage
by Lisa Church of HopeXchange
Lisa Church’s article explores how to ease the pain of the loss of a pregnancy and how to find hope and healing.  For friends and family, Lisa’s article is a great resource on how to offer your support on Mother’s Day.

Loss from a Miscarriage and Stillborn 

Interview with Veronica Janus – Abundantly More  

Interview with Laura Smith – In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost 


How to Support a Grieving Dad
 

by Kelly Farley, Founder of the Grieving Dad’s Project
Many men feel alone in their grief after the loss of a child. Kelly Farley, Founder of the Grieving Dad’s Project, offers many ways to support grieving dads by sharing his personal story.

Interview with Kelly Farley – Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back


Loss of a Parent
 

Mother’s Day Remembrance
by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Tips on how to support a loved one who is grieving the loss of their mom on Mother’s Day.
 
by Janell Vasquez of Memories are Forever
Janell’s article offers many suggestions on how to create a lasting tribute by designing a personalized memory book to honor your father’s memory. 
 
What to Do on Father’s Day When Dad is Deceased
by Laurie Mueller, RTC, ID, AED, Med
Laurie Mueller offers practical tips to honor the important men in your life that have passed away.

Interview with Chelsea Hanson – Sympathy Matters Collection

Loss of a Pet  

Loss of a Pet – How to Bring Comfort to a Grieving Friend
 by Lori Pederson, Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say
Lori’s article offers several suggestions on how to support a friend that is grieving the loss of their beloved pet.

Support & Resources for Traumatic Loss and Natural Disasters

Natural Disaster Recovery Guide
by Dwight Bain
Dwight Bain’s article is an insightful look at the emotional side of disaster recovery.

Resources for Traumatic Loss 
Resources and helpful tips on ways to support those that are grieving in the wake of a tragedy. If you have a resource to share, please email us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com

How to Support a Grieving Child

Interview with Lynn S. Combes – A Garden Full of Butterflies

Posted in Children Grief Support, Father's Day, Gratitude, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Holiday Grief Support, Loss due to Suicide, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Father, 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, Mother's Day, Share Your Story, Thanksgiving, 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: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Lynn S. Combes – “A Garden Full of Butterflies”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 30, 2013

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Lynn S Combes, author of A Garden Full Of Butterflies. Lynn’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to support a child that is grieving.

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 “A Garden Full Of Butterflies”?

I can honestly say that my inspirations came from the Lord. To say anything different would be dishonest.  I never contemplated writing a book. But I began to have a feeling that constantly was tugging at my heart that I needed to write a book about grief. I tried to ignore my feelings thinking that it was not something I could do.  The feelings became stronger and more often.  Finally, I gave into those feelings and once I did my fingers flew across the keyboard.  I believe each word, scripture, thought and idea came from the Lord.  All the glory for this book is His.

How do you feel your book can assist a child that is grieving the loss of a parent or a family member?

Children sometimes will not talk to adults about their feelings for several reasons.  They don’t understand their feelings and thereforeimages.jpg cannot express them, they don’t want to talk to an adult for fear of making them sad, or they feel unique with what they are going through and feel they no longer fit in.  A Garden Full of Butterflies talks about all these feelings and more. Children will be able to recognize these feelings through the main character Marissa and be able to identify with her. It also talks about how Marissa worked out some of these problems with the help of others. It is written in a simple way that children can understand.            

What do you feel adults can learn from your book?

Several adults that have read my book have commented that it gave them peace and comfort.  They have mentioned that they enjoyed the fact that it was not a text book talking about the stages of grief. It was an easy read story that gently led the main character Marissa through the stages of grief.  It also openly talks about how the only way to eternal life is through salvation in Jesus.

Children tend to handle grief differently than adults, what suggestions do you have for parents on how to talk to their children about the feelings they are experiencing? 

Children are a lot more accepting, and understanding than we give them credit for.  I believe honesty to be the most important factor when talking to a child.  For example, telling a child that “grandma” went to sleep could make a child question sleeping and possibly make them afraid of sleep, or be fearful that others may die when they go to sleep.  When talking to children use words that they can understand and are in simple terms.  Encourage your child to ask questions and give them answers that are simple. Let your child know that death does not have to be final because Jesus died on the cross so that we can have eternal life with Him. 

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 child that is grieving?

A child needs time to grieve just as much as an adult does.  However, a child will probably have a lot of questions, but may be afraid to ask them.  Try to get the child to talk to you and be honest.  Sometimes the child may have a question that we don’t have an answer for.  Let them see that it’s ok for them to be sad, and it’s ok to miss the person, and’s ok that they don’t understand the feelings that they are experiencing.  Explain to them  that it is ok that we miss our loved one, let them know that you miss them also, but actually that person is now in heaven where everything is perfect and they are happy, and healthy and walking where the streets are gold and they one day will see them again.

One activity that I would sometimes do with children that are grieving is to have a child write a letter to that loved one (if the child could not write I would let the child dictate what they wanted to say and I would write it or I would have them draw a picture) I would then tie the letter to some helium balloons and let the letter fly into the heavens.   This activity would allow them to express feelings they did not want to talk about.            

You have had a very personal experience with grief, what suggestions do you have for our readers on how to support parents that are grieving the loss of a child?

Everyone grieves differently, therefore don’t expect those that are grieving to be a text book example of how you believe they should act.  The grief they are experiencing may vary depending on if the death was anticipatory or sudden. However, I believe that the loss of a child is probably the greatest grief to overcome because you are always thinking of everything you and your child missed and should be experiencing together.  However, be available to the parents that are grieving.  Don’t avoid them thinking that they want to be alone, because usually they are looking for someone to talk to that knew their child.  Don’t be afraid to mention the child.  It is very important to the parents that there child remains alive in the memory of others.  Be available the first year as the parents hit all the “firsts” without their child.  First birthday, first Christmas etc. will be hard.  Never tell them they can have other children, no one can replace the child they have lost even if they decide to have others, the loss of that child still remains. As time goes on they will have good days and bad days – accept that and let them have them.  Above all just let them know that you care and when they want to talk you listen and when they don’t want to talk let them know you understand and it’s OK!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away.  Rev.21:4

How did your faith guide you in writing “A Garden Full Of Butterflies”?

 As I mentioned early I believe completely that the Lord placed it in my heart to write my book.  I believe that He guided each and every word, scripture thought and idea. My affirmation came when my book was just about ready to be released.   I received a phone call from my publisher that I could expect the first copy of my book to be delivered in a week.  This was considered “the authors copy” because it was the first copy.  Six weeks later the books would go “live” meaning my book would now be available to the public, on book shelves etc.  My authors copy arrived on Friday, 5 days after I received the phone call from Crossbooks/Lifeway.  On Monday I received another copy. I thought it was just an oversight that I received another “authors” copy.  The next day, Tuesday, I received a phone call from a friend that needed my book immediately because the father of a young girl on her daughter’s soccer team had been killed that weekend in a motorcycle accident.  She wanted to give that young girl my book at the memorial service.  I knew then that it was not an accident or oversight that I received two “authors” copies. It was all part of the Lord’s plan. A few weeks after the memorial service the little girl came up to my friend and had told her that because of the book she knew how to handle a few situations that had come up at school.

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

This world is only temporary for everyone.  Death is part of life, however for those that have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the end of this world is the beginning of eternity, where we will meet up with loved ones once again. 

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

 My daughter, Jennifer was five years old when the Lord called her home unexpectedly.  Even though I was a believer my family, and friends were afraid I would never get over the death of my little girl.  Immediately, the Lord wrapped His love and compassion around me and I felt the peace that passes all understanding.  In my grief I began reading any Christian book on grief I could get my hands on.  I needed to identify with others that had been through what I was going through. I needed to see that others had made it and I could also. 

A Garden Full of Butterflies was written many years after Jennifer’s death. However, the Lord’s timing is perfect and it is not for us to understand the reason.  A Garden Full of Butterflies is proof that the Lord can turn a tragedy into a triumph.

                          All things work together for the good to those that love the Lord.  Romans 8:28

 
Is this your first book, and do you have plans for another book?

 A Garden Full of Butterflies is my first book.  I am contemplating writing another book.

About Lynn S Combes

Lynn S Combes was born in Queens, New York.   After I was married I moved with my husband to Florida to raise a family.  I have lived in Florida for thirty four years.  My husband and I have raised three children together.  Our first daughter was called home to be with the Lord at the age of five.  The death of my daughter prompted me to become educated in the grieving process.  I felt a desire to help others deal with grief. This desire led me to work at a local Hospice organization where I implemented, developed, and oversaw bereavement programs.  I later went on to complete my Master’s Degree in elementary education, specializing in Childhood Learning Disabilities. My background in grief has given me a number of opportunities to speak to groups, individuals and organizations on the grieving process. However, each time I speak I stress that it was my faith and the Lord that brought me through my grief, and the promise that I know one day I will be with Jennifer again.  Her death was not the end – for her it was the beginning.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the lord forever.  Psalm 23:6               

A Garden Full of Butterflies can be reviewed and also purchased at: www.lynnscombes.com

 

Posted in Children Grief Support, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Loss of a Child, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | 1 Comment »

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.

https://www.facebook.com/InAllThings 
https://twitter.com/#!/LauraMStorrs

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 »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Veronica Janus – Author of “ABUNDANTLY MORE”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on August 24, 2011

Today we welcome Veronica Janus – Author of “ABUNDANTLY MORE”.  Veronica’s interview offers many insights on how to support a grieving loved one that has experienced a stillborn loss.

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. You gave birth to a stillborn daughter at 25 weeks. Could you briefly describe the situation and your emotions surrounding this?

“I gave birth to a 20-week old stillborn baby girl on July 10, 2004.  We had known from week 12 that she had a fatal condition called hydrops and on the morning of July 9th, I could not find her heart beat.  For 6 weeks I had checked her heart beat every day with a home doppler given to me by a nurse friend.  I called my husband first and then my midwife.  I was sad, but calm and felt peace.  I knew the moment was coming. 

That afternoon we went for an ultrasound to confirm Theresa’s death. They also performed an amnio which determined that Turner’s Syndrome was the ultimate cause of the hydrops. I was admitted to labor and delivery, given an epidural and pitocin to start labor. It was like any normal delivery except my baby had passed away. 

During the 12 hour labor we had pastors, grief counselors, social workers, and chaplains visit. But our comfort came from our personal faith in God and our church community who offered tremendous support.  We had praise music playing in the delivery room in the early morning and when Theresa was born there was an overwhelming sense of peace in the room. Everything was very quiet and still. We got to spend a couple of hours with Theresa holding her, taking pictures, and saying goodbye. After delivery I spent two days in the hospital like most new moms but left empty handed.  That was difficult.”

2. What words brought you comfort as your pregnancy progressed and the diagnosis wasn’t improving?

The most comforting words to me were that when Theresa would pass away she would go and be with the best parent ever. She would be in Heaven straight from the womb. She would never know the pains of this world. Only love. That is all I wanted for my child. If she lived I wouldn’t be able to give her that. There would be sorrow and suffering in her life. Of course there would be joy too. But for her to only know love, wow, what a gift!

3. Since you knew that your baby was dying, did you consider an abortion?

I know this is a touchy issue, and that people make other choices. For my husband and I, we believe that all life is sacred and we do not decide who lives and who dies, only God. In hindsight, we also see that our experience with Theresa touched a lot of people along the way, especially in the delivery room.  The way God helped us to deal with it was visible to many and my husband believes this was the purpose God had given for her life.  She fulfilled that purpose and how could you ask for more than that?” 

 4. Did life ever feel “normal” during this difficult time?

Not really. I was carrying a dying child for a long time:  eight weeks. Yes, I had to care for my one-year old, my husband, run a household, my job, church, friends and so forth but my dying child was always with me. While other pregnant friends talked about how they would decorate the nursery, I thought about how to prepare for my baby girl’s funeral.

5. Did you have any more children after Theresa?

Yes, after Theresa I had a baby girl in 2005, a miscarriage in 2006, and a baby boy in 2007. My baby boy was born with six congenital heart defects and spent nine weeks at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Today he is three and doing great! 

6. Do you find that one person may be able to say something to you that would be inappropriate for another person to say?

Yes, there are people who are great listeners and those who need a little work. 😉 I find that those people who are good listeners and show genuine interest in you and your situation do not affect me if they say something inappropriate, even if they are a stranger. Whereas someone who has not bothered to find out about me, who I am, or my situation and says something inappropriate is harder to forgive, even if they are a friend or relative.

 7. You have suffered a lot. Why is your book titled, “Abundantly More”?

There is a verse in the Bible, Ephesians 3:20, where these words are mentioned. This is where I got my title. The verse explains that only God is able to give you more than you ever imagined, and this is true in all situations, even the difficult ones. Through God much good can come out of a deep and dark place. Material things or loving words from people may give you comfort and joy but it’s only temporary. I believe only God can give you sustained comfort and joy that goes beyond your imagination.

Veronica Janus is a mother, writer, and the founder of Forever Moments, an organization that gives families with babies in the ICU hope and joy through photography (2009-2011). The author was born and raised in Sweden and moved to the United States to pursue undergraduate and graduate work. She holds an MA in Theater and Communications and a MEd in English. Veronica lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children.

LINK TO PURCHASE BOOK:
The link to order the book through Winepress Publishing is https://www.winepressbooks.com/product.asp?pid=3346&search=Janus&select=Keywords&ss=1. The book will be available for purchase in bookstores everywhere in a few weeks.
 

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