Wednesday, July 25, 2012

9 Ways To Help Someone Who Is Grieving

 Grieving takes time. The healing can happen gradually. You can help someone through the process by giving them support, but you cannot make it go away. There is no right or wrong length of time, some people grieve and go through the stages quite quickly and revisit them over the years, some people linger over the stages.  
We have have come with a few simple ways to support those who are grieving.

• Help create routines
• Talk about past memories
• Focus on the positive and not what if’s
• Pray with and for the person who is hurting
• Encourage them to get involved with a church group
• As a friend remember hard days or moments of time (anniversaries, birthdays)
• Remind your friend of loved one that it is okay to smile and laugh
• Suggest writing a letter to the loved one, or keeping a journal
• Don’t be afraid to have a good time or to laugh 

To Read More about helping other while grieving, please visit Planet Gift Baskets

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top 10 Sympathy Gifts of 2012

Sending a sympathy gift can often be difficult. Not having the right words, or finding a gift that is meaningful enough can be hard. It's true what they say, there are no words. Sometimes its that sentiment that brings the most comfort to those that are grieving. Just knowing that someone else doesn't have the words either to grieve with you. It's the depth of that statement that rings so true for those in the middle of the heavy grief that comes with the loss of a loved one.

Sending a sympathy gift that is tastefully done, filled with simple treats, comforting poems or books and memorial jewelery or candles can often times be the perfect sentiment. Words do escape us when we or someone we love is experiencing grief. Send a sympathy gift basket that will bring comfort to those who are hurting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Respond to Grief on the Social Media

I've talked about social media and grieving before. My friend passed away and her facebook book page became somewhat of a memorial to her as friend comforted each other and posted memories and photos.
Recently I've had another kind of grieving happening on my facebook. A family lost their young child very unexpectedly. The parents are very active on their facebook accounts and have used it to grieve openly and yet privately. Gleaning from their openness I've been able to share a few social media etiquette points when responding to someones grief on the social media websites.

Visit us a Planet Gift Baskets to read the full article.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reaching out for the Holidays

Do you know a neighbor, friend or even church member who has lost a loved one some time during this year? It seems as we get older it becomes more often that we know them.
Christmas is one of the hardest times for those who have lost a loved one. It almost tops the anniversary date of their death, birthdays and other events. Christmas has always been about family and being together. The loss that is felt at this time of year is deeper and heavier then one can imagine.

This year, reach out to someone who could use a little Christmas cheer. Invite them over for dinner or take them out to lunch. Let them talk about their loved one without feeling rushed. Give them the gift of time. It's just as difficult to take a few minutes in the rush and hustle of Christmas but it will be a lasting gift of time that can never be taken away.
If you know a widow or widower, single mom or just a lonely grandma, bring them over to enjoy the season with you. It's what Christmas means to many and it will mean the world to the person who otherwise would have been alone.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrating the Holidays without your Loved One

This month has been one of the hardest so far as I deal with the passing of my father. The holidays are fast approaching and I just don't feel much like celebrating.
Have you felt like this? It is normal, but it doesn't make it easy.

Here is an article that helps you understand that the pain is normal, but that you can turn that pain into a new tradition that will honor your loved ones memory at Christmas time and throughout the year.

Read it here at Planet Gift Baskets where you can send a sympathy gift basket any time of year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays and Grief

Heading to a grief support group was not my idea but my friends. I didn't want to go, I didn't want to have to deal with all the emotions. Grief is such a private thing. However, I went with her.
The director introduced us, I sat silent. While people talked, I kept longing to hear the words that would bring me comfort. The meeting was over, the director finished with her usual speech about everyone grieving differently, but I knew most of that.
In the parking lot that night I began to sob. My friend, compassionate and sincere, stood beside me with her arm on my shoulder. I'm not sure she spoke a word, words were not needed. It was just her being there that meant so much. I was not alone.

Later as she drove me home I started to talk about the upcoming holidays and how hard it would be. Remembering all the good memories just tore at my heart. Knowing that I wasn't able to spend the last holidays with my loved one pulled at my heart. The harder I tried to remember our last holiday together, the more foggy my memory became. And then I told her those words I was waiting to hear from the support group. "It will get better, the holidays will get easier" I told her no one said it. Everyone should me sympathy, but no one told me it would get easier.
My friend, wise beyond her years stopped in front of my house. She turned to me and put her arm on my shoulder again. Her words did not bring me comfort this time. "It is not going to get easier, you will always hold these memories in your heart and they will come up when you least expect it." Oh, the pain in my heart at those words. Her next sentence did give me some relief. "I will be here for you, and we can remember together every holiday if you like."
The importance of that simple comment has stayed with me for several years now. Yes, the holidays have changed for me, we have new traditions, new memories, but all the old ones are still with me. My heart aches at my loss, but I always know my friend is right there when I need her. She seems to call right when I'm at my lowest, she has sent me cards that seem to know what day to arrive, she has even showed up to take me out to coffee when I didn't even know I needed the break.

If there is one lesson I have learned from this part of my life, it is the constant love and support of friends who stay by your side, each day, each week and each moment that you need them. Friends who love you enough to remember with you and remember you during the holidays.

If you have a friend or family member who has lost a loved one, why not take a few minutes to drop a card in the mail, make that phone call or just show up to take them out for dinner or coffee. I promise, it will be exactly what the need.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Guide to Grief : HospiceNet.Org

Grief is the normal process of reacting to the loss. Grief reactions may be felt in response to physical losses (for example, a death) or in response to symbolic or social losses (for example, divorce or loss of a job). Each type of loss means the person has had something taken away. As a family goes through a cancer illness, many losses are experienced, and each triggers its own grief reaction. Grief may be experienced as a mental, physical, social, or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness. Social reactions can include feelings about taking care of others in the family, seeing family or friends, or returning to work.

To read the rest of this article head over to HospiceNet.Org.

The information on their website is helpful for anyone who is suffering a loss. The death of a spouse, parent or child can be life changing, and grief comes in so many forms. Understanding and being able to identify your stages of grief can in itself be a step towards healing. Hospice was a wonderful help to our family and their website is full of information to help all those involved.

Thank you to HospiceNet.Org for writing this article.