Welcome and please explore . . .
We are deeply sorry for your loss:
During each and every day, may you find hope and health, strength and compassion, safety and love.
Autumn has arrived and we are wondering how you're managing? When you are grieving the change of the seasons (as visually beautiful as this change may be) so often feels like one more endless test in coping.
To help a little bit, following are some insights from my fellow writers and from me. Above all else in our journeys, hope gave us the courage to inch forward into the next day.
"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)
Grief is the hardest work; as you cope with your painful loss, please keep your expectations realistic. If you can be gentle to you, your compassion will spill onto others while it circles back home to you.
Be proud of being gentle with "you." Your grief is a healthy human response to the loss of your loved one. Feelings of despair are normal reactions to your sorrow. Be assured that your grief is not an attitude problem to be corrected with false joviality.
Be you without pretense. It is healthy to smile and even to laugh; this is not disrespectful to your loved one's death, still and all, allow your sorrow its rightful spaces too. While you reach outward, trust that you will safely navigate your grief journey one step at a time.
Take a break; when you can "manage" this, give yourself permission to grab a little break from your grief. Perhaps a soothing walk in nature, or a cup of tea in a comfy chair, a quiet update in your journal, a distracting program, or an empathetic chat with a close friend. Truly your body, mind and heart need a periodic "time out" from your pain.
Ease with exploring our site:
Click on "Author & Contributing Writers" to view photos, bios, and a piece of the Introduction including the beginning of each chapter. Read the opinions of others in "Reviews." Try "more," for 2 free support-booklets ready to print, scroll further for book tips.
Braver than you know;
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?
While you would not willingly choose grief, we would like to help if grief chooses you. When traditional celebratory times arrive bursting to the brim with memories, you may be blind-sided by painful thoughts. Yet, is it just possible that our darkest days can hold tiny shimmers of light if we let the light slip in? "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." - St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Along with your sorrow you have been coping with the aftermath of a pandemic, while surrounded by tragic world and national news. It is not your fault, and absolutely you are doing your best. When moments feel too sorrowful for you to bear, reach out to wise people, wise words, and empathetic quotes. Every healing effort helps you.
Giving back with courage:
Dawn Hembling wrote "Comfort" in honour and memory of her beloved son, Neil Warren Hembling. Dawn confided: "my daughter planted a seed as we faced our first spring without Neil. These words came as I looked out at branches against a blue sky. Valerie commented that our grief was matched by the joy of the recipient families. Her brother was a multiple organ donor."
Barbara, bereaved mom of Nathan, crafts her whimsical keychains from parachute silk, as a tribute to her son. She includes a timeless legend (The Story of The Dragonfly) in each package: "Once in a little pond, in the muddy water, under the lily pads there lived a little water beetle . . ." For Barbara's uplifting tributes, reach out at: email@example.com
Alone: If some friends and family cannot grasp the weight of your sorrow, share how you feel and ask for what you need. Please 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 badly needed and healthy release. Two essential rules:
"Do not hurt yourself. Do not hurt anyone else."
Books as therapy: bibliotherapy can give you reaffirming validation, offering a safe hiatus from grief's bleakest days. Accessible any time of day or night, books open helpful 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.
Life Came to a Standstill: although we do not address the present realities of 2022, we hold out a helping hand for your grief. As world events attempt to overshadow your sorrow, your loved-one remains an important part of your life. Honouring him/her by relaying your personal stories (an integral part of you both) helps you.
Above all else do not give up.
Bereavement support: 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.
Warm congratulations to our recent giveaway winners; your books have been mailed. We value each and every entrant's interest in "Life Came to a Standstill," and truly wish that you all could win. Our Goodreads' profile is available here
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." Open "Contact" to send us a note anytime at all.