I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Book Tour’

We are accepting Article & Interview Submissions for 2015

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Laura Smith – Author of “In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on February 9, 2012

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Laura Smith, author of In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost.  Laura’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a loved one that has had a miscarriage.

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.

In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost is featured on our Helpful Books page under our Virtual Book Tour.

And now on to our interview with Laura Smith…

1. What inspired you to write the book In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost?

At first I was simply writing through the grief in order to try and understand all of what I had been through. It was a way for me to process the miscarriage and all that God had spoken to my broken heart during that time. Later as I began to expand into writing about all of the trials our family had gone through, I realized the pattern of God’s hand in all of it and saw the amazing grace I was living under because of His love for me. I didn’t intend to write a book that would ever be published in the beginning but when I had one person here or there read it, the feedback was almost an urgency that people needed to hear the message.

2. How did experiencing a miscarriage change your life?

Up until that point in my life, I thought that because I was a believer God protected me from the really hard stuff. I had been through losses of grandparents but that was all a natural part of life. Experiencing the miracle of pregnancy after being told we weren’t able to even get pregnant was a huge confirmation of God’s presence in my life. To lose that miracle was beyond devastating. It completely broke me. I questioned God’s love and his very existence. My husband at one point called God a hypocrite because if He hated abortion so much he wouldn’t have allowed our baby to die.

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

They just allowed me to grieve in my own way and on my own timing. I am a very private person and a silent griever. I would close myself in the bathroom and sit on the floor in the middle of the night with my face buried in a towel so no one could hear my sobs. One dear friend said to me when I was ready to hear it that sometimes God allows things like this to happen in order to protect us from something worse like perhaps there was a terrible problem with the baby and to spare us from that pain, he instead protected us from it. That’ was different than saying a blanket statement such as “everything happens for a reason”. I didn’t get the constant “how are you?” questions often asked by well-meaning family or friends. I think that would have driven me crazy.

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 a loved one that is grieving?

Be very sensitive to the loved one’s personal grieving process. If they are typically a person to talk through everything then just sit and listen. If they are a private person then allow them to grieve privately and wait for them to come to you when they are ready. Let them know you are there for them when they are ready but you are not going to invade their space. In the case of a loss of spouse and children are involved, be there to do what needs to be done to take care of the children because during the grieving process we completely lose sight of the needs of those around us. Understand that the loved one may have a really great upbeat day one day and then fall on their face the next. If they are not a hugger type person, respect their space but gently touch them on the shoulder or squeeze their hand as often as the opportunity presents itself. Human touch is very healing. Pray for them!

5. How has your faith in God given you the strength to face the losses in your life?

After the vision the Lord gave me which I share in great detail in my book, I know that I know that I know that heaven is real and I will see my loved ones again. He has taught me to see beyond the current situations to look deeply into every situation and see His light shining in the midst. And most importantly I have learned that everything that we go through is an opportunity to learn and to grow in order to someday help someone else through something similar.

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

Healing. Anyone who has experienced miscarriage or been touched by abortion can find healing in the vision that the Lord gave me to share.

7. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

I am a real person who has experienced real life issues. I’m not pretentious or overtly religious; I’m a believer in Jesus who has always desired to write but had to wait for God to write my story. I hope through my book that others can learn some of the amazing life lessons and blessings from the Lord that I’ve had to learn the hard way. I thought this was just a message of healing through miscarriage and abortion however everyone who has read it has said they could not put it down and there was so much other good stuff they had to pause in order to soak it all in.

8. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?

I am in the process of writing my second book about my father’s spiritual journey through cancer. He lost his battle here on earth but gained eternal life before he passed. This was a miracle in itself for anyone who knew my dad. The two year battle was packed full of evidence of God’s hand in the journey and taught me about the tremendous power we have in prayer and to never take that for granted.

About Laura Smith

Laura SmithLaura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. She spent her youth on a small dairy farm in Northeast Minnesota. She was married two weeks after her high school graduation. Three years and two children later, she was facing divorce and single parenthood. She moved to a college town in north central MN where she hoped to earn a degree and make a life for her and her two young daughters. There she met and married the love of her life. Together they embarked on a life together as a ready-made family facing all the challenges that comes with it. They had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the ultimate challenge, the possible death of their daughter.

https://www.facebook.com/InAllThings 
https://twitter.com/#!/LauraMStorrs

In All Things Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost 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 Grief Resources, Miscarriage, Share Your Story, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Veronica Janus – Author of “ABUNDANTLY MORE”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on August 24, 2011

Today we welcome Veronica Janus – Author of “ABUNDANTLY MORE”.  Veronica’s interview offers many insights on how to support a grieving loved one that has experienced a stillborn loss.

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. 

1. You gave birth to a stillborn daughter at 25 weeks. Could you briefly describe the situation and your emotions surrounding this?

“I gave birth to a 20-week old stillborn baby girl on July 10, 2004.  We had known from week 12 that she had a fatal condition called hydrops and on the morning of July 9th, I could not find her heart beat.  For 6 weeks I had checked her heart beat every day with a home doppler given to me by a nurse friend.  I called my husband first and then my midwife.  I was sad, but calm and felt peace.  I knew the moment was coming. 

That afternoon we went for an ultrasound to confirm Theresa’s death. They also performed an amnio which determined that Turner’s Syndrome was the ultimate cause of the hydrops. I was admitted to labor and delivery, given an epidural and pitocin to start labor. It was like any normal delivery except my baby had passed away. 

During the 12 hour labor we had pastors, grief counselors, social workers, and chaplains visit. But our comfort came from our personal faith in God and our church community who offered tremendous support.  We had praise music playing in the delivery room in the early morning and when Theresa was born there was an overwhelming sense of peace in the room. Everything was very quiet and still. We got to spend a couple of hours with Theresa holding her, taking pictures, and saying goodbye. After delivery I spent two days in the hospital like most new moms but left empty handed.  That was difficult.”

2. What words brought you comfort as your pregnancy progressed and the diagnosis wasn’t improving?

The most comforting words to me were that when Theresa would pass away she would go and be with the best parent ever. She would be in Heaven straight from the womb. She would never know the pains of this world. Only love. That is all I wanted for my child. If she lived I wouldn’t be able to give her that. There would be sorrow and suffering in her life. Of course there would be joy too. But for her to only know love, wow, what a gift!

3. Since you knew that your baby was dying, did you consider an abortion?

I know this is a touchy issue, and that people make other choices. For my husband and I, we believe that all life is sacred and we do not decide who lives and who dies, only God. In hindsight, we also see that our experience with Theresa touched a lot of people along the way, especially in the delivery room.  The way God helped us to deal with it was visible to many and my husband believes this was the purpose God had given for her life.  She fulfilled that purpose and how could you ask for more than that?” 

 4. Did life ever feel “normal” during this difficult time?

Not really. I was carrying a dying child for a long time:  eight weeks. Yes, I had to care for my one-year old, my husband, run a household, my job, church, friends and so forth but my dying child was always with me. While other pregnant friends talked about how they would decorate the nursery, I thought about how to prepare for my baby girl’s funeral.

5. Did you have any more children after Theresa?

Yes, after Theresa I had a baby girl in 2005, a miscarriage in 2006, and a baby boy in 2007. My baby boy was born with six congenital heart defects and spent nine weeks at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Today he is three and doing great! 

6. Do you find that one person may be able to say something to you that would be inappropriate for another person to say?

Yes, there are people who are great listeners and those who need a little work. 😉 I find that those people who are good listeners and show genuine interest in you and your situation do not affect me if they say something inappropriate, even if they are a stranger. Whereas someone who has not bothered to find out about me, who I am, or my situation and says something inappropriate is harder to forgive, even if they are a friend or relative.

 7. You have suffered a lot. Why is your book titled, “Abundantly More”?

There is a verse in the Bible, Ephesians 3:20, where these words are mentioned. This is where I got my title. The verse explains that only God is able to give you more than you ever imagined, and this is true in all situations, even the difficult ones. Through God much good can come out of a deep and dark place. Material things or loving words from people may give you comfort and joy but it’s only temporary. I believe only God can give you sustained comfort and joy that goes beyond your imagination.

Veronica Janus is a mother, writer, and the founder of Forever Moments, an organization that gives families with babies in the ICU hope and joy through photography (2009-2011). The author was born and raised in Sweden and moved to the United States to pursue undergraduate and graduate work. She holds an MA in Theater and Communications and a MEd in English. Veronica lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children.

LINK TO PURCHASE BOOK:
The link to order the book through Winepress Publishing is https://www.winepressbooks.com/product.asp?pid=3346&search=Janus&select=Keywords&ss=1. The book will be available for purchase in bookstores everywhere in a few weeks.
 

Posted in Loss of a Child, Miscarriage, Stillborn, Virtual Book Tour | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Jennifer Hawkins – Author of The Gift Giver

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on August 3, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome Jennifer Hawkins, author of  The Gift Giver. Jennifer’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to support a grieving widow.

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.

The Gift Giver is featured on our Helpful Books page under our Virtual Book Tour.

1. What inspired you to write the book The Gift Giver?

My best friend works in an emergency room as a physical therapist. I’d told her my story about what happened after Mark died. About three months later she called me and said I had to write a book. She had been telling my story to people who were about to die, who were about to lose a loved one, and to those who had just lost a loved one; and she couldn’t believe all of their positive responses. She The Gift Giver: A True Storysaid she watched their shoulders dropped and many of them told her that they felt so much better. She not only told me to write a book, she said, “And hurry up! I can’t tell the story to everyone.”

So, while I was terrified to put the whole story out there, she really inspired me by proving that what I’d been through could help others. And that is my intention.

2. How did losing your husband change your life?

First, we had two boys who were three and five years old. Becoming a single parent in an instant was an overwhelming shock of responsibility. Even three years later it seems I’m still adjusting to handling everything on my own. I was forced to rely on other people to help me take care of them. I was always an independent person, even when Mark was around, so having no choice but to depend on others was difficult…and still is, sometimes.

Even though single parenting has been a challenge, the biggest change in my life since losing Mark is that I now look at everything very differently. Before, I was extremely future focused and could be somewhat judgmental towards those who didn’t seem to have the same drive that I did. Now I find myself looking at a tree for several minutes and tears come to my eyes because I appreciate life; it is magical! I’ve learned to ‘live in the moment’ and am not always consumed with finding out what is going to happen next. More importantly, the knee jerk reaction to judge others just isn’t there anymore. After experiencing loss like I did, I learned that you can never imagine what is going on in someone else’s world.

3. How did receiving a message from your husband after he had passed away assist you in rebuilding your life and working through your grief?

I’d had a near death experience when I was 28 and I felt like I was given the choice to live or die. Since that experience, I have always believed that we choose when we die. So when my husband died suddenly I was in complete shock and denial; I could not fathom why he chose to die then. Our marriage was better than it had ever been, he was happy at work and was a wonderful father to our boys—life was good. His death shook me because my belief that we choose when we die was proved wrong. Not only was I dealing with his death but I was battling myself internally.

When he spoke to me and told me why he left, I could not deny that it was him. His reason for leaving was something I never in a million years would have considered and because of that, I knew it had to be true. At that moment, it made perfect sense why he chose to leave.

Since his first words I have not once been angry that he died. That is normally a big part of loosing someone. Instead, I look at my children like they are the luckiest boys in the world and I feel lucky. I’m not saying it’s not hard and that I don’t miss him because it is, and I do. But knowing there was a reason for his death released all of the anger and denial. That has made all of the difference in my transition, and in my parenting.

4. How did your friends and family react when you told them you had received messages from your husband after he had passed away?

The first person I told was my Mom. I was scared and thought, “She can’t leave me if she thinks I’m crazy.” But I was also scared because we were not a ‘spiritual’ family. We’d never talked about things like that before. However, I knew I had to tell someone because I’d felt so much relief and I felt guilty not sharing that relief with people who loved Mark.

That said, she reacted differently than I expected. She instantly started shaking and crying (which I’d NEVER seen her do) and said, “That sounds just like Mark.”

Most people, friends, family and even strangers have told me they get chills on their arms and neck and they believe me. For the most part people have been comforted by my story.

5. Many people may feel like their loved one is communicating with them after they have passed away but may have a hard time accepting that it is really happening. Often I see people discounting messages from their loved one as wishful thinking or their mind playing tricks on them. How did you come to accept that your husband was truly connecting with you from the other side?

In my world there was no other choice. He told me things that were so out of my reality that I knew it had to be coming from something other than me. I didn’t know for sure it wasn’t just the universe or God. I still don’t. The reason I assumed it was him was that the communication became conversational and was in first person as if it was him. We even argued. As I look back at it now, the arguing part seems very funny.

His presence feels warm, comforting, loving. I have never been afraid of it or questioned it. It made sense that he would speak to me, even though it was initially very shocking. He loved me and cared for me dearly. He tried to take care of me when he was here, more than I would even let him. He’s done an amazing job after he left, too.

6. 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 one that has lost a spouse?

Things that helped me the most were when people made me take care of myself. A friend scheduled a massage therapist to come to my house because I was too busy to deal with even making the reservation. Neighbors made us food three nights a week for months. This was invaluable. Adding on cooking to everything else I had to take care of might just have pushed me over the edge.

It was comforting to know there were people there who were willing to just listen. Some friends made a call list for me and they said I could pick up the phone twenty four hours a day and someone would either just listen or would come over to be with me. This gave the delicate balance of giving me space but being there when I needed someone. I think I only called a couple of times but when I did it was really necessary and appreciated.

My biggest piece of advice for supporting someone who is handling the loss of a spouse is to allow them to surrender to their grief. Let the person feel exactly what they’re feeling. Don’t try to fix them; don’t try to help them ‘get over’ anything. They are now a widow/widower and that fact will not change, ever. It is a part of them. Be with them when they need you there; and give them space when they don’t. The process is greatly achieved when they are alone. Don’t take it personally if they need to be alone.

7. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your husband?

As you can tell from my last answer my friends and family are exceptional. If I had to think of anything it would be that after six or eight weeks the cards and calls slowed or stopped completely. When that happened I thought, “God, he was here for forty-nine years, and everyone has forgotten him after only two months.”

I understood that people had their own lives. And that made it okay but I’d have liked it if people called or wrote a small note randomly months and even years after, saying they are thinking of him or me and the boys. He is in our lives every day still. We talk about him and it would be nice to know others still have him in their hearts. It is hard with children to find time to reach out to people for that kind of support. I’ve just been trying to keep everything above water. Those little unsolicited reminders mean a lot.

8. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss of a spouse? What helped you pick up the pieces and move forward?

Realize that this is something that is now a part of you forever and that you don’t have to change how you feel. Go into your heart and feel everything you are feeling rather than dismiss or deny the emotions. When I’ve done this the emotions seem to flow through me, rather than get stuck with me, and then I can move forward.

Look up and really see those who love you. They are wanting to help and it is important that you let them. They can provide a lot of relief; not only from your new responsibilities but also by showing you that other humans are just that—human, loving, and feeling.
Take care of yourself. Nobody can do it for you. Ultimately you have to pick up the pieces and move on. As soon as you can, do something small for yourself every single day. I don’t care if it is taking a long bath, going to a funny movie or just walking in nature. Make taking care of yourself a habit. Be very gentle with yourself; everything in life is perfect, no matter how much you think it isn’t.

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

That life can be filled with joy, laughter, peace and love, whether or not you have ever experienced the loss of a close loved one.

10. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

That I feel like an angel kissed me on the forehead for getting to go through this experience, but I don’t feel like I’m different than anyone else. This could have all happened to anyone. We are all so alike, that truth frequently gets lost in our day to day lives.

11. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?

Yes, I have written five other books. Four were before Mark passed away, two since.
The first is called “Find Paradise Now – Seven Simple Steps to an Extraordinary Life.” It is based on my competitive swimming career and what I took from those years and use in my life.

Then I wrote a book called, “Liberation – Will You Survive or Thrive” with a friend Mike Watson. It is an inspirational, motivational book that explores forty words such as Dreams, Passion, Leadership, Love, Power, and Jealousy.
I also wrote two real estate investing books with Mike Watson. One is called “The Highest and Best Real Estate Investment” and the other is “How to Buy and Sell Real Estate Without Using a Bank.”
And finally I’ve written a follow up to “The Gift Giver”. However I’m not sure if I will ever publish it.

ABOUT JENNIFER HAWKINS

Jennifer’s diverse background includes swimming for the University of California at Santa Barbara, competing in the Olympic Trials in 1988, owning a residential real estate company for fifteen years and authoring five books.
She has spoken in front of audiences up to 700 people, traveled to over forty different locations, and is raising two boys who are five and seven years old.
She currently lives in Texas and is an active real estate investor, mom and author working on her sixth book.

The book website is http://www.thegiftgiverbook.com. Book orders (softback and eBook) can be made on the website, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Posted in Gratitude, Grief Resources, Inspiration, Loss of a Spouse, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Therese Benedict – Author of Days Go By, Not Love

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on June 14, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we Welcome Therese Benedict, the author of Days Go by Not Love. Therese’s interview and book offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to make positive changes in your life.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences in the comment section below.

Days Go by Not Love is featured on our Helpful Books page under our Virtual Book Tour.

1.   What inspired you to write the book Days Go By Not Love?

I was inspired and guided to write this book by God and his angels. As a clairvoyant, with the ability to communicate with God and his angels, I was given only the words for others to understand the beginning steps for them to change their life. There is so much to learn and so many directions that one can change their life that giving them too much information would only confuse them because of the amount of knowledge there is to help them change their life. So, I was only allowed to write a portion of what others needed to know so that they could succeed in their change of life.

I was also inspired to write this book because of the sadness and cruelty that is taking over this world while I watched the love diminish; knowing that there are so many people searching for answers for freedom from their pain. My gift allows me to illuminate areas of darkness in others who suffer from lack of love, pain, misery, depression and so on; to help bring them to a point of understanding of how to love oneself and to know there is a way out of this pain. By seeing others hurt their loved ones because they do not know how to love right – I know the answers and ways for each individual person because everyone needs help in different ways, so they may live of life of love.

2.   How have you used the steps in your book as you have gone through the challenges in your own life?

I have lived the steps outlined in my book through my entire life, which brought me peace in my soul because I always knew the love I carried for everyone. I always carried compassion no matter how bad a person treated me because I knew that they were lost. I have always stayed true to me and never let anyone change who I am. By living my life as this book speaks, I knew that not only could I help others through my gift of clairvoyance but that I also can relate to their pain from my own past experiences. I never gave up on who I was and because I loved myself in a right manner and trusted in God that I was granted my dreams with the love I knew that could exist but didn’t exist. It is not when we put our desires on our timeline that we receive our dreams, rather it is when we put our trust in God and allow time to lead the way to receive our dreams in which we desire. By following this guidance I met the most loving man, my husband, and I have reached several dreams.

3.   What would be your suggestions on how friends and family can support a loved one that has started to practice the steps you suggest in your book?

I would advise to them that their friends and family members will make mistakes that will upset them, but this is when they need to understand that hard times come with changing your life. It is also a wonderful way for them to learn in different directions, so they may grow even more with their change. To learn to appreciate hard situations because they can be a stepping stone for not only their friends and family but for the people that are supporting them as well. Friends and family can also support by learning how to communicate with compassion and not anger. This will only help them stay on track with changing their life and not giving up because they made a mistake. As I have stated before, mistakes are golden when used in a beautiful way. So when someone they love is trying to change their life from my book, I suggest that the people who are supporting them read the book as well so they may support them to their fullest.

4.   Do you find that people that have a strict religious background have a resistance to your teachings?

Yes, religion comes into play but only because of my gift. However, if they think about it, I am only teaching people what religions’ are about and that is love. Religion can make people run. I don’t bring up sins; I only teach what is right and what is wrong and help them change the wrongs to right. I am not a religious person but I live my life for God. I have a personal relationship with him as my father (just as if he were my father on earth) and I love him as my father and he loves me as his daughter. I talk to him as he is sitting right by me and knowing he hears my every word and know every emotion that I go through for him. I know he will protect me and love me and take care of me, for I live my life for him and his children. He has only shown me that he is by my side every second of my day and he shows me the love that he carries not only for me but for all of his children. So I teach what the church tries to teach but I do not teach the way the churches do. I help people become who they were created to be and to live a life of love to everyone that comes across their path, even if they do not know them personally. I still teach what is written in the bible but it is taught in such a way that people understand it better without the confusion of biblical words.

However, some religions do not believe that God seems to give some of his children a beautiful gift to help his children that are lost or looking for comfort. They think that we have demons inside of us, but we have the same thing inside of us that they do: GOD. I have only been blessed and see miracles everyday. Others’ negative thoughts will not change who I am and what I am here to do. I do not judge people because they do not believe in God, but I do have to say if they do not believe and do the actions in this book, they just might change their minds. I do not judge others because of what they have done in their life; my focus is only to help them see what they have done and to help them change their life. To bring freedom from their past pain and freedom from blindness and to help them stop their cruelty, so they may live of life of happiness themselves so they can be free of their misery.

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

That it is possible to change your life completely and that they have the power to make these changes along with the strength to do so… That changing their life is hard because the wrong seems to be much easier than the right and it really should be the other way around. With them learning that they can begin to trust in themselves and to find happiness within them and not within this world. For them to understand that it will not take the rest of their life to change and it will only take months; and to know that it is better to take those months to find happiness instead of living with misery and confusion of how to better themselves and their life for the rest of their lives. That they can become whole within themselves early in life and not at the later years of life.

6.   What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

I have always known ever since I was a young girl that I was special and that I was here to help people. I could see and feel others pain within my soul. When others would do cruel actions that caused hurt to another, I seemed to know the answers and exactly how to respond to bring comfort in the hearts of those in pain or struggling. Even as a young child I always knew the answers between right and wrong and followed upon that intuitive guidance.

I love to help people! It is in my soul to bring peace and love to anyone who wants not to live a life of pain and confusion. I love seeing the peace and comfort in their eyes when they start to heal from their hurt and understanding of the hurt they caused. I love making this world a better place for us all.

My most recent book is called Days Go By, Not Love.  It was published by Tate Publishing and released on May 11, 2010. www.DaysGoByNotLove.com

Days Go By, Not Love is a spiritual self-help book that helps you identify the beginning steps to changing your life. It is a book that helps you find the inner and true you: fully. It helps you see the wrongs that not only others are doing but it helps you see your wrongs that you are committing. It gives you the answers to help you change those actions and live your life with more beauty and less cruelty. This book helps you open your eyes to what you have not seen within yourself. It is a book about how to love you right and others right. It brings insight to a deeper meaning of the word love.

7.   Is your book Days Go By Not Love part of a series, if so, when do you plan to release the next issue?

I am finishing the second book of the Days Go By, Not Love four-book series now and getting it ready for review from publishers with the intention of having it out by the end of this year. This book will be the continuing knowledge in your steps of change, while bringing more insight at a deeper depth of knowledge.

8.   Where can our readers buy the book?

My book is available in all major book stores and online. However, when you purchase my book through Amazon and enter in your Amazon order confirmation # on my website www.daysgobynotlove.com you will immediately be able to download Thousands of Dollars in FREE Bonus Gifts from world renowned leaders, experts and best-selling authors in the field of self-help, inspiration, spirituality, health-wellness and more…

Posted in Grief Resources, Inspiration, Love, Virtual Book Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Michael Corrigan, Author of A Year and a Day

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on June 4, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour. 

Today we Welcome Michael Corrigan, the author of  “A Year and a Day”. Michael’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a widower heal after the loss of a spouse.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

“A Year and a Dayis featured on our Helpful Books page under Loss of a Spouse.

And now our interview with Michael Corrigan: 

1. What inspired you to write the book “A Year and a Day”?
My therapist knew I was a writer and thought keeping a journal would help put the grief in context. It helps to confront grief and take away its power.  I was surprised to find very few men who sought help for grief; in fact,  many considered it ‘unmanly.’ It’s the so called strong silent type that often commits suicide.

2. How did losing your wife change your life?
Karen was a lovely person, so deserving of more years, so it’s a devastating experience that darkens one’s world. It starts with a shock but then the reality sets in, and there’s a terrible emptiness and feeling of loss. I felt like I would serve a life sentence of grief. The passage of time meant little, and grief goes in cycles. With time, however, grief can lose its sting.

3. How is the death of a spouse different from divorce?
Divorce is often mutually agreed upon. Divorce indicates something is wrong with the relationship. Death is brutal and often A Year and a Dayunexpected, and can affect couples who are happy.

4. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss of a spouse?
Use one’s friends, get involved in projects, even volunteer work, and always seek professional counseling.

5. Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process?
I had friends take me out to dinner or plays, and one friend came by once a week to play music. It did help. One needs distractions. Eventually, the counselor, Tanya Forsman, suggested I seek a partner and that included websites for dating. That was after a year and a half. Before that, dating would have been impossible. I believe there should be at least a year of facing the grieving process.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your wife?
I felt everyone acted appropriately. I had problems with some friends who pretended it never happened, but I wanted to talk about Karen. It’s a common misconception: don’t mention the lost loved one for fear of hurting someone’s feeling.

7. 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 one that has lost a spouse?
Offer your services and presence, and be willing to discuss the person lost to the bereaved. Some offered me grief books that did help.

8. What is one thing you would like your readers to take away from your book?
Some of the raw emotions in the journal disturb me now, because I have moved beyond that point, but I hope it is a tribute to Karen and it also teaches the reader they are not alone. We will all go through the grief process if we live along enough. Joan Didion discusses that in her book.

9. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?
The book was written as a way to communicate with and remember Karen and to face the daily grind of grief and loss. I hope my book celebrates Karen Lea Smith Corrigan.

10. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?
I am a writer and I have written and published six books and many articles. I have written two books about the Irish American experience. Four of my books, including the grief journal, are on Kindle. I certainly will continue writing. It is what I do.
You can find me on Amazon and at Author’s Den.

Posted in Grief Resources, Loss of a Spouse, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Chelsea Hanson, Author of the Sympathy Matters Collection

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on May 23, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we Welcome Chelsea Hanson, the author of the Sympathy Matters Collection. Chelsea’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a grieving loved one.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

1. What inspired you to write the Sympathy Matters Collection?

The Sympathy Matters Collection started as a simple poem of comfort. When my mother, Donna, passed away unexpectedly right before Christmas in 1996, I knew that my family and the holidays would never be the same. To help with my grief, I wrote a poem, Hello from Heaven, to express what I thought my mother would want to say to us after she arrived in heaven.

Over time, I would enclose the poem in sympathy gifts for others. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and after many requests, I decided to publicly share this message, so I published my first gift book, Hello from Heaven.

As time passed, I was inspired to create more gift books to comfort others in their time of need, including Forever in My Heart, Merry  Christmas from Heaven Above, If Only I Knew and Choose Hope.

The collection of gift books from http://www.Sympathymatters.com has comforted people across the country and has been used by grief support groups, hospice and funeral home professionals.

But the gift books were just the beginning. As I continued to recognize the need for support at time of loss, With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes was founded. This is a site that provides gifts to express your sympathy with care as well as provide keepsakes to honor your precious loved one.

2. Is there any one thing that your family or friends did for you that assisted you through the grieving process? (i.e. a special card someone sent you, a favorite place they took you, listened when you needed support, etc.)

Just this last Christmas, my mother-in-law, LaVon, sent me a floral holiday bouquet that said, “Thinking about you at this time of the year,” to express her care. My mother, Donna, passed away over 14 years ago right before Christmas. Thus, it meant so much that LaVon acknowledged the anniversary of my mother’s death and provided support at Christmas time, which is typically a difficult time of the year for those who have lost someone.

As evidenced by this example, grieving people still need messages of sympathy for years to come after a death, especially on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. You are not reminding them of their loss when you send a card or do something extra on these days. Instead, you are offering comfort and support that may still be needed. Remember, you can express your support at anytime to the bereaved.

It is also important to acknowledge the anniversary of the death. This is a hard day for anyone who is grieving, so your extra support on this day can be helpful. Communicate that you remember the date by calling, sending flowers, writing a note or what feels right to you.

3. 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 top three suggestions on how to positively support a loved one that is grieving?

1. Reminisce. Continue to reminisce with your friend about his or her loved one’s life. Sharing fond memories is a wonderful way to provide comfort. Remember, talking about the deceased will not hurt or upset the person grieving. In fact, it is just the opposite, your friend will appreciate that you are talking about their loved one. Please know that it is okay to talk about someone who passed away, and it is helpful to use the deceased’s name in conversations.

2. Be yourself. Speak in a way and behave in a way that is natural for you. Continue the same relationship you had before: close friend, acquaintance, friendly neighbor, or work buddy. Offer help only if you are able to follow through, and in a way that makes sense in your life. Can you drive the carpool? Offer to drop off a meal? Mow the lawn once a week without even knocking on the door? Take the kids on a play date for the afternoon?

3. Learn about and understand grief. To understand what you friend is going through, do your best to learn about grieving. Everyone grieves differently, and there is no timetable on grief. By having an understanding of the process, you will have more compassion and be able to support your friend. Being a friend to the grieving will not always be easy. Your friend has changed and will continue to change as he or she journeys through grief. Your gift of support, however, will always be remembered and cherished by your friend.

4. You have a series of books (Hello from Heaven, Forever in My Heart, Merry Christmas from Heaven Above, If Only I Knew, and Choose Hope), do you suggest that readers read them in a certain order or do they individually stand alone.

Each book provides a separate message of healing and comfort to those traveling through grief.
Hello from Heaven can be given at any time during the healing process, but it is particularly helpful at time of loss.
Merry Christmas from Heaven Above can be used for the first Christmas after loss or any subsequent Christmas.
Forever in My Heart is especially beneficial on the first anniversary of loss, but can be given at other times during the grief journey too.
If Only I Knew is an inspirational book that reminds us to cherish our loved ones each and every day.
Choose Hope is for families who have been affected by cancer, and provides words of hope and encouragement when facing cancer.

5. What is one thing you would like your readers to take away from your books?
The main theme in my writing is that your loved one is always loving you, watching you and guiding you from heaven. The book excerpts below illustrate this message:

“Though my life is over, I am closer to you now than I was ever before.
There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb,
but together we can do it taking one day at a time.”

Excerpt from Hello from Heaven

“Let your faith be strong, for I’m home where I belong.
Please don’t be unhappy because I’m not in your sight.
I’m by your side every morning, noon and night”

Excerpt from Forever in My Heart

6. What do you want our readers to know about you and your books?My purpose is simple:

To ensure that the bereaved receive the sympathy and comfort they need in a caring and helpful manner. When you are not sure of what to say or do at time of loss, the Sympathy Matters collection can help you. Whatever book you may choose to give, be assured that you will express your sympathy thoughtfully and provide great comfort to the recipient.

My long term vision: Working together with grief support groups and educators, we can teach society more about loss, dying and grief. By increasing society’s knowledge and comfort level surrounding death, dying can become accepted as a normal part of life, just like being born. In turn, our world will become better equipped to support and interact with people that are grieving.

7. Do you plan to write any additional books in the future?

Yes, I am currently working on a pet loss book, entitled “Wags and Whiskers from Heaven.” The purpose of the book is to provide sympathy and comfort to pet owners who have lost a beloved pet. I recently lost three long-time family members (pets Owen, Emma and Fiver). Thus, this book is to honor them and to help others who have lost a four-legged family member.

About Chelsea Hanson
Author Chelsea Hanson has the special gift of finding the right words when they are needed most. Her reassuring words provide hope that you too will be able to journey through grief and find a new appreciation of life. For information on Chelsea’s books, please visit: www.SympathyMatters.com 

As an entrepreneur, Chelsea is passionate about providing grief support. She is the founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, which was developed to help you express your sympathy remember your loved with a special keepsake or simply find additional support from those who have been there. For more information, please visit: www.WithSympathyGifts.com or www.Facebook.com/WithSympathyGifts.

Posted in Grief Support & Holidays, Loss of a Mother, Loss of a Parent, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Virtual Book Tour – – Interview with Pat Nowak – Author of the ABC’s of Widowhood

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on January 22, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour. 

Today we Welcome Pat Nowak, the author of “The ABC’s of Widowhood”. Pat’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a widow heal after the loss of her spouse.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

“The ABC’s of Widowhoodis featured on our Helpful Books page under Loss of a Spouse.

And now our interview with Pat Nowak:

1. What inspired you to write the book The ABC’s of Widowhood?

When my husband was killed walking across the street I was at a loss to find anything that was helpful to read. I was facing emotional upheaval as well as financial problems. Many books that I picked up addressed one or the other; not both. Additionally, a woman experiencing grief needs to have something succinct to read as her attention span is often very limited. My inspiration for the book came from wanting to help all of those women who would experience the death of a spouse and find themselves in the same predicament.

2. How did losing your husband change your life?

After the devastation of losing my husband and eighteen days later our home in a fire, I made the mistake of trying to do too much too soon and insisted on becoming the rock for my children to rely on. Instead of taking care of myself I did not want them to sufferThe ABC's of Widowhood so I overextended; sleeping very little and working non-stop. I learned that I am no good to anyone if I did not stop and listen to my needs. I have since learned the importance of taking time for myself.

I also learned that a woman MUST learn to be financially savvy for her survival. Even today too many women are not vigilant about finances. This spells disaster when there is a death; I learned the hard way but it need not happen.

3. How is the death of a spouse different from divorce?

Death and divorce are similar from an emotional standpoint as you grieve for a spouse that is no longer in the picture. Death, however, is final and many women, after a period of time, begin a new journey and achieve a complete life change. A divorce often means that compromise is necessary as you navigate through childcare, financial and living arrangements that will continue on for years. It is often difficult for a woman to move on after a divorce but in both cases there is a world of new opportunity if a woman listens to her heart and pushes aside the hurt. Once that happens, many women discover happiness that helps them regain their self-confidence and uncovers a wealth of prospects.

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

My family and friends did not desert me. Often after a death or divorce female friends, who are still married, might feel that you are a competitor and couples begin to drift away. This is hurtful to the person grieving. The support my friends showed me during that time helped me through those times when I was overwhelmed.

5. 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 one that has lost a spouse?

Family and friends can make the difference in the life of someone who is grieving. Call, stop by and make it a point to be engaged with someone who has lost a loved one. Show up unexpectedly with a cup of coffee and just be there to listen.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your husband?

My friends often were over vigilant not wanting me to feel the hurt. Unfortunately everyone has to go through the grief process in their own way and time. Occasionally I had to push back in order to make my own decisions; right or wrong.

7. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss of a spouse?

The first thing anyone dealing with grief needs is an attitude adjustment. It is necessary to revitalize and embrace a newfound self-confidence. Even though the prospect of striking out on a path, chosen only by you, is continually daunting you must make it a point to try new things daily. By getting out of the same routine you will see amazing activities and events just waiting to happen. As your self-esteem soars you will know that it is now up to you to plan for your happiness. When you embrace the new changes you are free to let go of the past and proceed easily on to your future.

The next is balance and that has to come from within. Mental and financial balance is essential if you are to meet the challenges of facing life. You need to learn, earn and stop the yearning for balance to work. Learning from professionals what you need to go forward can solve problems easily. An accountant, attorney, and financial experts can help you with any necessary decisions for your future well-being.

Your mental balance may take a bit longer to achieve. When you spend so much time with a significant other your personalities become fused. The slow and rigorous ritual of becoming whole again will take many tears, embracing family and friends for a support system and taking small steps back into life.

The last need is courage; the inner strength that allows you to wake up each morning and get out of bed, even with tears streaming from your eyes. It is the firm determination to get going when all you would like to do is crawl in a hole. Courage will be tested each day as you relearn to live as one in a society meant for two but it is also the tenacity that will make you succeed.

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

It is a simple and sobering fact. Most are unprepared for death, divorce or a debilitating illness, yet this need not happen. Being prepared is the one thing all women can do early in their relationship to insure that plans for their financial destiny and emotional well-being are taken care of.

Additionally, after the death of a spouse there are many assets you will acquire on your life journey. You have the opportunity to choose the way you want to live, the activities that will excite you and the numerous avenues for exploration. Every day will be a new test of strength, fortitude and determination but most who lose a spouse can find their way if they embrace the changes with clarity and hopefulness.

9. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

My personal goal after healing was to write a book that everyone who loses a spouse could read before or after the death to help them through the transition. The ABC’s of Widowhood is my voice of experience and my new beginning to share what I discovered along the way. I realized the most important lesson is that all women must have faith to know that they have the free will to pursue a vision of freedom and spiritual awakening…and the journey can be astonishing if you let it.

10. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?

At the present time I am thinking about writing a book on generational assistance for women; condensing what I know with assistance from others.

About Pat Nowak

People who become suddenly single, whether through divorce or widowhood, can rely on Pat Nowak for comfort and assistance. A nationally renowned speaker and author, Pat Nowak is a life coach on overcoming the emotional trauma of divorce and widowhood, an expert in handling financial affairs, and a motivator to change your life one day at a time.

Connect to Pat Nowak, the author of The ABCs of Widowhood, at http://www.abcsofwidowhood.com. Books are available at http://www.amazon.com

Grief Support Resources: http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/grief_support_groups.html

Posted in Loss of a Spouse, Virtual Book Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Catherine Greenleaf – Author of Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on January 15, 2011

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we Welcome Catherine Greenleaf, the author of “Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide”. Catherine’s interview offers many insights and practical suggestions on how to assist a loved one that is a suicide loss survivor.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences with grief and the healing process in the comment section below.

“Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide” is featured on our Helpful Books page under Healing after a Suicide.

And now our interview with Catherine Greenleaf:

1. What inspired you to write the book Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide?

I wrote the book I wished I’d had when I was first going through suicide grief. My first suicide loss was in 1980. While there were many books written about suicide during the 1980s and 1990s, I found most of them to be published by academics writing for a professional audience of psychiatrists. I was yearning for a book in plain English I could understand, written by a suicide loss survivor like myself, so I could read about how to get through the grief. I wrote my book so survivors could identify the stages, or passages, of suicide grief and know they were not going crazy. I also wanted the book to help survivors know that things do get better and it is possible to hold that special person in your heart and still live a happy life. I finally published my book in 2006 – it took many years to write!

2. How did losing your friend to suicide change your life?

I was so young back then. I was in my mid-20s and I had never really experienced a sudden death before. I was devastated. He was one of my closest friends, and more like a brother to me than a friend. I felt like I had totally failed him as a human being, that I should have done something to somehow stop him. I can remember every night after coming home from work lying down in the bathroom on the cold tile floor and just weeping and sobbing. This went on for months. I ate a lot. I gained weight. I didn’t really take very good care of myself. I didn’t reach out for help. I just kept it all inside and didn’t talk to anybody. But you know, back then, Healing the Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicidethere weren’t really any support groups or therapists specializing in suicide loss. Things are a lot different today.

3. How does the death of a loved one by suicide differ from other losses?

Suicide is sudden and violent. It gives you no opportunity for closure. Your loved one is there one minute and gone the next. There’s no chance to even say good-bye. The self-inflicted violence of suicide is appalling, and often family and friends are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, whether they witnessed the suicide or not. Just the news alone sometimes is enough to cause PTSD. Suicide is also considered a form of complicated disenfranchised grief, because there is so much shame and stigma attached to it, and society in general just does not offer support to grieving families. The irony of suicide grief is we are the ones who must reach out and ask for the help at a time when we are most in need of help from the community. I am happy to say that is finally beginning to change.

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

I have to say I am very fortunate that I have incredibly wonderful friends. After the suicide, I had several friends encouraging me to take care of myself and seek help. One of my friends drove me home from work after I got the news of the suicide by telephone. I was so shell-shocked I don’t even remember it, but apparently she drove me home and cooked me dinner! My friends are good listeners. They will let me rant and rave and they will just sit there and offer support. I should add here, however, that some friends will be unable to offer support and may even disappear from your life. This happened to me. Not everyone is cut out to handle the pervading stigma around suicide. It’s another loss, to be sure, but it does happen. Stick with the people who can support you and validate your loss.

5. 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 due to suicide?

Be a “first responder.” Since suicide loss survivors are very likely to pull down the shades and hide inside the house, you be the one who rings the doorbell or makes the phone call and offers unconditional love and support. You have to understand that suicide in the family makes you feel like the whole world thinks there is something abnormal about your family. That is not true, of course. Suicide can happen in any family. But you feel the heavy weight of shame nonetheless. The best things you could say would be: “I am so sorry,” and “Is there anything I can do?” Silence is the worst thing. So many people aren’t sure what to say, so they don’t say anything. To the suicide loss survivor, unfortunately, this could be interpreted as condemnation.

Ask them what they need. If they want to talk, then you can be a tremendous help by just listening. If they just want to sit silently and enjoy the closeness of your company, then that can be just as comforting as well. You’ll want to remember that at times they may not know their own minds. Suicide grief is a form of complicated grief because dying through violent self-infliction is extremely traumatizing to the loved ones left behind. Not only are they trying to work through the stages of suicide grief, they are also often diagnosed with PTSD and experiencing various symptoms like agitation and sleeplessness. They may also have to go on medication for anxiety and depression. There are going to be days where they have no idea what they want, so your patience will be key.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your friend by suicide?

I wish my family had talked about it. There wasn’t even a discussion to not discuss it. It was like a silent, unwritten pact to pretend nothing happened. My family didn’t mention Bob’s name for 11 years. It was like he never existed. There was so much shame and stigma and confusion, the decision was made to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it never happened. I think my family’s reaction is pretty typical of many families today who experience suicide loss. Unfortunately, the trauma and repressed emotions don’t go away. They are buried alive and will come out unexpectedly during another loss or crisis like divorce or illness. I would suggest family and friends urge their loved ones to get help, and start talking about it.

7. What are your top three suggestions to help people move forward in the grieving process after the loss due to suicide?

1. Be sure to find yourself a sudden loss bereavement therapist. Just any grief therapist will not do. You really need someone well-versed in the trauma of sudden, complicated grief. I can tell you Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief do not apply to suicide loss. Kubler-Ross’ created those stages of grief in the 1950s for hospice patients. Unfortunately, since that time many therapists have used a cookie-cutter approach with those stages. I have documented 12 stages, or passages, through suicide grief in my book.

2. Don’t feel guilty if you feel relief after your loved one dies by suicide. Many of us have lost loved ones with brain disorders. Living with someone with a personality disorder, schizophrenia or bi-polar can be extremely stressful. From my own experience, you kind of walk on eggshells hoping they won’t go off their meds and have an “episode.” So when they do die, it’s not that you feel relief because they’re gone, it’s because you no longer have to tiptoe around hoping not to set them off.

3. Don’t isolate. Join a suicide loss survivor support group in your area. Make friends with these people. Go out for coffee and ice cream with them when you are feeling lonely or overwhelmed. Put yourself with friends who validate your loss and encourage your recovery.

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

That my book is strictly for them – for the suicide loss survivor. I don’t go on and on about what to do and what not to do to prevent the suicide of a loved one. My book does not focus on suicide prevention. There are plenty of organizations and books out there addressing that side of things. The big problem is there are not enough books addressing the needs of the loved ones left behind. That is why I wrote my book: to address the confusion, anger, hurt and despair. I want my readers to know they can survive their grief and go on to live happy lives.

9. What would you like our readers to know about you and your book?

I’ve lost three people, the first in 1980, the second in 1986 and the third in 1992. Since I had been through it three times, I naturally started to notice a pattern to my reactions, my grief and what I needed to do to get through it all. I started writing it all down and eventually my journaling turned into a book. I would suggest that any survivor keep a journal. It is a very powerful tool for healing. I tell my journal all my deepest, darkest secrets and fears.

10. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?

I just came out of the recording studio! I have created a CD of healing music and positive affirmations called Today, I Am Healing. The affirmations are designed to help restore a person’s self-esteem and self-worth after a suicide loss. I found a wonderful New Age music composer to write the music. It should be out by May of 2011.

About Catherine Greenleaf

Catherine Greenleaf is a suicide loss survivor. She travels all over the United States to share her experiences with other survivors. Her website is: http://www.healingthehurtspirit.com. You can follow her on http://www.twitter.com/todayiamhealing. You can also read her articles on suicide loss at: http://www.healingfromsuicidegrief.blogspot.com.

Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations for People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide 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 Loss of a Friend, Suicide Survivors, Virtual Book Tour, What to do for someone that is grieving | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »