I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Archive for the ‘What to do for someone that is grieving’ Category

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending lots of love and hugs today,

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

ididnotknow

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

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 25, 2015

Expert Author Lori Pederson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are accepting Article & Interview Submissions for 2015

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Grief Support Resources

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 13, 2014

How to Support a Loved one During the Holidays

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

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

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

Less than Perfect by Lori Pederson

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

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

How to Choose a Thoughtful Sympathy Gift by Lori Pederson

How can you help me this holiday seasonGrief Tool Box

 

Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas – Holiday Discounts Now Available

Memorial Ornaments – Holiday Discounts Now Available

Christian Sympathy Gift Ideas for Christmas

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

 

Holiday Grief Support  Groups, Articles & Resources

 It’s not Happy Holidays for All by Uma Girish

 Stop Sending Cheery Christmas Cards by Kay Warrensnowflake-cookies

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

 Thanksgiving Day Can Be Painful by Mary Jane Hurley Brant

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

10 Ways to Help a Grieving Teen by Amy Morin

The Holidays, How We Survived – Healing Improv

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

Good Grief CenterGrief and the Holidays – Survival Guide

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

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

 Surviving the HolidaysThe Compassionate Friends

 How to Survive Your GriefHoliday Grief Support Teleconference

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

 Coping with Grief during the HolidaysFuneralplan.com

 Getting through the Holidays When You are Grieving by Maureen Hunter

 Coping with Holiday GriefSutter Care at Home

 Grief and the HolidaysHospice Foundation of America

 Children and Loss: When Holidays Trigger GriefPsychology Today

 Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief WedMD

 Meaningful Remembrance Ideas for Holiday GriefBeliefnet.net

 7 Ways to Deal with Holiday GriefWorld of Psychology

 The First Christmas After a Death by Susan Dunn

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

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

What’s Under Your Tree? by Nan Zastrow

Pre-Planning for the Holidays in BradentonSenior Care Bradenton

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

Grief and the HolidaysHeart2Soul.com

 

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas for the Holidays

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 12, 2014

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

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

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

 

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

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

What Will You Choose?

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on April 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The choice is yours…what will you choose?

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

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support Discussion Topics, What Not To Say, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on March 5, 2014

Grief Healing Telesummit:

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

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

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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 »

Grief Healing Telesummit – March 10 -18, 2014

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 11, 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 www.griefhealingtelesummit.com 
March 10 -18, 2014
Please share with those with a grieving heart!

1601140_789620637718793_1186739137_n

Look at this amazing line up of experts!
I Did Not Know What To Say
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

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Grief Support Workshops, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | 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

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