December 2011 IssueVol 3, Issue 6


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  




WELCOME EVERYONE! We are grateful to have you be a part of our online community.


We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with love, joy, good health and prosperity. 

This month I would like to dedicate our newsletter to my boyfriend's mother Kay, who passed away on December 1st. Kay will be deeply missed by her family and friends.


Featured Article...Helping Children Grieve during the Holidays by Miri Rossitto founder of Valley of Life memorial website and author of A Guide to Children and Grief. The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for children who are grieving.  Miri's article offers several useful suggestions on how to assist a grieving child express their feelings of sadness as well as honor the memory of the loved one that passed away.


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 an inspirational 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. We would love to hear from you.


With Love and Gratitude, 




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


Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!

~ Amanda Bradley ~


In This Issue
Featured Article
Children & Grief
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Virtual Book Tour
Quick Links

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Featured Article of the Month

FeaturedHelping Children Grieve during the Holidays


The holidays can be a difficult time for children who are grieving. Not only do memories of lost loved ones tend to surface at this time, but children may not know how (or feel able) to express their pain during a time that's supposed to be joyful. It's up to the adults in these children's lives to help them bring their feelings out into the open.


The most important thing when celebrating the holidays during a time of grief is not to pretend nothing has changed. Instead, embrace the loss with open arms and allow it to become a part of your holiday celebrations.


Talk, Talk, Talk 

Enough cannot be said about the importance of simply talking to children about their grief. Talk about the departed loved one. Give children a chance to share their feelings, stories and favorite holiday memories. Discuss your plans for the holidays, and talk about how things will be different this year. For kids who have trouble expressing their feelings verbally, give them a chance to draw or journal about their grief. By broaching the subject yourself, you give kids permission to talk about it and prevent it from becoming taboo.


It's okay if you choke up or have trouble talking about it yourself. It's okay to let children see that you're
sad, too. By letting your own feelings out, you're modeling healthy behavior for them and sending the message that grief isn't something to fear - nor is it something to cling to.


Don't Overdo It 

The stress of the holidays can be overwhelming, especially when you're grieving. You - and the children in your life - may need extra rest at this time. Participate in the holidays as much as you can, but don't be afraid to set limits. Be flexible, and don't place too many demands on children or yourself. Always have an escape plan if things become too difficult to manage.


By the same token, don't be alarmed when children act as if nothing is wrong. Children grieve differently than adults. While they will certainly experience intense emotions during the holidays, and may act depressed or upset sometimes, they also need to take breaks from their grieving and spend time just being kids. It's perfectly normal for bereaved children to experience bouts of laughter and play; these are moments for rejoicing.


Examine Old and New Traditions 

The holidays are laden with tradition for many families. When a loved one dies, cherished traditions are often broken or irreparably altered - especially those that were created or maintained by the deceased. For children, losing the comfort of these traditions can sap the holidays of their magic.


While maintaining traditions as much as possible can help comfort children in their time of grief, it's also healthy to allow old traditions to transform in order to suit the family's changing needs. Have a meaningful conversation with the child about which traditions to keep, which may need to be modified, and what new traditions you'd like to create. Creating new traditions for the holidays can help strengthen family bonds and reinforce the child's sense of security in the wake of a loss.


Create a Holiday Tribute 

A wonderful way to keep a lost loved one alive during the holidays is to create a new tradition or tribute in his or her memory. This lets children know it's okay to carry the departed with them as they celebrate. For example:


Hang a special ornament.  Help the child pick out or make a special ornament for the loved one. Once the tree has been decorated, ceremoniously give the ornament a place of honor on the tree. 


Take to the kitchen.  Help the child cook a special holiday dish in honor of the lost loved one - it could be a favorite dessert or side dish. You can even set a place at the table for the missing family member.


Carry a memento.  Let the child carry a picture or other reminder around in order to feel closer to the person. Give the child a loved one's shirt or other article of clothing to sleep in.


Do something for others.  Helping others reminds us of our own blessings. Adopt a needy family for Christmas; invite someone over who would otherwise be alone; make cookies for a local nursing home; or help feed the hungry at a homeless shelter.


There are many other ways to memorialize a loved one during the holidays. Light a special candle at the table, create a memorial wreath, make a collage - whatever reminds the child of the loved one. The more positive holiday memories you create, the less room there will be for grief.


2011 Miri Rossitto

About Miri Rossitto

Valley of Life is an online memorial website dedicated to preserving and celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on. Miri Rossitto started the website in 2006 after losing her own mother. She believed that the internet needed a safe and respectful destination where people could grieve in whatever manner they chose. Valley of Life is quickly growing into one of the largest resource providers of end of life care and Miri looks very forward to connecting with many more people seeking comfort and care.

A Guide to Children and Grief 

 childrenA Guide to Children and Grief
by Miri Rossitto


children & grief


By the age of 18, one in five children will experience the death of someone close to them. These children need special love and support from their family and mentors in those trying times. It is therefore so important that those they look to are prepared to help them as they wrestle through the grieving process. A Guide to Children and Grief is your easy-to-use resource for information on children and grieving.

Help for Grieving Children of Any Age

A Guide to Children and Grief provides an introduction to issues common to grieving children.

You will learn:

  • How children grieve differently than adults
  • What to say and do to help grieving children of different ages
  • Where to find additional resources to help you and the child

We All Can Help a Grieving Child

Nearly all of us encounter children as we go through our day-to-day lives. A staggering one in 20 children experiences the death of one or both of their parents before they turn 15. You therefore never know when you may be interacting with a child that needs your help.

This children's grief guide can help parents, teachers, babysitters, nannies, friends, and mentors who provide comfort and support during a child's grieving process.

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

Sympathy Gifts


 "In Loving Memory" Pewter Ornament


A perfect way to remember loved ones at the holidays.  A caring gift for a family who has lost loved ones.

Pewter ornament comes with this beautiful verse, which says:

"In Loving Memory"
Even as the sun goes down to end the light of day, It's rising on a new horizon somewhere far away. And through our world seems darker for the loss of one we miss, We know our loved one's life has dawned in a brighter 
world than this.


Click Here for our Interview with Chelsea Hanson founder of With Sympathy Gifts.

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. 

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 [email protected].

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
[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 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.