I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Loss of a Child’

Mother’s Day Remembrance

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 14, 2017

Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those that have lost a child, have had a miscarriage, a stillbirth or have lost their mother or grandmother.

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

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

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.”
– Cardinal Mermillod

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending lots of love and hugs today,

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

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Posted in Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Mother's Day | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending lots of love and hugs today,

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

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Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Support & Holidays, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Miscarriage, Mother's Day | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 12, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s here and in Heaven and to my Mom who is always watching over me.

I know Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for those that have lost a child, have had a miscarriage or have lost their mother. From my own experience, Mother’s Day is filled with mixed emotions of celebration and sadness from the loss of my mother and from my miscarriage a few years ago. For those that are grieving today, my hope for you is that you are comforted with warm memories of your mom, grandmother or your precious child.

“My mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being.
I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.”
~Graycie Harmon

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

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

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

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

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Posted in Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Miscarriage, Mother's Day | 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 »

In Wake of Newtown Shootings Five Ways to Help Grieving Families After a Child Dies – The Compassionate Friends

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 15, 2012

 Guest Post: The Compassionate Friends

Source: http://www.compassionatefriends.org/Libraries/PDF/Newtown_Press_Release_2012.sflb.ashx

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2012

FROM: Wayne Loder, Public Awareness Coordinator

The Compassionate Friends

(Toll-free) 877-969-0010 / (Weekend) 248-684-4674

In Wake of Newtown Shootings Five Ways to Help Grieving Families After a Child Dies

Oak Brook, IL—When any child dies, it is a tragedy. But when a community, state, and nation is rocked by the deaths of 20 young children and eight adults, this becomes a time for everyone to pull together to help the grieving families.

“Only a parent who has lost a child can truly understand the devastating and life-changing effect this has on the families involved,” says Patricia Loder, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends (TCF), the nation’s largest non-profit self-help support organization for bereaved families after the death of a child. There are more than 650 chapters in the United States that service all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

“It is said that for a parent, when a child dies, the future dies, too,” adds Mrs. Loder, herself a twice bereaved parent, as well as a bereaved sibling. “When this is multiplied by the grief of 20 families that lost young children, as in the Newtown tragedy, it is especially important that the community join together in any way possible to help the families that have been shattered. It’s important to remember that some of the adults who were killed also have parents and siblings who are grieving.”

According to Mrs. Loder, there are some universal pointers bereaved parents and siblings agree friends may want to keep in mind when trying to help the grieving families.

• Don’t try to find magic words that will take away the pain. There aren’t any. A hug, a touch, and the simple words “I’m sorry” can offer the most comfort.

• Don’t be afraid to cry. Those tears are a healthy release both for both you and the family, and a tribute to the child who died.

• Listen to what the parents and siblings have to say. Let them express their anger, their questions, the pain, and the disbelief they may be experiencing. Don’t discourage them from talking about their feelings. Remember that siblings are often considered the “forgotten mourners” and need to have their grief validated, too.

• Be there. Don’t say “call me if there is anything I can do.” That call will probably never come. Think of what the family needs to have done and offer to do specific tasks.

• As time passes, remember the child by sending a card to the family or calling on special days. A bereaved parent’s worst fear is that their child will be forgotten.

One of the most important points friends should remember, adds Mrs. Loder, is that there is no set timetable for grieving. “Some people believe healing starts the moment the family arrives home from the funeral. Bereaved parents and siblings are transformed into different people who will never be the same as they were. Grief doesn’t end in a week or a year, and it may never end. But the pain does get softer in time with the help of friends who care.”

There are 10 Connecticut chapters with the nearest in Danbury, Waterbury, and Bridgeport. The Compassionate Friends National Office is using an emergency fund, created for situations like this, to provide local chapters all grief materials necessary to help the grieving families in Newtown.

To learn more about The Compassionate Friends and its many programs for bereaved families, visit www.compassionatefriends.org and http://www.facebook.com/TCFUSA on Facebook or call toll-free 877-969-0010 during regular week-day office hours.

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Visit our website for resources on traumatic loss

Posted in Children Grief Support, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Loss of a Child, What Not To Say, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® – Sunday, December 9, 2012

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on December 8, 2012

Guest Post from Compassionate Friends

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

Letter from TCF Executive Director on Worldwide Candle Lighting in Annie’s Mailbox December 2, 2012

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, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.

This year’s event will be the 16th Worldwide Candle Lighting. The event grows larger every year thanks to the many people who see the need for services where none have existed. And as the word continues to spread to more of the bereaved who wish to celebrate lives gone too soon by lighting candles in their home, quietly, perhaps just with friends and family.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from 146249_WCL12-322x322pixelCompassionate 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 2011, information was submitted to TCF’s national website on services in 18 countries outside the United States including 550 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, Boys and Girls Clubs, and BPUSA and for several years services have been held in all 50 states plus Washington D.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 2011 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. In 2011 in that short one day span, more than 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, Guidepostsmagazine, 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.

If no Worldwide Candle Lighting service was held near you this 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(ren) . . . that their light may always shine!

WCL Press Release 10-17-2012

National Media Stories and Videos from before and after the 2012 Worldwide Candle Lighting

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

Posted in Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Grief Support Discussion Topics, Loss of a Child, Share Your Story, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Kelly Farley – Author of Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on June 6, 2012

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Kelly Farley, author of Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back.  Kelly’s interview is inspiring and offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to positively support a grieving dad.  We thank him for sharing his very personal story and we are grateful for all the work he has done over the past several years to bring support and resources to grieving dads all over the world.

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.

Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back is featured on our Helpful Books page under our Virtual Book Tour.

And now on to our interview with Kelly Farley…

1.  What inspired you to write the book Grieving Dads: To The Brink and Back?

Like most of the men who will read this book, I too am a grieving dad. I lost two beautiful babies over an eighteen-month period, and those losses have had major and irreversible impacts on my life. To be quite honest, my psychological response to these losses scared me. I felt out of control — because I was out of control. I couldn’t change the fact that my children died. I couldn’t stop hurting. I didn’t just cry — I physically wept inside. There were times when there were no tears, and it felt like I was convulsing internally.

All of this scary stuff started to pile up on me, and when I finally decided to check my “manly” inclinations at the door and seek a bit of help, I discovered that I was in for a surprise. Almost all of the resources I could find on the subject of grieving for a child was directed either toward women or “parents.” I put “parents” in quotation marks, because in my experience, most of what I read for grieving parents was written for mothers or by mothers. If I did come across something aimed at grieving dads, it was usually advice about how to comfort their wives.

I’m sure there’s something worthwhile out there. But in the absence of anything that jumped out at me, I decided to pursue the issue myself

2.  How did losing your children change your life?

The easier question would be “How it has not changed your life?” Everything in my life has changed, the way I live if, the way I see life and how I now take time to experience it.  I use to rush through life thinking that I was this important person and that if I stopped for a moment the world would fall down around me because it needed me that much.  I now live my life to help others where I can and try to be a resource to other men that are dealing with difficult things in their life.  I try to remember that Katie and Noah are watching and that they want me to live a hopeful and happy life.

3.  Is there any one thing that your family or friends did that assisted you through the grieving process?

Some called, most did not.  I have found ways to remove some people from my life.  I learned to sort out who the real friends are and who were the “good time friends.”  I hold no grudge or anger for the people that couldn’t be there for me because I am not sure if I would have been able to be there for others before I lost my children.  Most people really do not know what to say or do so they say or do nothing, hoping that their friend or family member will “get through” the rough patch and get back to the way they were before.  The problem is until you yourself have experienced the death of a child, you really cannot comprehend that there is no going back to the person you were before.  It’s not possible and the sooner you realize that the sooner you can remove all of the personal expectations you place on yourself.

4.  Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process.  What suggestions do you have for our readers on how they can support the men in their lives that are grieving the loss of a child?

As a result of the Grieving Dads Project, I have spoken to hundreds of grieving dads and the one thing I have learned is people need to tell their story.  Not only do they need to tell their story, they need to be allowed to share their emotions while telling their story.  The following are a few ways to provide support to the Grieving Dads you may know:

  • Encourage them to talk about what they are feeling and thinking (even the really dark stuff).
  • Remind them that they are not alone.
  • Let them speak openly about their pain.
  • Do not try to solve their problems and be a good listener.
  • Encourage them to find support groups for men.  These groups could be grief related or a group of men that are all dealing with various life struggles.
  • Do not push them through their grief and allow them to tell their stories.
  • Allow them the time to process what has happen to them.
  • Allow them to turn to or away from their faith as needed.
  • If they start to cry, let them, it helps cleanse the soul.
  • Let them know you are there for them at anytime of the day, and mean it.

Keep in mind that people that are grieving are ultra sensitive so it is important to think before you speak.  Understand how your words may be interrupted by the receiver.  If you really don’t know what to say, say nothing.  There is healing in silence so it is better to sit quietly and listen than to fill the air with words that are not helpful.

5.  What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your children?

Acknowledge my children’s death.  Acknowledge the impacts that child loss has on a person.  I know it’s hard to understand if you have not been there yourself, but try.  Remember anniversaries and birthdays just like other people in the family.  I could go on and on.  This is a subject I touch on in my book.

6.  What suggestions do you have for men that are told to “toughen up” and not show their grief?

During my deep struggles with grief and what I had been taught about it, I learned something. Something really, really important. I learned that grief is really not my enemy at all. Instead, grief and any way it might be expressed — whether through tears, anger, fear, physical exhaustion, illness, or a lack of confidence — is a natural reaction to catastrophic loss. If there’s any “right” way to grieve, if there’s any “should” at all, it’s that we should feel extreme sadness, frustration, and anger.

And believe it or not, we should feel pain. This may be obvious to some, but for me it was a necessary lesson. I’m reasonably sure there are many other guys out there who are as confounded by their reaction to loss as I was, and thus had plenty of lessons to learn as well. Hard lessons, for sure. But very necessary ones.

Perhaps the most profound lesson is that it takes far more courage to live through the pain of grief than it does to deny your natural reactions and emotions. And it takes far more courage to challenge the conventional wisdom of “toughen up.”

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

Grieving Dads is not a “soft” how-to grief book or a pain-drenched memoir written by a brokenhearted father as a form of personal therapy.  Rather, it’s a gripping collection of survival stories by men who have faced the aftermath of losing a child.  They are real stories that pull no punches and are told with raw and brutal honesty.  Even in the midst of devastating tragedy, we all know that men are typically expected to be strong, silent types who tough it out and don’t talk about their emotions, especially not grief.  But this so-called conventional “wisdom” is a lie.  Not only do men need to talk about their grief, they are desperate to do so.  The core message of Grieving Dads is “you’re not alone”.  It is a message that desperately needs to be delivered to grieving dads who often grieve in silence due to society’s expectations.

8.   What would you like our readers to know about you, your book and your website?

Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back is available on my website at www.GrievingDads.com and is also available after June 11, 2012 on Amazon.com.

About Book and Grieving Dads Website 

I developed the idea for Grieving Dads in October of 2009, and by January of 2010 I had launched the www.GrievingDads.com blog.  Literally within a few days, I started to receive emails from grieving dads from all over the world.  I started to collect detailed online surveys in the spring of 2010, and by summer of 2010, I started traveling to conduct interviews for this book.  The face-to-face interviews continued until the fall of 2011, and I spent the last eight months formulating the lessons I learned from these men into this book.

During this time, I discovered that these “silent grievers” actually hungered to share their stories, to speak their children’s names aloud and describe what had happened.  Now, having completed my interviews with men from “this terrible, terrible club,” I have collected the most vivid and illuminating stories for Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back.  Stories appearing in the book have been carefully selected to represent a cross-section of fathers, as well as a diverse portrayal of loss.  This approach helps reflect the full spectrum of grief, from the early days of shock and trauma to the long view after living with loss for many years.  In short, any father who has lost a child was welcome to participate in the project and encouraged to do so, and thus any bereaved father will find brotherhood in these pages, and will feel that someone understands them. 

About Kelly Farley

Like many men, I was caught up in the rat race of life before I experienced the loss of two babies over an 18-month period. I lost my daughter, Katie, in 2004, followed by my son, Noah, in 2006. During the losses and the years that followed, I felt like I was the only dad who had ever experienced such a loss. I realized that society, for the most part, doesn’t feel comfortable with an openly grieving male. This realization inspired me to write this book.

In addition to being an author, I also speak on the subject and work as a Recovery Coach for people who want to put their lives back together after surviving such a profoundly life-changing event.

I maintain a support blog at www.GrievingDads.com and I am currently pursuing a M.S. Ed. degree in counseling to continue my mission of helping others.

I also try to be an advocate for bereaved parents whenever I get the opportunity.  I am currently working on the Farley-Kluger Initiative, which will help bereaved parents qualify for an optional 12-week unpaid leave of absence from work in order start the healing process.

Grieving Dads Fundraiser Campaign

On May 17, Kelly launched a 30-day Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help raise the funds to make this much needed book more available to people around the world. His goal is to raise $20k before Fathers DayClick here to find out more on how you can support this important project.

Be sure to also read Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad by Kelly Farley, our featured newsletter article from June 2011.

Posted in Father's Day, Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Child, Men & Grief, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Thinking of you on Mother’s Day

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 13, 2012

Thinking of You with Love

We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.
We think of you in silence, we often speak your name.
All we have are memories, and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake, with which we will never part.
God has you in His keeping, we have you in our hearts.
A million times we’ve wanted you.
A million times we cried.
If love could only have saved you, you never would have died.
It broke our hearts to lose you. But you didn’t go alone.
For a part of us went with you…the day God called you Home.
~Author Unknown

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers here and those watching over us.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom – we miss you and love you!
To those grieving today the loss of a mother, grandmother or child, our hearts go out to you.
May you be surrounded by love today.

 

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

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

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

Posted in Loss of a Child, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Miscarriage, Mother's Day | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mother’s Day Remembrance

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 6, 2012

Mother’s Day Remembrance
Tips on how to support a loved one who is grieving the loss of their mom on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day for many is a day of family celebrations. But for those of us whose mothers have passed away, Mother’s Day can be a day filled with sadness and longing to have one more day to spend with our mothers. 

If you have a friend or relative whose mother has passed away, here are a few suggestions on how to reach out to them on Mother’s Day.

  1. Acknowledge the loss. Take a few minutes to let your friend know that you are thinking about them and remembering their loss by sending them a card or giving them a call on Mother’s Day.
  2. Listen, Listen, Listen.One of the most important things you can do is to make yourself available and truly listen.
  3. Don’t minimize the loss if they are older. Losing one’s mother is a significant loss, nomatter what age the person is when it occurs. Don’t trivialize the loss if the person is older.
  4. Send a gift of remembrance. Consider sending a personalized gift that honors the memory of your friend’s mother. Some suggestions include: a personalized picture frame, a memory book with photos of their mother, a tree memorial they can plant in their garden, or a special piece of jewelry that reminds them of their mother. Click herefor more gift ideas.
  5. Take them to their mom’s favorite place for brunch or to a special spot. Is there a place that they traditionally took their mom on Mother’s Day?
  6. Send flowers.Consider sending them a bouquet of their mother’s favorite flowers and include a card with a message “Thinking of you and remembering your mom today.”
  7. Write a tribute. If you knew their mom, write a tribute and send it with a card or if they have a memorial site, post it on the site on Mother’s Day.
  8. Help them plan a Mother’s Day Memorial. Help create a day of celebration that friends and family can share stories and pictures that celebrate the life of the mother that has passed away.
  9. Take them on an adventure.Holidays can be heavy, filled with a wide array of emotions. If your friend is up for an adventure, think of activities that will bring your friend joy. Go for a spa day, play a round of golf, take them to an amusement park, or go away for the weekend to a place they always wanted to go. Make it fun and stress free.
  10. Respect their decision on how they would like to spend Mother’s Day. Understand that there will be times that your grieving friend may want to be alone or may want to completely ignore the day. There were many years that I would go to the beach by myself on Mother’s Day to be alone with my thoughts.

Holidays, like Mother’s Day, birthdays, and the anniversary of the person’s death can be difficult, particularly the first year. A simple act of kindness that is delivered with an open heart during these special occasions lets your loved one know they are not alone.

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

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

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

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

©2012 Lori Pederson
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a loved one through the grieving process. If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a loved one, please visit our website at www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

Posted in Grief Resources, Grief Resources - Newsletter, Grief Support & Holidays, Holiday Grief Support, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Grandparent, Loss of a Mother, Mother's Day, What Not to Say to a Grieving Loved One | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 »