November 2011 IssueVol 3, Issue 5


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  




WELCOME EVERYONE!  We are grateful to have you be a part of our online community.  We wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. 


Featured Article...The holidays, birthdays, family celebrations and the anniversary of the person's death can be extremely difficult, particularly the first year. The First Holidays After a Loss - How You Can Offer Your Support, offers several suggestions on how to support a grieving friend or family member as they experience the holidays for the first time without their loved one.

Virtual Book Tour...Be sure to check-out our Virtual Book Tour featuring interviews with authors that have written inspirational books on grief and the healing process.


Do you have a 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.  We would love to hear from you.  


With Love and Gratitude,




As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.
~Terri Guillemets


May Your Thanksgiving be Filled with Many Blessings!

In This Issue
Featured Article
Be Thankful
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Virtual Book Tour
Discussion Topics
Quick Links

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Featured Article of the Month

FeaturedThe First Holidays After a Loss - How You Can Offer Your Support



The first year of grief can be a roller coaster of emotions that are unpredictable and at times scary. Your friend has embarked on a journey they wished they never had to take and at each turn they find that life has changed and they have to chart a new course.  The first year of holidays and family celebrations can bring a sense of uneasiness and displacement. Everything is new for them and yet the rest of the world seems to have remained the same. There are most likely many questions going through their mind. How will I feel? Will I want to celebrate the holidays? Will anyone remember my loss? If I sleep through the holidays, will it make all the deep feelings of sadness go away? And when will they stop showing all the happy commercials of families enjoying the holidays?


After my mother passed away, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas were a blur. It felt like we were going through the motions but not really present.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays were always a celebration with many family and friends at my mom's home.  After my mom passed away, I felt like I was lost and did not know where I fit in anymore. It took many years before my new life without my mom became full of new traditions.  Having friends and family around helped easy the deep feelings of loss I felt that first year.


How friends can help during the holidays  

  • Respect their decisions about the holidays. Each person's reaction to the holidays after a loss is unique. Some may find comfort in continuing with family traditions, other may wish to start a new tradition, and still others may want to travel and be away from home during the holidays. Respect their decision and understand that they are doing their best to make their way through the many emotions they are feeling.
  • Encourage Simplicity. If the person grieving usually hosts the family festivities or has a long To Do list this time of year, offer your assistance. Holiday dinners can take a lot of energy to prepare, offer to host the family dinner or help prepare the meal.  You may even want to suggest going to a restaurant to take off the pressure.  Holiday shopping can also be stressful, offer to help them with the shopping or suggest that the family reduces the number of presents by drawing names.
  • Help them make a plan. Although your friend may think they are up to putting together all the traditional family activities, they may find that they become overwhelmed in the process. Help them find alternatives, even at the last-minute, should they not feel up to the "traditions" of the season. Assist them in creating a plan for the holidays that encourages self-care and helps them move through the holidays with a little more ease. And if they choose to skip the holidays this year, be supportive.
  • Acknowledge the Loss. Be sure to acknowledge your friend's loss this time of year and don't be afraid to use the name of the person that has passed away. Send a card, make a phone call, stop by with a plate of their favorite holiday treat and remind them that you are thinking about them.
  • Share Your Memories. Sharing memories and pictures can be very therapeutic. It allows everyone involved to share their memories and honor the person that has passed away.
  • Pamper the mind, body and spirit. The depth of emotions that grieving can bring is exhausting mentally and physically. Encourage your friend to take care of themselves by eating nutritious meals, getting exercise and making time to process the feelings they are going through.
  • Holiday Gifts - Should you or shouldn't you? If your friend has decided that they want to exchange gifts, consider buying something for them like you normally would and also include a memorial gift in remembrance of their loved one. A memorial ornament, a scrapbook with pictures of their loved one or a remembrance candles, shows your friend that you acknowledge their loss. Just know that the one gift that they want most in the world, having their loved one back, you will never be able to give them.
  • Ask Questions. If you are not sure what your friend needs, be sure to ask questions, listen and respect their decision. If they decide they want to host the holiday dinner, allow them but offer to help. If they want some time alone, allow them to have their space but let them know you are there for them anytime.
  • Leave the front and back door open. Feelings of grief throughout the holidays can be unpredictable. Allow your friend or family member the space to back-out of holiday activities or join-in at the last-minute without feeling guilty. 
  • The best present you can bring is your Love. Deep feelings of grief can leave your friend feeling lifeless. Pamper them, hug them, love them, and take special care of them. Remind them that although they have lost a loved one, they still have family and friends that love them.


    The first year after a loss is a start of a new life.  Just like walking for the first time, your loved one may feel wobbly and may fall down many times as they find their way.  Have a little faith that they will find joy again - one tiny step at a time.

    2011 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, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created 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 through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one, please visit our website at

Be Thankful

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire, 

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something 

For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. 

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations 

Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge 

Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes 

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary 

Because it means you've made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things. 

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are

also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive. 

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

Author Unknown


Wishing You & Your Family a Very Happy Thanksgiving



Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

Sympathy Gifts



 In Our Hearts Forever Memorial Personalized Oval Glass 

Each memorial ornament measures, 3.75" x 2.75" and includes a golden ribbon loop and Free Gift Pouch. This glass memorial ornament is laser etched with the words: In Our Hearts Forever above a beautiful heart & dove design. Personalize your Memorial ornament with any name and dates.


Visit our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page for a wide variety of 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.


Special Holiday Discounts Now Available on select items!

VirtualVirtual Book Tour & Interviews

We invite you to explore our Virtual Book Tour and Interviews with tips on how to assist a grieving loved one.

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.


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

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 

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 created 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 2011' I Did Not Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.