Posts filed under ‘Grief’

Four Ways to Help a Woman Who is Grieving

,mZNX,

“The biggest help is probably validation without judgment,” (Connie).

Ministering to a grieving woman is a hard task. The emotions are intense. The situation which prompted the emotions is often traumatic. There is no quick “fix.” There are no easy answers. But you can be a resource.

Here are 4 ways to come alongside a grieving woman.

My first action is to show I care. I can do this by listening. Listening well is important for two reasons.

  1. Women (all people really) give up when they feel consistently unheard.
  2. Emotional pain increases when others don’t listen, understand, and act with compassion.

Read What it Means to LISTEN Intentionally.

Listening well doesn’t mean using Scripture to lecture or prove a point. In fact, listen to her story before giving Scripture or adding any other input.

“The biggest help is probably validation without judgment.”  Connie

The worst thing I can do is to not respond. It’s okay for me to say, “I don’t know what to say or what to do.”

I can also show I care by my actions. 

  • I might coordinate a helpful action (meals, cleaning, babysitting, gardening).
  • I might do something myself (send her a note, do an activity together, pray with her).

I must not do anything that would make the woman feel inferior, inadequate, or unneeded. I need to be mindful that what is helpful or not helpful varies from woman to woman. So, I need to ask her.

Second, I’ll encourage and support the women in her grieving process. My aim is to encourage her “to choose completion and recovery rather than isolation and avoidance” (John James).

  • I do this by assuring the woman that she is not going crazy. Grief is unpredictable and it hurts a lot. Emphasizing the normalcy of grief and the wide-range of ways grief can affect her is helpful even if she already knows this. In her present state of pain, this information can bring some relief and assurance that she isn’t crazy.
  • I won’t try to talk her out of her feelings or rush her unique process.
  • I remind her that she is not alone. There are people who want to help her (like me) though this process.
  • And most importantly, I remind her that God is here too. And because of that I am able to offer hope that a better day is coming.

“Above all remember God understands their pain & can help in ways you can’t.” BG

Grieving is a disorderly process, unpredictable in appearance and manifestations. It is hard work. The steps to healing differ in expression, intensity, and time. Because our society hasn’t (as a whole) taught us about the grief process, its wide array of feelings, its impact on our behaviors and body, and the fact that grieving is normal, many women struggle needlessly and far longer than necessary.

Often people are afraid of or uncomfortable with the intense feelings of others. So they change the subject, minimize the feelings and intellectualize the situation. This is done by saying something that appeals to the intellect. To grieve well, a woman in pain needs to acknowledge those losses.

Some of these losses could include:

  • The changed nature of relationships – roles (at home, work, social settings) are now different for the woman in pain. Sometimes friendships are lost.

“I think I alienated a lot of people at work … because I was out sick so much …. and others [had to] cover for me” (Lori).

  • Loss of present income and/or loss of future earning potential
  • Loss of youth, healthy body functions and physical abilities, including clear thinking and intellect
  • Spontaneity – Living with chronic pain is hard work and typically everything needs to be planned out in order to manage the symptoms.
  • Independence
  • Retirement dreams
  • Pleasure – Available time and effort are placed on coping so that fun is often neglected.
  • Satisfying Sexual life – Low energy level and interest contribute to this loss. Also the fear of pain can contribute to lack of sexual intimacy.
  • Positive future plans – often these are viewed with fear
  • Self esteem
  • Identity

“Without question [there have been losses associated with my chronic pain]. I am not the woman I once was, I lack the stamina & strength I once had….check that…it is a DIFFERENT strength & stamina.” Connie

Third, I’ll start wherever the woman is, I don’t attempt to fix her or her relationship with God.

  • When she needs to talk, I listen without judgment or interruption.
  • When she wants information, I have resources to suggest (books, websites, support groups, counselor).
  • When she wants me to pray and share Scripture, I am ready with personal Words applicable to her situation. Some I know from my own journey and some I learn from God as I am praying for this dear one.
  • When the time is right, I share the hope and insights I’ve gained (from God) from my own grief journey.

“Remember pain eats hope so encourage hope but don’t preach (good luck).” BG

Of course, I can and do pray when I am not with the woman. I believe that the best support I can give is through prayer.

And lastly, I know there are times when I need to and should refer a woman to a professional counselor. Some things are behind my capability. And to be fair to both if us, someone more skilled than I needs to take over.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not caring, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares.” Henri Nouwen

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your best way to help a grieving woman? 
  • What was the best help you received when going through a time of grief?

Related Internet Post . . . 10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression

Related Fruitfulwords Posts . . .

. at . Leave a comment

9 Types of People I Don’t Need When Life Stinks

Stay away from folks who try to alter or destroy your reality.  "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin Photo credit: Rough & Ready Media

Stay away from people who would try to alter or destroy your reality.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin
Photo credit: Rough & Ready Media

Sometimes life is very hard and sometimes it even stinks. It’s during this very hard, stinky time that I need to be especially careful about the kind of people I am around. Why do I say this?

Have you heard that each of us is a compilation of the 5 people we hang around most? That is how much influence our friends, co-workers, and family have upon us.

Their attitudes, words, and actions can help us transition through the traumas of life or they can help sink us under the waves.

We have a choice as to how and with whom we spend our time. Below are 9 types of people I avoid when life stinks.

I don’t need someone who will . . . 

  1. POUNCE and tell me I’ve grievously sinned.
  2. QUOTE Scripture as a blame tool.
  3. GLOAT that my life’s use is over because of the situation I am in.
  4. OVER-MEDICATE me with advise.
  5. URGE me to give up on God and/or people.
  6. GOSSIP about my situation.
  7. DESERT me in my time of need.
  8. PUSH substances as a way for me to cope. I.e.  alcohol, sex, shopping, gaming/TV, food, drugs,
  9. MINIMIZE my pain and/or circumstances.

However there are folks I do NEED. Go here to read People I NEED When Life Stinks

Your Turn . . . Please add to this list. What types of people don’t you need when your life stinks?

 

. at . 3 comments

G: Dealing With Disenfranchised GRIEF in a Healthy Way

I think that moving past my pain in this situation will largely depend on my

;'l';l

“No person has the right to condemn you on how you repair your heart or how long you … grieve, because no one knows how much you are hurting. Recovering takes time and everyone heals at his or her own pace.” (found on Facebook, couldn’t find an author)

ability to be real with myself and with others. Finding the right people—safe counselors, patient friends—who will listen and understand is going to help. The love was very real so the pain and the grief from the loss are very real too. 

  • I won’t hurry through it for the sake of someone else’s comfort level.
  • I won’t bury it just because someone else thinks it should be hid.
  • I won’t be quiet just because someone else doesn’t want to listen.
  • I won’t pretend it doesn’t matter, because to me, it does.”

The above quote comes from a blog post from Captain’s Blog.

This post is about disenfranchised grief. This is grief that is not acknowledged or legitimized by society or a group of people who are important to you. I like the four things he won’t do. Sounds healthy and like good boundary setting.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Are you taking the time you need in order to heal from your grief? People might give you a year or two, but it just might take longer, much longer. And that’s okay. Take the time you need. Some sources of grief will impact you the rest of your life. Your new normal will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
  2. Are you talking to those safe counselors and patient friends who will listen and listen and listen? And even if they don’t understand they continue to listen so that you don’t have to bury your despair, thoughts, confusion, and anger. Such people do exist, but you might have to be persistent in finding such a support system.
  3. Are you good to yourself by refusing to hush? When you come across people who don’t want to listen, or cannot listen, do you then go back to those safe counselors and patient friends? Don’t forget that God is also one of those safe counselors and patient friends. And I’ve found that a journal also qualifies.
  4. No matter what, don’t pretend your grief is unimportant or that the source of your grief is unimportant. If it’s important to you, it’s important. Take your time, bring your grief to the surface, talk, and don’t pretend. Do these things because how you think, feel and act are important. Do these things so that you can heal.
  5. If you’d like to share your story here, please do.
  6. Encourage someone by listening intently to them today. “We live by encouragement and we die without it, slowly, sadly, and angrily,” (Celeste Holme).

If you’d like prayer, I’d be honored to pray for you. I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in the Person who gives prayer that power, the tribune God.

Related Posts . . . 

NOTE: This post is written for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. There are 22 categories and my category is MI = Miscellaneous.
During the month of April I will post 26 times finishing up posts that have been in my draft fie for at least a year. For a list of all the posts go to the A-Z button on my header.
Today’s letter is G. The topic is GRIEF.

 

. at .

Memorable Posts from 2012 (Part 1)

last yearDo you ever look back at previous posts? I do for two reasons.

ONE. To remind myself of what happened in a certain year, month or week. 

TWO. To remind myself of what I learned.

Like me, are you ever surprised at what you wrote? Once in a while I say, who wrote that? That is some good writing!

Here are some posts from last year that tell a bit about my life or what I learned. I hope you are encouraged as you read.

January . . .

February . . . 

March . . . 

April . . . 

May – Nothing

June . . .

Part 2 (July-December) Coming Soon.

Your Turn . . .

  • Which of these posts are most meaningful to you?
  • If you have a blog, which post(s) are most meaningful to you? Share the title here and I will go read it at your blog and leave a comment.

Related Posts . . .

. at . 1 comment

Two Month Winter Bucket List Check Up

Here’s an update on my Winter Bucket List since December 22, 2012. This post will cover what I’ve done from January 22-February 21.To see what I specifically accomplished the first month, (December 22-January 21) go to this link. 

No frosting for these sit-on-the-rim cookies because I mistook chicken stock for almond milk. The cartons look similar and I didn’t read the label. And for some reason I didn’t want to put chicken-flavoured frosting on my cookies. :)

Baking. Made cookies that sit on the rim of a mug. Yesterday I saw these cookie cutters mentioned (regrettably I don’t remember which blog) and immediately asked on Facebook if anyone knew whether our local Cost Plus carried them.

One reply said “Yes” and another reply said, “Let’s go shopping.” So, we went shopping!

In the afternoon I made a batch of gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free ginger cookies and let them chill for several hours. Last night my daughter and I cut out and baked them. Very delicious.

Health. I’ve been drinking green smoothies every day. I have only missed two days of smoothie drinking. I haven’t lost any more weight, but I am sure that I am getting healthier. How could I not going from very few veggies and some fruits to 6ish veggies and fruits per day just at breakfast.

Movies.  I have watched 8/9 Oscar movies. I am hoping to watch The Artist this week.

Photos.  I have taken a weekly self-portrait. It is harder than I thought it would be to come up with a “subject” for each week. I like the journal aspect of it. I will put this on my Spring bucket list.

Spontaneous Trip. I’ve visited my daughter twice in this 4 week period.

UFP’s. Post family portrait. See last photo.

Volunteer. Teach craft class (with 1 student). I love to check out the blogs which have art projects for kiddos. I do this for the Sunday school and for my nieces. Okay, I do this for me, too.

I came across a post for making a clay owl. One of my nieces had her birthday this month and I knew that her youngest sister (Em) would like to make the owl as a pressie.


I gave my owl to my daughter. :)

Here is the original clay owl post from the 4 Crazy Kings blog.

Em and I had a blast. And I learned from my 10 year-old niece that it’s okay to go with your own creative touches.

Last family photo with our beloved dog, Chip (2012)

Writing. Blog. I posted 18 times on my blog. This does not count the advertising I did on my blog for small groups and women’s events. My goal was 25 times in the 3 month period.

Make 2012 resolutions. I actually wrote these in January, but have not posted them. There are only 3 resolutions, but they are complicated because they contain many steps. I might do a review post on them at the end of the year. Here is a helpful printable checklist for writing resolutions.

I have not accomplished so much this month. This is due to Chip’s ill health and then death (January 29, 2012). I have been grieving for my room-mate, cuddler, and precious fur-friend. I do have precious memories of him. And is probably typical, I have some regrets.

We will see how productive I can be this last month of winter.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you have a Winter Bucket List?
  • If yes, what have you done so far?
  • Or, what winter-related activities have you accomplished?
Related Posts
6 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
One Month Winter Bucket List Check Up
Final Winter Bucket List Check Up
Winter Bucket List
 NOTE: I have the good fortune to partner with Fawnda from Fireflies and Jellybeans for a giveaway of her tote pattern to a Fruitfulwords reader. (I was one of her pattern testers.)  Go to this link for the details. The deadline to enter is February 26th, 2012.


. at . 2 comments

Grief Table of Contents

Actions to Take

Literature
Reactions to Grief
Understanding Grief

. at . Leave a comment

Sending Encouragement to Someone Going Through Grief – Gratitude Project

This November and December I will write at least 36 letters to different people expressing my gratitude. And I want to pray for them on that day as well. Go here for the original post and list of recipients.

Letter Three: Grief (someone going through). Why in the world would I write a gratitude letter to someone experiencing grief?

Many grief-stricken people (myself included) have times of feeling badly for not doing more for the person/animal that died. We have bouts of the “if onlys.”  During a time of “if only I had done more” depression, a friend’s words helped me see the situation more clearly.

She thanked me for the good I had done in the relationship with the deceased person. My actions and words made a difference to the deceased. They made a difference to my friend as well because it was a good role model and it pleased her to see the love I gave to our mutual friend.

These words reminded me that I was a good friend (although not perfect). She further added that the deceased knew of my affections. These words helped me heal from the guilt that tinged my grief.

So today I wrote a gratitude letter to a friend who is experiencing grief. I told her the truth about her relationship with her decreased friend. I expressed my gratitude that she showed love by her words and actions. I also wrote that her example motivates me to do the same in my relationships.

Your Turn . . .  Is there someone to whom you can write such a letter?

Related Posts . . .

  1. 5 Ways to Help a Grieving Friend
  2. Don’t Say These 13 Things to a Grieving Person
  3. Letter Writing Meme Take Two
  4. November Gratitude Project

. at . Leave a comment

Older Posts


Latest Tweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 565 other followers

Pie Record – 55 Pies in 52 Weeks

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
10. Upside Down Apple Pie

Creative Endeavors – 55 in 52 Weeks

1. Planted Spring boxes.
2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
9. & 10. Met 2 more times to make Mother's Day gifts for church ladies.
11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
13. Made Chai ice cream & ginger cookies for India DInner Fundraiser. (Thanks, Gillian.)
14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
19. Decorated my daughter's Christmas Tree
20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
32. Put together a mini teacup pincushion
33. Hand-tied a no-sew fleece baby blanket
34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
35. Glued together a teacup birdfeeder.
36. Designed a diaper bag name tag holder (for nursery at church).
37. Hand tied a no sew fleece baby blanket
38. Weaved 4 ribbon book markers
39. Made another teacup candle
40. Designed and helped assemble magnets for the Women's Annual Tea
41. Sewed 7 teabags for Earl Grey Tea
42. Chalkboard lids for cute jars

Book Record – 55 Books in 52 Weeks

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson
15. Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
16. Wholly Sanctified by A.B. Simpson
17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
18. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for LIFE by Kathleen Chapman
19. A Shorter Life of Christ by Donald Guthrie
20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
21. Carpe Mañana by Leonard Sweet
22. Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
23. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
24. In His Steps by Chalres Sheldon
25. Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit Written & Compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen
26. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom with C. C. Carlson
27. Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning
28. The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik
29. In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado
30. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler
31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
32. Unleashing Your Potential: Discovering Your God-Given Opportunities for Ministry by Frank Tillapaugh
33. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
34. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
35. The Telling by Ursella Le Guin (library)
36. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (library)
37. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (library)
38. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
39. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
40. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhug h
41. The Accused by Nancy Rue
42. Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout, A story of the greatest frontiersman by Stewart Edward White
43. Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker
44. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor
45. The Magnitude of Prayer by Kermit R. Olsen
46. Prayer Changes Things by Charles L. Allen
47. How to Make Prayer Exciting! by Bill & Pam Malone
48. If God Already Knows, Why Pray? by Douglas F. Kelly
49. Praying Together by Rosalind Rinker

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 565 other followers

%d bloggers like this: