I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bereavement’

What Will You Choose?

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on April 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The choice is yours…what will you choose?

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

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

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on March 5, 2014

Grief Healing Telesummit:

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

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

1601140_789620637718793_1186739137_n

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

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

Posted in Caregiver, Children Grief Support, Gratitude, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Grief Support Workshops, Holiday Grief Support, Hospice/Palliative Care, Inspiration, Loss due to Suicide, Loss of a Aunt/Uncle, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Father, Loss of a Friend, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Loss of a Pet, Loss of a Sibling, Loss of a Spouse, Memorial Day, Men & Grief, Stillborn, Suicide Survivors, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, What Not To Say, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »

What Will You Choose?

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on March 15, 2012

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 bring you 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 too 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 some time 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 to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® – Sunday, December 11, 2011 7pm

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 10, 2011

Guest Post from Compassionate Friends

Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® 
http://www.compassionatefriends.org/News_Events/Special-Events/Worldwide_Candle_Lighting.aspx

 Hundreds of Open Services Now Being Planned for Worldwide Candle Lighting December 11 to Remember Children

 Anticipation of a very special and memorable day grows as the 15th Worldwide Candle Lighting December 11, 2011 nears. The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting started in the United States in 1997 as a small Internet observance but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance.

In 2010, information was submitted to TCF’s national website on services in 15 countries outside the United States including more than 530 services, as this special day continues to grow. TCF has been joined in recent years by chapters of several organizations including MISS, MADD, Parents of Murdered Children, SIDS Network, Gilda’s Club, and BPUSA and for several years services have been held in all 50 states plus WashingtonD.C. and Puerto Rico. There is no way to know how many hundreds of additional services open to the public are held in the U.S. and around the world each year without the information being sent to us.

The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations were joined in 2010 by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.

Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book which will be available, during the event, at TCF’s national website. Last year in that short one day span, nearly five thousand messages of love were received and posted from every U.S. state and Washington D.C., every territory, as well as dozens of other countries, with some posts in foreign languages.

Here in the United States, publicity about the event is widespread, being featured over the years in Dear Abby, Annie’s Mailbox, Ann Landers column, Parade Magazine, Guideposts magazine, and literally hundreds of U.S. newspapers, dozens of television stations, and numerous websites and hundreds of personal blogs. Information on the Worldwide Candle Lighting and planned memorial candle lighting services (of which we are advised) is posted on TCF’s national website every year as the event nears.

View Dear Abby’s column from December 4, 2011 and read a letter from TCF’s Executive Director Pat Loder about what this event means to those who have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Here’s a news video posted December 8, 2011 about The Compassionate Friends and the Worldwide Candle Lighting by KLTV in Tyler,TX.

If no Worldwide Candle Lighting service was held near you last year, please feel free to plan one open to the public this year or next year. You are welcome to use TCF’s “Suggestions to Help Plan a Memorial Service in Conjunction with The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting©” to help in planning the service. All allied bereavement organizations, churches, funeral homes, hospices, and formal and informal bereavement groups are invited to join in the remembrance. When you firm up plans for your candle lighting, open to the public, please return to this site and submit the event information form so TCF can list your service with the many hundreds held in the United States and around the world. The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child . . . that their light may always shine!

Media Stories and Videos on the 2010 Worldwide Candle Lighting

TCF 2010 Worldwide Candle Lighting Press Release (Oct. 6, 2010): Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting During Holiday Season Remembers All Children Who Have Died

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Child, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

12 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend this Holiday Season

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on November 13, 2011

The holidays are upon us and it seems that many people have decided to simplify their holiday traditions this year. Instead of spending hours shopping and getting frustrated at the mall, they have decided to spend quality time with friends and family. 

In the spirit of simplicity and kindness, we have compiled a list of 12 simple and memorable ways to support a grieving loved one this holiday season. This list comes from the suggestions submitted by our online community. So take a minute to check your holiday To Do List and be sure you have added your grieving loved ones to the list.

1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the loss. One of the most important things you can do for a friend that is grieving is to understand that special occasions and holidays may be filled with both sorrow and joy. A message as simple as “I know the holidays may be difficult for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.” will let them know you care.

2. Listen and allow the tears to flow. Allow your friend the opportunity to feel all the feelings he or she is experiencing this time of year.

3. Allow the person to set the pace. Grief is a little like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. Your friend may want to cry one minute, talk about fun memories the next and then the next may want to have some time alone. Respect their needs and understand that their change in mood is not about you.

4. Encourage your friend to talk about the person that has passed away. If you knew the person, share your fond memories too.

5. Invite your friend to join you for your holiday gathering. As family members pass away, traditions change and a loved one may not be able to spend the holidays with their family. Including them in your family festivities will help ease the loneliness they may be feeling this time of year.

6. Send a card and be sure to acknowledge the loss. Don’t be afraid to mention the person’s name or to include your own personal memories of the person that has passed away.

7. Visit the cemetery with your friend or leave flowers with a note for the family at the gravesite.

8. Prepare your friend’s favorite holiday treat or a favorite food of the person that has passed away. Each year I prepare my mother’s holiday cookies to remember her love for the holidays.

9. Create a scrapbook of memories. Ask friends and family to write down their memories of the loved one that has passed away and put together a scrapbook of pictures and stories to give to your grieving friend.

10. Make a donation to their favorite charity in memory of the person that has passed away.

11. Encourage them to take care of themselves. Self care is very important to the healing process. Give a gift of pampering at a spa or prepare a care package that includes a relaxation CD, bath salts, and an aromatherapy candle. If going to a spa is not their way of relaxing, find an activity that brings them joy and relaxation.

12. Don’t run for the hills. Many people are afraid to be around a person that is grieving. They often treat the grieving person as though they have a contagious disease. A true friend is the one that stands by their friend and allows them the space to feel all the feelings they are going through…the good and the bad.

Offering your support, understanding and companionship during the holidays will be a cherished gift. Be sure to listen to your friend’s wishes and do not force him or her to participate in activities that may be overwhelming. Be sure to only offer your support if you know you can truly follow through. And remember, it is the simple acts of kindness that are delivered with an open heart that are remembered year after year.

 “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia

We invite you to share your holiday stories and suggestions with us on our Blog or by email at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Be sure to visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page on our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/gifts.html for special Holiday Sympathy Gift Ideas and Special Discounts.

 Holiday Memorial Ornaments http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/gifts-memorialornaments.html

Holiday Grief Support Resourceshttp://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/Holiday_Grief_Support.html

 

© 2009 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 Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Share Your Story, Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Pet Owners…we are looking for ideas on what friends and family can do for their friends that have lost a pet.

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on September 30, 2010

Pet Owners…we are looking for ideas on what friends and family can do for their loved ones that have lost a pet.

Please post in the Comment Section below what others have done for you or what you wish they had…

We look forward to hearing your ideas.

Lori

Posted in Loss of a Pet | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »