October 2009 Issue Vol 1, Issue 4


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  



WELCOME EVERYONE!  Our online community is growing and we are honored to have you be a part of the journey.
This month we will be exploring the topic of S T R E S S.  Everyone these days seems to have a little (or a lot) of stress in their lives.  And when it comes to helping a loved one through the grieving process, everyone can start to feel a little stressed out.  Friends and family often don't know what to say or do for their loved one because of the deep emotional pain that often accompanies the grieving process. This can often lead to everyone feeling overwhelmed and tense.
This month we consulted with an expert on Stress, Jill Rheaume, owner and creator of OurStressfulLives.com.  Jill's article will explore healthy ways to handle the little and big stressors in your life.  We hope her article will encourage you to add a little fun to your life.  Yes, fun is allowed even when you are grieving.
We are also pleased to announce the addition of The Comfort Company Sympathy Gifts to our Thoughtful Gifts page.   Renee Wood has created a wonderful selection of non-traditional gift items that we hope you will take the time to explore. 
Each month we will be featuring a new article giving you a different perspective on how to assist your friends and family through the grieving process. Please feel free to pass our newsletter on to anyone that may benefit from our articles and inspirational messages.
Have a suggestion or a story you would like to share?  We would love to hear from you.
With Love & Gratitude,

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish he didn't trust me so much.
~ Mother Teresa ~
In This Issue
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Featured Article of the Month
The Simple Ingredients for a Less Stressful Life
by Jill Rheaume
Stress.  Stress creeps into all parts of our lives when we let it.  We can even be stressed when we're happy.  But when we're sad, stress seems magnified like our lives are moving in slides on the big screen.

And stress will kick us when we're down.  If we're sad, depressed, anxious, angry, or worried, it seems ten times more difficult to get past the stressful events in our lives.  Little things can blow up and seemingly take on a life of their own. They take on our lives and even try to take them over.  And the big things?  Well, we might as well just give up.  Right?

Maybe for a moment.  We are human after all.  But after you allow yourself a five minute mini-meltdown, it's time to refocus and take back some control.  There are very few things in life that we can control, but we can control how we react to difficult or stressful events.  If you want to let these things in life get the best of you, take responsibility for that decision.  But if you truly want to live a happier life, cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to do what's necessary to make happiness happen.

Happiness, and especially stress management, takes work.  You have to be actively involved in your own life. Many people spend a lot of time active in other people's lives and happiness... but what about your life and your happiness?  Who's helping you?  Shouldn't you put on your own oxygen mask before you help someone else with theirs?

I'm not saying you shouldn't help others, but when you're happy and healthy, you will be stronger and more able to make a difference in someone else's life. Life is hard and you need to be prepared and strong enough to handle those tough blows when they come, and you need to have the strength it takes to be there for others when they need it.

So what can you do?

Stress management comes in many forms.  Each individual's stress management strategies should be as unique as the individuals themselves.  This is where it helps to know yourself well and allow yourself to fulfill your own joys in life.
Take the time to do some things that you want to do.  Not what others want you to do, or what you think you "should" do.
It's okay and even encouraged to be silly.  If you like to dance but are embarrassed about being the world's worst dancer (a title I will challenge you for), then do it when no one's watching.  But don't shut down or block any idea or passion just because you're afraid of how you may look or what others may think.

Denying yourself fun and passion in life is a sure fire way to remain stressed and unhappy. But allowing yourself those things will make the hard and un-enjoyable much more tolerable.

If I've learned anything from my years of research it's that there are a few very simple ingredients for managing the stress in our lives.
The first is to understand that effective stress management isn't relaxation alone, although that certainly will help.  Being active and having fun can be just as effective as relaxing in a hot bath.  The second is to keep an open mind, use your imagination and take the time to unwind in a way that only you can choose.  There is no right way to relax and relieve stress.  However, and this is the final ingredient, there is a wrong way to relieve stress. Be sure to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other unhealthy stimulants or depressants.  These things can increase your nervous energy and make it much more difficult for you to recover from stress, depression, anxiety, etc.

And remember, if it's been awhile since you've allowed yourself some fun or relaxation... or if you're facing some BIG obstacles, it may take some time to see the benefits. But don't give up on yourself.  If something doesn't work, try it again or try something else.  Arm yourself with all the tools you can.  Try new things, have some fun, and hold yourself accountable for your own stress management.
Take a stand against stress and take action towards a less stressful life.
Jill Rheaume is the owner and creator of OurStressfulLives.com and specializes in helping people find new ways to cope with stress to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
This Month's Inspiration - Thoughtful Gift Ideas
The Comfort Company
We are very pleased to announce the addition of the The Comfort Company Sympathy Gifts to our Thoughtful Gift Ideas page on our website at
The mission of The Comfort Company is to simplify the difficult process of expressing sympathy by offering a meaningful selection of non-traditional giftscomfort designed to acknowledge loss rather than to minimize it. Words of sympathy do not come easily and comforting sympathy gifts are difficult to find. With this in mind, The Comfort Company has carefully selected or custom designed a meaningful collection of sympathy poems and cards, bereavement and condolence gift ideas with the hope of bringing comfort and remembrance to those who are grieving.
About Renee Wood, Company Founder
Renee Wood founded The Comfort Company in 2000. She is a social worker who lives with her husband and four daughters in Geneva, Illinois. Her work experience includes working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) social worker where she assisted families in dealing with the loss, or pending loss of a child. She later worked as a renal social worker, aiding patients with end-stage renal disease.

She designed her first piece of memorial jewelry after the unexpected death of her sister-in-law's father. Unable to find a gift that expressed her feelings, Renee sketched a teardrop shaped pendant with a forget-me-not flower embedded in the design. She then had the pendant manufactured and penned a verse to go along with it. Late one night, while on the phone with her sister-in-law, the name of a business--The Comfort Company--was created.
Company Founder, Renee Wood was recognized by Oprah Winfrey for following her dream of starting her own business.
Upcoming Events
November 8, 2009 - Always My Brother by Jean Reagan - Virtual Book Tour
Visit our
Blog on November 8, 2009 for our interview with Jean Reagan the Author of Always My Brother.
Always My Brother is featured on our Helpful Books page under Grief Support for Children.
About I Did Not Know What To Say.com & Lori Pederson
LoriLori Pederson created I Did Not Know What To Say in April 2009 as a platform to inspire and provide resources to people that wanted to help their friends and family through the grieving process. 
Lori's expertise comes from those experiences that only life can provide.  Over the past twenty years, Lori has lost many family members, including her mother to ovarian cancer, as well as many friends, colleagues and pets.  She is no stranger to loss and the grieving process.
Throughout her life she has been blessed with many friends and relatives that were there for her as she experienced these great losses. She understands that although people want to help, they often don't know where to start.  I Did Not Know What To Say.com was created out of Lori's desire to assist people find the words when they don't know what to say or do.
You can learn more about Lori and her organization by visiting www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com, reading her personal Blog or contacting her at:
Lori Pederson
(703) 660-8522
Each week we will be adding new inspirational stories and resources to our website and blog.   Help us reach our goal of providing inspiration and insight to the world by sharing your story or resource with our online community.  We would love to hear from you! 
Please email us your inspirational stories, letters/cards that have reached your heart, a favorite quote, an unforgettable adventure, a thoughtful gift idea, a book that touched your life, or a suggestion for our website or newsletter to info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.
If you are an author or expert in the field of grief recovery, we would love to interview you for our Blog and/or one of our upcoming newsletters.

If you have a website, blog or newsletter, we ask that you consider including our information on your site.  Here is the link:
I Did Not Know What To Say
IDidNotKnowWhatToSay.com is a website designed to inspire and provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process.
With Love & Gratitude, 
Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say

 Copyright 2009' I Didn't Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.