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A Guide for the Grieving

Articles

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: Navigating Belongings by Embracing Simplicity

April 8th, 2024
Discover Swedish Death Cleaning, a methodical approach to decluttering possessions with intention and grace. Embrace simplicity and create a meaningful legacy while easing burdens.

How to Support Someone Who Has Lost a Spouse

March 19th, 2024
Supporting a grieving spouse through the loss of their partner involves acknowledging their pain, offering practical assistance, respecting their process, remembering important dates, being mindful of triggers, sharing happy memories, and providing ongoing support.

How to Help Teens Deal with Grief

February 8th, 2024
Navigating the tumultuous waters of adolescence is challenging enough. But when grief enters the equation, the journey becomes even more complex. Teens, who are also dealing with a daily rollercoaster of emotions driven by hormones, stress and everyday teen angst, can be especially affected by loss.

How to Write a Meaningful Obituary: A Step-by-Step Guide

January 5th, 2024
When a loved one passes away, it is often a challenging and emotional time for family and friends. In the midst of shock and grief, writing an obituary can feel like a daunting task. It’s so much more than a formal announcement of someone's passing; it’s an opportunity to celebrate and honor a life of someone special. But how is it possible to encapsulate an entire life and legacy into a few short paragraphs? In this guide, we'll explore the art of crafting a meaningful obituary, one that pays tribute to the unique essence of the departed while providing comfort to those left behind.

How to Navigate Grief in the Workplace

October 11th, 2023
Work is a universal experience just as grief is a universal experience. Yet while the loss of a loved one can impact almost every aspect of our lives, we rarely address death or loss in the workplace beyond paid time off. This makes grieving at work exceptionally challenging. The workplace is often a space where productivity and professionalism are highly valued. However, when a coworker is dealing with the pain of loss, the dynamics can become complex. A return to normalcy is considered vital to the healing process, yet those grieving often experience waves of sadness and despair, and may have difficulty staying focused or feeling social. So it’s no wonder that coworkers often struggle with knowing what to say or do after a team member has lost someone close to them. The key is to stop worrying about the “right” thing to do and instead focus on small gestures that simply let someone know you’re thinking of them.

Navigating Grief Together: A Heartfelt Guide to Helping Young Children Cope with Loss

September 22nd, 2023
Death is a big concept, and our understanding of death changes dramatically during the course of our lives. Babies and toddlers, for example, have no real concept of death, though they can have strong reactions to separation from a parent and changes in routine. During the preschool and school-age years, however, death begins to take on a more real meaning. Yet while young children are old enough to understand what death is, their developing minds are still growing and lack maturity. This makes the loss of a parent or loved one an especially confusing and at times overwhelming experience for young children. Your heartfelt support and guidance can play a crucial role in helping them navigate the complex emotions associated with grief. Here are some key strategies.

Celebrating the Life of a Loved One: 9 Heartfelt Ways to Honor Their Memory

August 18th, 2023
Losing a loved one is often a profound and devastating experience. But even amid sadness, a light still shines to bring hope and comfort. The secret is knowing how to find it. Their absence may weigh heavily on your heart, but there are positive ways to turn grief into growth. It all begins with finding ways to remember and celebrate the beautiful life they lived and the rich legacy they left behind. Here are nine heartfelt ways to celebrate and honor a departed friend or family member, each of which will inspire you to smile in their memory.

Ways to Use Social Media to Remember the Memory of Loved Ones

August 15th, 2023
When someone you care about passes on, there’s never a perfect way to share the news with friends and family, or to keep them informed about the subsequent funeral/services being planned. While the loss of someone loved dearly was once shared via middle-of-the-night phone calls or printed newspaper obituaries, today’s media outlets have evolved dramatically over the years. Social media, including Facebook and Instagram, as well as memorial websites and personal blogs, have made sharing news with a large network of family, friends and acquaintances easier, more efficient and faster.

What to Write in a Sympathy Card

August 14th, 2023
Finding the right words to comfort a grieving friend or loved one can make us all feel overwhelmed and helpless. While there often isn’t anything we can do to directly alleviate their emotional distress, the simple act of showing someone they aren’t alone by sending a card with a thoughtful sympathy message or a meaningful gift can play an important role in their grieving process. While striving to get every word perfectly “right” may seem like a daunting task, taking a moment to simply “write” what is on your mind and in your heart has an immense power to lift others up.

Art Heals: How to Incorporate Creativity into the Grieving Process

July 26th, 2023

“Art is a wound turned into light.” – Georges Braque

The act of creating art has demonstrated powerful healing benefits for nearly as long as recorded human history. From hieroglyphic drawings of an imagined afterlife and music-filled funeral processions in ancient Egypt to the colorful costumes and skulls of Dia de los Meurtos that celebrate long-awaited reunions with the dead, art has served as a tribute to lost loved ones spanning global cultures as well as time.

How to Support a Grieving Friend or Family Member

July 26th, 2023
The death of a loved one can elicit a wide range of intense and complicated emotions that vary from person to person. These feelings include everything from trauma and sadness to anger and depression. The feelings a grieving friend or family member may experience depend on several factors. These include resilience levels and the ability to handle stress, deeply held religious beliefs that may provide comfort or deepen despair, an ability to regulate emotions and how attached they were to the departed. Most of all, how someone experiencing loss reacts to and navigates the grieving process ultimately depends on their support system – the friends, family and coworkers who surround them.

Understanding Grief: Why It Takes Time to Heal

June 15th, 2023
The loss of a loved one can be one of life’s most painful and profound experiences. The void that’s left behind when a close friend or family member dies often seems insurmountable. The coping process can seem all-consuming, but you can find light again. The journey to healing is unique to each individual, but one thing stands true for everyone: it takes time. You must be patient with yourself.

7 Meaningful Ways to Commemorate the Anniversary of a Loss

June 15th, 2023
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been an entire year since the loss of a loved one. Even when grief seems to have subsided and healing has steadily progressed, the anniversary since the passing of a close friend or family member can trigger intense feelings and vivid memories.

In Lieu of Flowers: The Power of Memorial Donations

June 15th, 2023
While flowers and casseroles are almost always appreciated, one of the most powerful and lasting ways to honor the life of a loved one who has passed away is through a memorial donation. A donation can be as small or as large as you want it to be, and can go directly to the family, a local organization or a recognized nonprofit.

Music Heals: 20 Songs to Play at the Service

June 15th, 2023
As anyone who has teared up during a memorial slide show knows, a song can make a lifetime of memories come alive. Music can take you back to a special place and time, like the last concert you saw together or the first dance from a wedding day. Lyrics can define an entire life in a just a few words, provide comfort and solace in the midst of grief, and even represent a cause or belief that your departed loved one cared about deeply.

Birthdays, Christmas and More: How to Survive the First Year without a Loved One

June 15th, 2023
The days and weeks after the loss of a loved one are often met with a whirlwind of support and activity. Friends and family rally with condolences, phone calls, casseroles and other gestures of support. And throughout it all, services must be planned. But then the activity subsides, and the grieving process often becomes lonelier and more intense, especially on milestone dates like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Celebration of Life Invitations: Who to Invite and What to Write

June 15th, 2023
Celebrating the life of a loved one marks a special opportunity to honor the recently departed. Processing loss is difficult, but bringing friends and family together to honor and celebrate their legacy can elicit fond memories, help the healing process and strengthen personal connections.

Making a Memory Box: Create a Collection of Sympathy Keepsakes

June 15th, 2023
A loved one may be gone, but so much of them is still with you. A memorial memento box is a perfect way to honor the memories you can still touch and hold, preserving the keepsakes that will serve as cherished reminders of a loved one’s life and legacy for years to come.

Ideas for Creating a Peaceful (and Inviting) Memorial Garden

June 15th, 2023
Memorial gardens serve as sanctuaries of remembrance, offering solace and providing a serene environment for reflection and healing. Creating a memorial garden is a heartfelt endeavor that requires careful thought and planning. By incorporating elements of nature, your own personal touches and symbolic tributes, here are some memorial garden ideas to create a serene and inviting space that honors a friend or family member no longer with you.

Coping with the Loss of a Pet: How to Help a Grieving Pet Parent

June 15th, 2023
For many devoted pet parents, losing a beloved pet is as intensely devastating as losing a close friend or family member. Yet while they may feel overwhelmed by loss and sadness after the death of a pet, grieving owners are often faced with “just a dog” or “just a cat” societal expectations to hide their grief and carry on.

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