July 2013 IssueVol 5, Issue 1


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  


Dear (Contact First Name),

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


Featured ArticleGrief and Loss - Tips for Helping Others by Judi Cineas, PhD walks through Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief (Denial -> Anger -> Bargaining -> Depression -> Acceptance) and offers useful suggestions on how you can support a loved one as they move through the many stages of grief.


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. 


Website Updates. We are in the process of creating pages that provide resources for specific types of losses. Please visit our website to see how we are progressing. If you have a resource or story you would like to share, please email us.


Do you have an inspirational 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, 






"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."

~ Jon Kabat-Zinn



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 Featured Article

featureGrief and Loss - Tips For Helping Others

By Judi Cineas, PhD 


It is well established that grief and loss present very difficult moments in an individual's life. There is a large amount of literature available to help individuals who are grieving with a personal loss, but not as much information is available to help people help others. During a time of loss, a strong support network is one of the most helpful tools that can be available to the grieving person. Most people who have had to watch a loved one experience a loss can likely recall how difficult it is to be there for that person.  


People genuinely want to help. People also like being able to fix problems, and make things better. In the case of a personal loss, they often feel helpless because they believe that bringing back the deceased; which of-course they are not able to do, is what would fix the problem. What is important for the consoling individual to remember is that although they cannot take the pain away, they can still help their loved one.  


During each of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief (Denial -> Anger -> Bargaining -> Depression -> Acceptance) the individual has certain needs that their support network can help with.  


Denial- When the person is in shock and experiencing some disbelief at what is actually happening, is when their support network is called to action. This stage, like all the others, does not have a time limitation. During this time, there may be some preparations that the individual is responsible, and this would be a time where they may need assistance. This is a time for their support network to pitch in anywhere they can. If an airline ticket is needed, go online and compare prices and bring them best options. If this is the person making final arrangements, they may need help dealing with a funeral home, someone to help run some of the needed errands or maybe some company while going around and making the plans.  


The presence of the support network says "hey, you are not alone" and that is invaluable. Some people in denial can easily go on autopilot. They become superman/woman and want to do it all and sometimes that's how they stay together. This does not mean that they don't need the support; but it does mean that they may need their support to give some distance. So be there, but don't hover.


Anger- This emotion is most likely to not be directed at the people around them initially. While the individual may be feeling anger toward themselves, the deceased, or other higher power, it is important to note their anger. One cannot guarantee that anger will flow in only one particular direction. When a person is already experiencing hurt and anger, this could increase their vulnerability and make them more susceptible to other emotions. The small things, both positive and negative may seem more meaningful. They may be more appreciative of small gesture, but this also means that they may be more easily agitated. This is a stage where they may require a bit more patience than usual. Be there and be prepared to not take things personal. Remember that at that particular moment, it is not about you, rather the grieving individual or even the one they have lost.


Bargaining- In this stage, the individual attempts to barter away the loss and hurt. This stage could be a more personal and spirituals as the bargaining is being negotiated with God or other higher power. While much of that process is internal there are still helpful little things that can be done. Sometimes just knowing that there is support available does help. Being around and being encouraging is important. At this stage, the person may be ready to engage in some life affirming activities, so encourage participation without pushing it. Invite them out, recommend fun things. Make sure the activities are things the person enjoys. As they prepare to enter the depression stage, they need as many recent life affirming activities to remind them of positive things in their life and that they will be able to go on.


Depression- This is very likely one of the most difficult stages to witness, and it's no picnic for the one going through it either. Many therapists have confessed that depression the or at minimum one of the diagnoses they like to work with the least. That's because it is difficult to see someone in such pain and feel like efforts to help are not working. In this stage be supportive, but not overbearing; be encouraging but not pushy. Remember that this person you care for is hurting after having experienced a great loss. It may be difficult to be around them when you don't know what to do, but some of the everyday things from before can help. Try to get them involved with others, smaller scale is probably better for most people. If they show interest in something different encourage that... as long as it's legal and not detrimental to them or others.


This is also a time where you need to be vigilant, to ensure that they are not falling into major depression. It is true that the duration of each stage is different for everyone, but keep an eye open. If the symptoms of depression (including these DSM IV criteria- depressed mood, loss of interest in pleasure, significant weight loss, daily fatigue or lowered energy, insomnia) are still persistent after several months, it may not be a bad idea to recommend seeking outside help.


Please note that the DSM IV does list bereavement as an acceptable period when an individual may experience the symptoms listed above and not have it be a clinically diagnosable Major Depressive Episode. For a Major Depressive Episode to be diagnosed, the symptoms need to be persistent for more than two months. What's most important is that if there is a concern, express it. Explore resources for the person and present them. A therapist may be what is needed to help the person through the emotional healing process. In some cases a life coach may be needed to help them restructure through this adjustment. A life coach with clinical counseling experience would be preferable because they are trained and experienced in noticing certain symptoms that may be clinical, which they can either address with the client or refer out to a therapist for.


Acceptance- That's the ultimate goal. Realizing that the loss is real and painful, but it is possible to move forward. This is a period that can also be difficult because the person is adjusting to life after the loss. Support is key. Being there, and again reminding the person "hey, you are not alone" is what is needed. Depending on how close the loss was, there may be changes to the daily routines that have to be made. Be there. Listen. Validate the person's feelings and concerns. Share and advise only when solicited or you can see how it will help the person. If it seems that the person needs more or outside professional help, do some research and make the recommendations. Just don't be pushy. A therapist or a life coach may be helpful as the persons makes the transitions that are necessary.


Throughout the grieving process there are a few things that people tend to do that may not always be the most helpful, but the intention is generally good.


· Don't tell the person not to cry, to stop crying or "be strong"- Why shouldn't they? THIS HURTS! Crying is one way to release some of the tension that is building inside. In cases where there are small children who may get worried or have concerns seeing a parent in such pain and crying. Instead of telling the person to stop crying, remove the child from the situation. Invite the child to go do something they really want to do and reassure them that mommy, daddy, or whomever is going to be fine and that they were crying because something hurts.


· Don't rush the grieving process. Sometimes people rush the grieving process to "get things back to normal", but once a piece of "normal" has been removed "normal" has changed. Rushing the process does not get things back to normal; it only cheats the person out of the opportunity to grieve fully to recovery. And please under no circumstance should anyone ever utter the words "you need to get over it" or anything that sounds like it or has similar connotation to a grieving person. You don't know what they've lost and you don't get to decide how they should feel or for how long.


· "I know exactly how you feel". Can you recall what your response was the last time you were going through something and someone said that to you? Quite often, it's "no you don't". If the person doesn't say it, the thought at least, comes to mind. Unless you had the same exact relationship with the same person you really don't. You may understand how the person feels. You can imagine how the person feels. You don't really know it.


Remember, the most important thing to do is be there. That "hey, you are not alone" means a whole lot. Help the person get back into their routine. Cry when needed, laugh when appropriate, share funny stories and take the situation for what it is- a difficult moment, maybe even a defining moment; but it is only a moment and there is much life to live after this moment.


© 2009 Judi Cineas


About Dr. Judi Cinéas  

Dr. Judi Cinéas received a Ph.D. in Global Leadership where she specialized in Corporate & Organizational Management. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree, Dr. Cinéas pursued and received a Master of Social Work degree, in preparation for her work as a therapist. She has more than 10 years of experience working with individuals, families and organizations providing Counseling and Behavior Modification services in South Florida. Dr. Cinéas uses a combination of clinical counseling methodologies with Coaching Masteries and leadership skills and training to develop client-specific approaches tailored to the individual and the presenting goal. This method allows for versatility in our services that can be beneficial to individuals or groups seeking personal or professional growth and development as well as organizations seeking to promote staff development and empowerment. Dr. Cinéas' life coaching assists clients in reaching their current goals, adjusting to changes or making needed life adjustments, and prepares them to boldly tackle future challenges and realize their full potential.


Please Visit http://www.drjudic.com for additional information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Judi_Cineas,_PhD



Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

Sympathy Gifts 


angel With Sympathy Angel   


The Comfort Company's lovely resin angel is releasing a dove and features the comforting sympathy quote:

  "Angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hands of God."


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 Say.com & 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 Say.com 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 www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com, reading her personal Blog or contacting her at:
Lori Pederson

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IDidNotKnowWhatToSay.com 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

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