Welcome; please explore . . .
We are deeply sorry for your loss:
Below we encouragingly share some insights uncovered during our grief-journeys. One of our most sustaining insights was to prop open the door to hope.
When you are grieving there will be times when the ache in your heart, and sinking sensation in your stomach strives to control your whole world. Sometimes, you may feel irrevocably broken.
Please trust that with compassionate help and persistent grief-work your shattered pieces will (at your own pace and time) realign to a one-of-a-kind irreplaceable "whole."
Yes grief remains the hardest work:
But as you cope with your painful loss, please keep your expectations realistic. Be kind, especially, to "you." Your sorrow is a healthy response to the loss of your loved one. Feelings of despair, as hard as they can be, are normal reactions. Be assured that your grief is not an attitude problem to be corrected with false joviality.
Be you without pretense:
While your sadness is always with you, also, it is okay for you to smile and laugh when you can. This is not disrespectful to your loved one's death. The roller-coaster-ride of grief will continue to present many different faces.
Please grant yourself permission to grab a little break from your grief. Perhaps an embracing walk in nature, a cup of tea in a comfy chair, a quiet update in your journal, a distracting program, or an empathetic chat. Even if the tears flow through it all, your body, mind and heart truly need a periodic "time out" from your continuing pain.
Braver than you know;
Speak to yourself with compassion. Trust that with no restrictive timelines for your journey you will find a way to live with your painful unexpected loss. We say "unexpected," because even if your loved-one has been seriously ill, rarely are you prepared for his/her death; truly, how could you be? You may not realize this, but you are braver than you know . . .
While you would not willingly choose grief, we would like to help when grief chooses you. As traditional celebratory times arrive throughout the year, each one bursting to the brim with memories, it is natural to be blind-sided by difficult thoughts of your heartbreaking loss.
Along with your sorrow you have been coping with the aftermath of a pandemic, including tragic world and national news. Remember it is not your fault. And if some moments feel too overwhelming for you to bear, please reach outward to wise people, wise words, and empathetic quotes.
Every healing effort (no matter how small) helps you. Continue to hang onto hope. Believe that you will safely navigate your grief journey one step at a time and at your own pace.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without words-
And never stops-at all-
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Free booklets, book tips, a poem, and memory key-chains please open the drop-down "More:"
Click the option for the booklets Grief and the Courts, and A Guide For Living After Loss. Once you are "there" you can access free booklets, read Dawn's original poem, or perhaps contact Barbara regarding her key-chains. View the ways bereaved moms give back in honour of their children.
Alone: If some friends and family cannot grasp the weight of your grief, share how you feel and ask for what you need. Teach those in your circle how to help you best. It is normal to experience a wide range of emotions including fear and possibly anger. Expression of your true feelings gives you a healthy release.
"Do not hurt yourself. Do not hurt anyone else."
Books as therapy: bibliotherapy offers reaffirming validation and a safe hiatus from grief's bleakest days. Accessible any time of day or night, books open insights as to how others cope. Please explore Dr. Hoi F. Cheu's article on Bibliotherapy in the Addendum of Life Came to a Standstill.
Above all else do not give up.
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." - St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Various communities in many countries offer free support for grieving families; "Compassionate Friends" being one of the ones available in the several US states and beyond. Wherever you live, please research the avenue most accessible and best suited to you. Your well-being is the primary focus of these volunteer based organizations.
In Ontario Canada: Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) is available in several jurisdictions. For instance, in York Region ON (for the past 30 years) Bereaved Families of Ontario-York Region has provided a safe and healing place for those who are bereaved.
Our new giveaway: December 3rd to December 16th...the best of luck! Congratulations to previous winners. We value each and every entrant's interest in "Life Came to a Standstill," Truly we wish you all could win.
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Find our book:
"Life Came to a Standstill" is available through various venues including certain libraries. See where you can purchase, with no obligation to buy, under "order your copy." Or open "Contact" to send us a note anytime at all.
During each and every day, may you find hope and health, strength and compassion, safety and love.