December 2010 IssueVol 2, Issue 6


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  



WELCOME EVERYONE!  At this special time of year I would like to wish you all an abundance of blessings and many joyful moments with the people you love.  We hope that our newsletter and website have provided you with useful information throughout the year.


Featured Article...12 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend this Holiday SeasonWe have compiled a list of 12 simple and meaningful ways to support your grieving friends this holiday season.  Never underestimate the power of opening your heart to someone that is grieving.


Do you have a holiday story you would like to share? We invite you to submit your inspirational stories, letters that have reached your heart, a favorite quote or poem, an unforgettable outing, or a book that touched your life this holiday season. 


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.

With Love & Gratitude,


Happy Holidays &
Best Wishes for a New Year
filled with Love, Joy & Adventure

This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!
-- D.M. Dellinger

In This Issue
Featured Article
Monthly Inspiration
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Discussion Topics
About Us
Quick Links

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HelpingFeatured Article of the Month

12 Simple Ways to Support a Grieving Friend this Holiday Season


The holidays are upon us and it seems that many people have decided to simplify their holiday traditions this year.  Instead of spending hours shopping and getting frustrated at the mall, they have decided to spend quality time with friends and family.   


In the spirit of simplicity and kindness, we have compiled a list of 12 simple and memorable ways to support a grieving loved one this holiday season.  This list comes from the suggestions submitted by our online community.  So take a minute to check your holiday To Do List and be sure you have added your grieving loved ones to the list.

1.                  Don't be afraid to acknowledge the loss.  One of the most important things you can do for a friend that is grieving is to understand that special occasions and holidays may be filled with both sorrow and joy. A message as simple as "I know the holidays may be difficult for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you." will let them know you care.

2.                  Listen and allow the tears to flow.  Allow your friend the opportunity to feel all the feelings he or she is experiencing this time of year.

3.                  Allow the person to set the pace.  Grief is a little like a roller coaster with many ups and downs.  Your friend may want to cry one minute, talk about fun memories the next and then the next may want to have some time alone.  Respect their needs and understand that their change in mood is not about you.

4.                  Encourage your friend to talk about the person that has passed away.  If you knew the person, share your fond memories too. 

5.                  Invite your friend to join you for your holiday gathering.  As family members pass away, traditions change and a loved one may not be able to spend the holidays with their family.  Including them in your family festivities will help ease the loneliness they may be feeling this time of year.

6.                  Send a card and be sure to acknowledge the loss.  Don't be afraid to mention the person's name or to include your own personal memories of the person that has passed away.

7.                  Visit the cemetery with your friend or leave flowers with a note for the family at the gravesite.

8.                  Prepare your friend's favorite holiday treat or a favorite food of the person that has passed away.  Each year I prepare my mother's holiday cookies to remember her love for the holidays.  
9.                  Create a scrapbook of memories.  Ask friends and family to write down their memories of the loved one that has passed away and put together a scrapbook of pictures and stories to give to your grieving friend.

10.              Make a donation to their favorite charity in memory of the person that has passed away.

11.              Encourage them to take care of themselves.  Self care is very important to the healing process.  Give a gift of pampering at a spa or prepare a care package that includes a relaxation CD, bath salts, and an aromatherapy candle.  If going to a spa is not their way of relaxing, find an activity that brings them joy and relaxation.

12.              Don't run for the hills.  Many people are afraid to be around a person that is grieving.  They often treat the grieving person as though they have a contagious disease.  A true friend is the one that stands by their friend and allows them the space to feel all the feelings they are going through...the good and the bad.


Offering your support, understanding and companionship during the holidays will be a cherished gift.  Be sure to listen to your friend's wishes and do not force him or her to participate in activities that may be overwhelming.  Be sure to only offer your support if you know you can truly follow through. And remember, it is the simple acts of kindness that are delivered with an open heart that are remembered year after year.


"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Leo Buscaglia

This Month's Inspiration

inspirationWe Invite You to Share Your Holiday Stories


Tell us in a video or written story how your friends and family offered their love and support to you this holiday season.

If you have lost a loved one, how did your friends and family support you this holiday season?  If you provided a gift of support to a grieving friend, how was it received?  We invite you to submit your suggestions and stories on how friends and family can assist a grieving loved one throughout the holidays.


We hope by sharing your story you will inspire others to share the gift of love and compassion with their loved ones that are grieving.

Click here for details on how to Share Your Story.

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

FlowerpetalVisit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for more sympathy gift 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.
Virtual Interviews 
Posted on October 26, 2010 - Author, Carole Brody Fleet - Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow

Posted on June 28, 2010 - Author, Lori A. Moore - Missing Andy

Posted on December 10, 2009 - 
Sally Wagner, Organized Peace - Professional Organizer  
Posted on December 1, 2009 - Author, Marcy Kelly - From Sorrow to Dancing
Posted on November 8, 2009 - Author, Jean Reagan
- Always My Brother  
If you are an author or an expert in the grief recovery field and would like to be interviewed, please contact us at [email protected].

To order these books and preview other inspirational books, be sure to visit our Helpful Books page.
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: 
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
[email protected]
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! 

Share Your Story. 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 [email protected].

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.