I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Posts Tagged ‘authors on grief’

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Chelsea Hanson – Author of The Sudden Loss Survival Guide – 7 Essential Practices to Heal Grief

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 15, 2020

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Chelsea Hanson – Author of The Sudden Loss Survival Guide – 7 Essential Practices to Heal Grief. Chelsea’s book offers many valuable resources on how to work through your personal grief. I had the pleasure to preview Chelsea’s book and found it easy to follow and insightful. I encourage you to read each chapter and allow it to speak to your heart and help you heal.

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 The Sudden Loss Survival Guide – 7 Essential Practices to Heal Grief?

When a loved one dies unexpectedly, the person left behind often does not know what to do and needs guidance. After the sudden loss of my mother, I didn’t know where to turn for help, nor how to put the pieces of my life back together. The Sudden Loss Survival Guide gathers everything that I learned during my own healing process and serves as a trusted companion to assist those who’ve experienced life-changing loss. It’s the book I wish I would’ve had when my parents dies.

My healing was not easy, but I believe others can have a less arduous journey when they have the necessary tools and information to navigate loss. That’s why I wrote the Sudden Loss Survival Guide—to offer the bereaved and those supporting them, a concrete road map to move through life’s challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I share the healing practices and tools that allowed me to mourn, grieve, and honor the memory of those I love. The experience of writing my book and working with those grieving has shown me that healing from loss can and does occur with proactive grief work. With the desire to heal and the willingness to do the hard work of mourning, it’s possible to integrate loss into your life, and over time, embrace life again.

Why do you feel that people have such a hard time talking about their grief?

Most people don’t like to talk or think about loss because they fear it. They don’t want to admit unexpected death will happen or that it’s real. Western society likes to keep the thought of dying at a distance because most people don’t want to be reminded of their mortality.

It wasn’t always this way, but twenty-first-century culture perpetuates denial and avoidance of grief. By contrast, our ancestors were more enlightened. They honored their loved ones in death, privately and publicly, through rituals. Past generations wore symbols of bereavement, used designated time periods for mourning, and relied on nearby family and close-knit communities for support. Because of lower life expectancies than we have today, they often experienced personal losses at a young age. Death was part of everyday life, and families were familiar with societal rituals and practices to care for the bereaved.

But today, people haven’t learned how to talk about dying or how to support the bereaved. Due to this lack of education and fear, you may be hesitant to talk about your loss and how much it changes your life.

Let others know it’s okay to discuss sudden death, dying, and your loved one. By being aware of society’s lack of grief education and discomfort with death, you can guide conversations away from unhelpful information towards asking for the support you need.

Why do you feel people hold on to their grief?

Sometimes grievers don’t want to heal because they mistakenly belief the pain keeps them close to those they lost. In reality, it is the love that keeps you close, not the suffering.

Grievers often hold onto their grief as a tribute to their beloved person. People resist the idea of healing because they believe they will be forgetting their loved one. Nothing can be farther from the truth. You can never forget the person who died. It’s impossible. You can, however, release the pain and remember the deep love. You can continue to love the deceased while living. You will love the person you lost until you die. And even after you are physically gone, your soul will continue to love.

What is one way you let go of your personal grief?

I cultivated an enduring, spiritual connection with my loved ones. I was able to let go grief by learning that the relationship with those we love continues. I formed a different relationship with the ones I missed based on love and spirit, instead of sadness and pain. I found a place in my soul where death does not sever the relationship, but where the continuing bonds of love flourish and my beloved moves forward “with” me in memory and daily life. This is the place where the past and present co-exist as a part of me.

A more concrete way I moved towards healing was by allowing, experiencing, and expressing my grief. I gave myself permission to feel exactly how I was feeling and to ignore family patterns, societal expectations, or limiting beliefs about how to handle loss. I found that fully experienced grief will disappear, and love will remain.

How can you assist someone that is losing their faith after a loss?

You may not have thought about your faith as much as you do now, given your circumstance. At the same time, you’ve likely never felt such little faith as you do now. To believe in faith is easy when everything is simple and stress-free, but when something bad happens, faith becomes confusing and complicated. You may need to determine if your previous beliefs still serve you now.

Only the bereaved person can assign meaning to an unexpected loss that has affected his or her soul. You may demand answers to questions that are unanswerable. You can search and yearn for answers and still not know. Perhaps only eternity may provide true understanding.

One thing I can tell you: The sudden death of the person you love is never a punishment, retribution, or retaliation for how you lived your life. Unfortunately, it is the natural course of things in the universe—a realm that will support you in your time of need.

You’ll make sense of the chaos of loss in your own way and in your own time. It’s your choice to search for and choose the meaning you would like to assign to the death of your loved one.

How can family and friends foster a support system for a loved one that is grieving?

When you are new to grief, other others want to help, but they often aren’t sure what to do. You need to tell them how to help you. Others will respond with direct requests from you when you’re specific. Remember, many people have not experienced the death of someone they care about, so they don’t naturally know how to assist you.

If a person is to depleted to ask for assistance, family and friends need to offer specific assistance, rather than say, “Call me if you need anything.” Those supporting a bereaved person should check back regularly and often. Offer assistance, provide companionship, and listen attentively. Be proactive and offer support before it is asked for or needed.


What is your favorite way to honor your loved ones?

I remember my loved ones in daily life. Adjusting to the loss of the person you love does not mean burying memories, pretending he or she never lived, or getting rid of all personal belongings and tangible reminders. Instead, you adapt to your changed circumstances by using ongoing remembrance to feel the steadfast love and enduring spirit of your beloved each day.

I also found that when you use a conscious, healthy process to honor your dear one in daily life through remembrance, you’ll hold onto the love, spirit, and essence of the person. By remembering your beloved in daily life, love continues to exist. As you remember, you’ll never forget. And isn’t that we all want?


 What is one way someone that is grieving can step into their purpose again?

Imagine that you want to “live on” and rebuild your life to honor the person you love. Answer the questions with the first thoughts that come into your mind.

  • What do you desire right now?
  • What would you really love to do?
  • What have you always wanted to do but have been afraid to try?
  • Where would you like to reside or travel?
  • What unfinished projects or dreams would you like to complete?
  • In what ways can you add meaning to your life?
  • How can you authentically live your life?

Give yourself time and space to contemplate your future. You may be used to surpassing your wants to meet others’ expectations, dismissing your desires as “unrealistic,” or substituting the “rational” goals of others as your own. But now, after loss, you can choose what you want if you allow yourself.

It’s possible you can live not only for yourself, but for the person you love who died. Your loved one still lives on through your actions, accomplishments, and how you live your daily life.

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

Change is inherent in life, whether birth, death, illness, aging, or other unwelcome losses. But these changes do not have to cause permanent, going suffering. The death of a loved one is inevitable, but being paralyzed by fear, anxiety, and grief is not.

Joy, love, and even peace is possible again when you desire healing. While you cannot control loss, you can proactively guide your own healing. Time along with effort, the intention to heal, and conscious mourning will gradually bring comfort.

What do you want our readers to know about you as an author and Grief Coach?

I can now offer others what I wish I would’ve had when my parents died—as handbook on how to not only survive life-changing loss, but also reengage in life with new, profound meaning.

The death of those I love changed me forever. With this real pain came real transformation. I became more open, loving, and braver than before. I discovered the depths of love. I found my true self in the pieces of my shattered heart.

My brokenness was a catalyst for transformation into wholeness—to my authentic self.

I said yes to living again. And you can do the same. Healing is possible.

The Sudden Loss Survival Guide is the idea, first place to start.

About Chelsea Hanson

Chelsea Hanson is a leading grief educator and the author of The Sudden Loss Survival Guide -7 Essential Practices for Healing Grief.

Hanson found her true purpose in grief support and legacy work and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison as a grief support specialist with certifications in holistic life coaching and life legacy preservation. By connecting her 20 years of business expertise with her true calling, she is an entrepreneur who specializes in grief products and programs to help others transform personal setbacks into opportunities to live a meaningful life.

Hanson transcended unexpected loss over time, losing both her father and mother at a young age. She now lives and works in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and son.

 About the Sudden Loss Survival Guide – Seven Essential Practices for Healing Grief

The Sudden Loss Survival Guide provides an indispensable road map to guide those who’ve experienced a life-changing loss. The book’s in-depth, transformative process—the Seven Grief Healing Practices—delivers the essential answers and tools needed to survive, cope, and heal from the devastating impact of sudden loss.

While you cannot control losing a loved one, he or she can consciously guide recovery by taking an intentional, action-based approach to healing. Through the application of simple, proactive practices, along with understanding the basics of grief—how to work through it and how to make it easier—the survivor is empowered with a life-affirming map to navigate from sorrow to joy and from the depths of grief to the heights of living.

 Pick up a copy of The Sudden Loss Survival Guide here:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2uNKcJQ

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2tfeyEz

Posted in Grief Resources, Loss of a Parent, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour | 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 »