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Posts Tagged ‘bereavement support’

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 »

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 »

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 »

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

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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 »