March 2013 IssueVol 4, Issue 10


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  


Dear (Contact First Name),

WELCOME EVERYONE! We would like to express our deep gratitude to you for being a part of the I Did Not Know What to Say Community. We hope that our newsletter and website have provided you with useful information throughout the year. 


Happy Spring! We are finally seeing the first of spring here in Virginia. I hope that spring has found you as well. And Happy Easter to those that are celebrating this weekend. 


Featured ArticleEffective Communication Skills During Grief and Mourning Following a Family or Relationship Death by Rick Goodfriend offers several useful suggestions on how to communicate effectively with a loved one that is grieving. 


Be sure to also join us on Facebook and Twitter for resources and on-going discussions on ways to assist a loved one that is grieving.


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


Do you have an inspirational story you would like to shareWe 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,    





Go Forward With Courage
When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
when doubt no longer exists for you,
then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still;
be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
-- as it surely will.
Then act with courage.

Ponca Chief White Eagle (1800's to 1914)

In This Issue
Featured Article
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
About Us
Quick Links

Pass It On 
Forward to a Friend
Join our Mailing List!
Our Past Newsletters are Now Available.

Click Here for our Newsletter Archives.
articleFeatured Article
Effective Communication Skills During Grief and Mourning Following a Family Or Relationship Death

By Rick Goodfriend


Staying Calm When Disaster Strikes

My mom called me that her husband (my Stepdad) was about to pass away. This is what she had heard from the doctor at the emergency room. (He did a few days later.) She was distraught as you can imagine and needing support. As I heard this news, I also lost my calm. It was painful to hear, also confusing, what am I going to do for her? How can I fix her?

We learn in Proactive Communication that fixing is not helpful, the focus in fixing is for me, to dilute the pain I feel. I was in a lot of pain and confusion seeing my mom in pain, so I want to fix her with suggestions, sympathy, and education. What my mom really wanted was to be understood how difficult a time this is for her, for an empathic connection. I realized I was going into an old way of communicating and stopped myself. I went from wanting to fix her into offering self empathy to myself.

Are you surprised? Remember in the airplane the oxygen mask technique, take care of yourself and give yourself oxygen first, then help the others. Same thing in my situation, I needed to become calm, functional and balanced instead of making decisions in a dysfunctional state. I gave myself first aid empathy and was then able to offer the understanding and calm that my mom needed. No way I could have done this in a dysfunctional state.

So before you start helping others or making decisions, become calm and balanced. Decisions and suggestions will be easier and more effective. Here are the steps for first aid empathy. It will be helpful to write this out.

1: Express all your judgments, all the shoulds from the situation. This is a time to be honest and let everything you are thinking negative out. Don't worry, we will go beyond this in a moment. It can be a paragraph or pages.

2: As you write if any emotions develop, write them down. Feelings may be sadness, grief, lonely,exhausted, etc.

3: Also write any values or needs that are not being met. This step is the healing step as you identify the values, The emotional pain will disappear. It will help you to become calmer so you can be supportive. We call it a sweet sadness. You will want to sigh at this point. It is a good sign to sigh as you are releasing the grief. It is also the beginning of your mourning period.

Our values are important to identify as they are life energy, our spirit. During mourning we want to identify these values as it gives us an understanding why our energy level is low. When someone passes away the values that they met also leaves. We must grieve these needs or values. Some of these values are love, security, understanding, integrity. As you do this exercise you will feel the energy come back, all by identifying these values. Mourning is a value that we all have and this step must be processed. It could take a few days or a few years. But whenever you have depressed feelings, identify the needs that are not being met.

In a way we are celebrating this passing as we list the values that they met of ours. We try to be grateful and we feel a sweet sadness, not a depressed sadness. For example my stepdad who was in a concentration camp and who loved me as his own son met many needs for me as I was growing up. He met values of integrity, strength, love for my mom and me, trust, stability, many many needs. As I list these needs I again feel that sweet sadness and now more energy.

This is a powerful technique to regain the energy needed to help others through their grief. You may ask the grieving what needs this person met to them or even try to guess for them. Watch their energy appear as they honor this person.


About Rick Goodfriend
Personal communication skills is never an easy subject, yet Rick Goodfriend wants communication with others to be easier, more satisfying. Mr. Goodfriend is founder of World Empathy Day where you can find many more tips on relationship communications and how to solve difficult challenges. More information is at or videos at

Successful communication with anybody is possible with the proactive skills Mr. Goodfriend teaches. Rick is also a co-creator and host of a television show on proactive communication and resides in Santa Barbara, California where he continues to surf, hike and practice his personal communication skills.  Article Source:


Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

 giftsSympathy Gifts 


We would like to thank our Sponsor for their continued support!  We encourage you to think of the next time you are ordering flowers for a loved one.



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.

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 2013' I Did Not Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.