August 2010 IssueVol 2, Issue 2


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.


I hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of summer.  I still plan to get a last minute beach trip in while the air temperature is still warm enough to enjoy an afternoon of serenity with the sound of the ocean to calm my inner spirit.


This month I decided to share with all of you a memorable story from my own personal life that occurred after my mother passed away in 1993. A Hug to Remember is about my personal journey with the anger side of grief and how I was blessed to receive the gift of compassion at a very difficult time in my life.

What's in your Inspirational Tool Box? 
Many experts suggest creating an Inspirational Tool Box of items that you can use to encourage you and keep you balanced when life becomes difficult. See our Inspirational Section this month for ideas on creating your own Tool Box.  

Each month our newsletter will feature 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,



Chinese Proverb 

"One joy shatters a hundred griefs." Even in sorrow, joy is always there.

In This Issue
Featured Article
Discussion Topics
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Events & Interviews
About Us
Quick Links
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Featured Article of the Month

articleA Hug to Remember

by Lori Pederson

The summer of 1993 was an incredibly difficult time in my life.  My mother lost her battle with ovarian cancer and passed away on July 18th.  A few weeks later my aunt was killed in a tragic car accident on August 3rd.  After a long month of planning funerals and traveling across country, I returned home to receive a phone call from the secretary of one of my mentors asking that I call Pat at the hospital to say goodbye.  Pat was terminally ill with ovarian cancer and only had a few days to live.


After I spoke to Pat for the last time, I had to go to a meeting with one of my students.  In 1993, I was the Assistant Director of Campus Activities at The George Washington University and worked extensively with students as their advisor.  As you can imagine, I was not in the best frame of mind that day.  The student I attended the meeting with enjoyed her ability to get under the skin of administrators and that day was no exception.  Erika decided to be extremely difficult throughout the meeting and everyone left feeling frustrated.


Well to say that I lost it after the meeting would be an understatement.  The minute we left the building I started yelling at Erika.  For the next five blocks I could not stop yelling at her.  I had completely lost my ability to control my temper and act in a professional manner.  It was NOT my finest hour.


What happened next was a pure GIFT.  Instead of becoming defensive or even more difficult, Erika looked at me and just gave me a HUG.  Some part of her realized that my grief had taken over and I was not able to control my emotions at that moment.  It was a truly amazing experience.  Her compassion melted the anger inside of me and helped me regain my inner balance.


Grief can be a roller coaster of emotions that at times can be raw and unpredictable.  At those times when your loved one is "losing it", one of the most incredible things you can do for them is to show compassion by giving them a hug or allowing them to vent instead of taking a defensive posture.  It is important to remember that their anger is not about you, it is about the deep feelings of loss they are experiencing.  How you react can assist them in restoring their balance.


I have never forgotten that day; it is etched in my mind as one of the most difficult days in my life that ended with a HUG that was unexpected and full of compassion.

© 2010 Lori Pederson
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Lori Pederson is the Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website built to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process.   If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family members through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one, please visit our website at

This Month's Inspiration
inspirationWhat's In Your Tool Box? 

Last week I came across Beliefnet's gallery piece on How to Start a Self Esteem Folder, which reminded me of my old Inspirational Tool Box.  Many years ago I created a box filled with quotes, affirmations, funny cartoons, inspirational emails and letters from friends, family and my mentors, and a list of movies, books and songs that have inspired me through the tough times.  


I realized it had been awhile since I used my Inspirational Tool Box, so today I dusted toolboxoff the cover and took a look inside.  I found many thoughtful pieces including the lyrics to the song Love Changes Everything by Andrew Lloyd Weber.  This beautiful song reminds us that love really is the answer.  Hear it now on YouTube.


What's in your Inspirational Tool Box? 
We invite you to share what inspires you and brings you joy.  Visit our Blog to post your Inspirational Tool Box suggestions.

Discussion Topics
We invite you to join our on-going discussions on our Facebook page.  Not on Facebook?  We have also posted our discussion topics on our Blog.  Current topics include: 
Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas
Visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for sympathy gifts ideas for your loved ones. 
We hope the thoughtful gifts listed on our website inspire you to give warmth and joy to your friends and family in their time of need.
Visit our website for special discounts from our Thoughtful Sympathy Gift vendors.
Viritual Interviews 
Posted on June 28, 2010 - Author, Lori A. Moore - Missing Andy
Posted on November 8, 2009 - Author, Jean Reagan
- Always My Brother 
Posted on December 1, 2009 - Author, Marcy Kelly - From Sorrow to Dancing
Posted on December 10, 2009 - Sally Wagner, Organized Peace - Professional Organizer
If you are an author or an expert in the grief recovery field and would like to be interviewed, please contact us at

To order these books and preview other inspirational books, be sure to visit our Helpful Books page.
About I Did Not Know What To & 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 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, reading her personal Blog or contacting her at:
Lori Pederson
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
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 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 2010' I Didn't Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.