Hurt 2 Hope: Heal the Pain of Loss, Grief, and Adversity - By Betsy Guerra, PhD
I'm so proud of my beautiful friend Dr. Betsy Guerra at Better With Betsy on the publication of her
terrific new book, "Hurt 2 Hope: Heal the Pain of Loss, Grief, and Adversity."
Whether you’ve lost a loved one, been through a divorce, encountered financial or health hardships,
or you’re enduring major change, you know grief. If you are hurting, feeling stuck, or looking for a
light at the end of the tunnel, this book is for you.
After suddenly losing her 3 year old daughter in 2013, Dr. Betsy Guerra met excruciating pain and
hopelessness face-to-face. Her grief journey taught her lessons that superseded the knowledge afforded
by her doctorate degree and decades of clinical practice. Ultimately, Betsy found her way to joy,
while continuing to love and honor her daughter.
Combining her background in clinical psychology with her personal experience and unwavering faith,
Betsy developed the most powerful approach to converting hurt into hope. If you want to learn more
about her amazing Hurt 2 Hope program, visit www.hurt2hope.com for more info.
Dr. Betsy's new book "Hurt 2 Hope" would be a terrific gift option for the grievers
in your life, which might include you.
Fionalees - Rise Again
Fionalees wrote "Rise Again" on 17 April 2020, the day her brother
Carlos Alberto Antonio Campbell died suddenly.
Proceeds of sales will go to Cruse Bereavement Care.
Click the affiliate link to purchase the song for just $1.29:
Follow Fionaless on Instagram at @fionaleesmusic
Bailee Rainwater is a songwriter based in Nashville, TN.
On 11 Nov 2020 she released a touching song called
‘Christmastime (Wish You Were Here)’ that's about grieving
and missing loved ones during the holidays.
It's a magical piece of music that will touch the heart
of anyone missing someone special.
Click the link to purchase the song for just $0.99:
Christmastime (Wish You You Were Here)
Follow Bailee on Instagram at @baileerainwater
Overcoming the Pain of Loss: Surviving the Holidays
Wednesday, November 18th at 8:00 PM (EST)
Dr. Betsy Guerra of Better With Betsy is going to share HOW to honor your loved ones during the
holiday season in her FREE Webinar, "Overcoming the Pain of Loss: Surviving the Holidays",
Wednesday, November 18th at 8:00 PM (EST).
Join her as she shares how she survives the holidays and learn:
- What works
- What doesn't
- How to prepare
- How to honor the loss of your loved one
Register at www.hurt2hope.com/webinar
Can You Hear Us Now? Elevating the Voices of Grieving Children - Special Edition Grief Talk
November 19, 2020 at 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST
Register NOW for the special NO COST Grief Talks webinar, Can You Hear Us Now? Elevating the Voices
of Grieving Children, from Highmark Carking Place – taking place on
Children’s Grief Awareness Day - Thursday, November 19th from 1:00 -2:00 PM (EST)!
During this webinar the focus will be on this special day, observed throughout the nation and in countries around the world – a day on which often-unnoticed kids can become heard for a change.
A day when all of us can take the time to realize how much it can help grieving children for them
to get support. A day when grieving kids can see that the people around them are taking their
pain seriously and validating their struggles.
Register at: https://highmarkhealth.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PG_fv4quTjKQP7vrBpzxYA
World Kindness Day
November 13, 2020
World Kindness Day is an international observance to highlight good deeds
and kindness in your community & in the world. Many people do
“acts of kindness” to celebrate the day. Simple acts like sending a thank you or encouragement card or text, giving a heart felt compliment, paying for someone's coffee, giving someone a small gift, are all great ways to show kindness.
Let us normalize kindness and spread it like confetti everywhere we go,
not just on World Kindness Day but everyday!
How have you spread kindness today?
Drop a note in the comments to share!
Navigating the Holidays While Grieving: A Workshop For Grievers & Those Who Love Them
Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3:00 PM EST
This time of year finds a lot of us grieving those we love. Mourning for those who used to be a integral part of
our holiday traditions. And now with the pandemic, many of us are grieving and mourning the fact that this is
NOT going to be like any holiday season we've ever experienced. These times are complicated and so are
our feelings and emotions. That's why Sherrie Dunlevy, of Graduating Grief, is offering something that can
help us all get through this together. Won't you join in for this special zoom?
There is NO CHARGE but you do NEED TO REGISTER as seats are limited. If you know someone
really having a difficult time, invite them and then attend with them. Sometimes its nice to not
feel so alone and to know there are others feeling the same way too.
Here is the link to register: https://tinyurl.com/NavigatingHolidays
ThanksGrieving - FREE Webinar
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM (MST)
Jennifer Black, of 1st 24 Bereavement Concierge Services, will discuss how and why grief affects us,
especially during Thanksgiving and the holidays. She'll also share some ways to help you cope,
such as implementing new traditions. You'll learn how to be supportive to your grieving friends
and family this season. She'll also share our her newest program with you which is designed to
help grieving women overcome feelings of loss. Jennifer will address some common questions
and answer your questions too during this free event. Please be sure to register in order to
receive instructions regarding how to access the event.
Register at: https://www.facebook.com/events/710569993227889
Loving Your Griever Through the Holidays
November 12, 2020 at 6:00 PM MST / 8:00 EST.
Crystal Webster of Sharing Solace is hosting a FREE webinar via Zoom,
"Loving Your Griever Through the Holidays"...and it's OK if you are your own griever, and you are invited!
Don't let the holidays bring out down. Let's join together for an evening of solace and meaningful
ways to honor your loss during this bittersweet time of year.
Join the webinar on November 12, 2020 at 6:00 PM MST / 8:00 EST.
Bring your cup of hot tea or cocoa and 'Remember. You're not alone.'
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/LovingYourGriever
Motherless Moms Thriving Virtual Retreat
The FREE Motherless Moms Thriving 3-Day Virtual Retreat runs November 10-12, 2020.
This will be a time to nurture self-compassion, honor our mothers and our lineage, while finding ways to
grow and learn so we can thrive in life! The intention of this retreat is to help (re)define grief, normalize
grief, bring the conversation into the open, provide hope and tools so that everyone who participates
may feel their spirits lifted and the isolation minimized.
Mothering motherless is not something we have to do alone. This event is for mothers who feel alone
and/or who no longer have that woman in her life providing words of encouragement and validating the
great job she's doing as a parent. This retreat is a reminder that you are not alone.
Join this amazing community of women who know what it's like to be a motherless mom.
Visit https://www.motherlessmomsthriving.com/ for more information and to register.
Children's Grief Awareness Day 2020
November 19, 2020
Children’s Grief Awareness Day is going virtual for 2020. It is a day designed to
help us all become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the
benefits they obtain through the support of others. Children's Grief Awareness Day
is an opportunity to make sure that grieving children receive the support they
need. Highmark Caring Place has a full day crammed family & kid friendly
activities, inspiring stories of hope, chances to to remember& honor loved ones,
and special guest speakers.
You can tune in LIVE on the @hihgmarkcaringplace Facebook & YouTube channels
as well as the Children’s Grief Awareness Day’s Facebook page on
Thursday, November 19th, 2020 between 8:00am - 9:00pm EST!
Visit www.childrensgriefawarenessday.org for more information.
Grief & Halloween
Grief around the holidays can be amplified, and Halloween is certainly no exception. Most of the traditions around Halloween are meant to be fun but they truly can be upsetting and scary for those who are grieving.
Triggers are everywhere. Decorations and images of ghosts, zombies, skeletons, gruesome injuries, deadly weapons, tombstones, graveyards are all around. It’s a lot for someone who is grieving to deal with, especially
if their loss is very fresh or due to some kind of trauma or violence.
Halloween can be tough to get through, but there are some healthy ways to cope. For some helpful tips dealing with the feelings this day might bring up check out this great article, “Halloween and Grief: Ways to Cope with
the ‘Death as Fun’ Tradition Time of Year,” at https://eterneva.com/resources/halloween-and-grief
Whether you loath it or love, skip it or celebrate it, whether it’s no big deal or highly triggering, it’s all okay.
Do what you need to do for you. Sending you all love and wishing for a day that is gentle on your heart.
ORA Loss & Living Program - Fall Program 2020
ORA Loss & Living Program is an outreach initiative dedicated to helping individuals and groups move through grief and loss in order to lead full, and fulfilling lives. This includes exploration into ways of creating space for conversations around grief, sharing basic information and reassurance about loss, grief and change in a non-threatening, participative way, with sensitivity to those in challenging situations.
Check out their amazing Fall Program for 2020 and share with anyone
you think might be interested in these events.
For more info on their events/workshops or to register visit Eventbrite at: https://tinyurl.com/ORAloss
Note: The policy of the ORA Loss & Living Program is that financial hardship should never be an obstacle to participation. If you would like to discuss options about fees for events (sliding scale, sponsorships, etc.), please contact them at email@example.com.
What if our crisis could become a catalyst for flourishing without ignoring our deep human need for
lament and grief? What if we grant ourselves permission to name our grief and suffering, give it air to
breathe, find God’s presence in our pain, and entertain the possibility that hope can help us heal?
Join psychologists, therapists, theologians, authors, ministers, researchers, thought leaders, survivors, patient advocates, care givers, and practitioners to explore areas of grief, Christian spirituality, and what it means to be tethered to hope that remains. Together we will examine the universal nature of grief, how it impacts our lives in body, soul, spirit, relationships, and community, and the invitation to be formed by Christ in the midst of difficulty. Tethered will not explain away your grief or help you to “get over" it—quite the opposite. Tethered will help you open your heart to grief, listen to what it’s trying to teach you, and support you as you connect with the presence and promise of God while still in the midst of your journey to healing. God cares about you as a whole person.
This is about being undone and remade while staying tethered to hope.
Dates: October 21-25, 2020
Format: On-demand video sessions (Sessions are approx. 30-45 min each)
Cost: Free (Free access ends October 26)
Tech: Watch on any device
Community: Access to Tethered support community
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Saturday, November 21, 2020
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a special time when survivors of suicide loss can come
together to find compassion, connection, and hope through their shared experience. The day was created
in 1999 when Senator Harry Reid, who lost his father to suicide, introduced a resolution to the
United States Senate. Also known as Survivor Day, it was designated by the US Congress as a day on
which those affected by suicide loss intentionally join together for a time support and healing.
Survivor Day always lands on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, as the fall and winter holidays are
often a challenging and emotion time for suicide loss survivors. The American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention supports hundreds Survivor Day events all over the world.
Find out more information and locate and register for your local Survivor Day events at: https://afsp.org/international-survivors-of-suicide-loss-day
The Treasure Valley Idaho's Survivor Day event will be on November 21, 2020 from 11am - 1pm (MST)
This event is for Survivors of Suicide Loss only.
Register to attend at: https://isosld.afsp.org/idaho/
AFSP Support for Suicide Loss Survivors Flyer
'Confessions of a Griever' eBook on Sale for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
Did you know that October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day?
Light a candle for 60 minutes to honor the parents you know who have lost sweet babies at 7pm local time.
Crystal Webster, founder and Chief Solace Officer at https://www.sharingsolace.com/ ,
wants to give back (and pay it forward) to the grief community that has provided her so much comfort
since her precious daughter Madelyn died 10 years ago.
So, the Amazon Kindle version of her wonderful book "Confessions of a Griever: Turning a Hot Mess into an Haute Message (Laughable Lessons for When Life Just Sucks)" is on sale for only $.99 on Amazon from Oct 15th-21st!
Visit the "Recommendations" tab at www.mygriefconnection.org and read the summary of the book there
and click through to purchase or visit the affiliate link at https://amzn.to/2H4Uj3e
Instagram LIVE Event: Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement
Join @my_grief_connection founder, Sara Cobb, and author Danica Thurber of @projectgriefart for a
special Instagram LIVE event on Friday, October 16th at 6:00 PM (MST). We'll be giving you a
preview of her beautiful new children's book, “Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement.”
We'll also be chatting about our favorite grief resources for children and share some suggestions
to help parents & caregivers who are tending to children who are grieving.
“Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement” gives children a way to creatively express their thoughts
and emotions about death & grief. It’s also a helpful resource for the adults in their lives because it
helps both sides engage in meaningful conversation. There’s even instructions to a cute craft activity
that goes with the book - one which kids and adults can do together.
Attend the IG LIVE for a chance to will a FREE eBook copy in a drawing!
The e-book is available now as a pre-release on Amazon and it’s only a few dollars.
It can be purchased via the affiliate link here: https://amzn.to/3lIhVcE
The printed paperback version will be released on October 20th, and if you’d like to get an email when that’s available, you can sign up on the author’s waitlist at https://projectgrief.org/p/kidsbook
Saturday Support with From Grief To Growth
Saturday Support is a virtual drop-in support group designed to connect individuals living with traumatic grief or who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss. Moderated by Dr. Jennifer R. Levin of From Grief To Growth, these meetings will be held each Saturday from 9:30 - 10:30 AM(PST) through the end of 2020.
Meetings will provide participants an opportunity to share their experiences, learn more about traumatic grief, and gain new coping mechanisms and resources to help manage trauma and grief. These Meetings will take place over Zoom and will be interactive in nature (all participants will be encouraged to share their audio and video).
Saturday Support is not a therapy group and is available to participants throughout the United States. Privacy, respect, and confidentiality is expected from all group participants. The fee for Saturday Support is $20 per meeting and pre-registration is required. You can pre-register for whichever date(s) you like.
Register at: https://fromgrieftogrowth.mykajabi.com/saturday-support
I Hate Holidays: Learn Ways To Cope During the Holidays
October 17, 2020 at 1:30 -2:30 PM (EST) on Zoom
As we approach the holiday season we tend to get extra emotional. This meeting hosted by the
Children of Angels Foundation and will discuss how we can prepare for such a triggering season and learn
healthy ways to cope with grief during the holidays.
World Mental Health Day 2020
This year the World Health Organization will, for the first time, host a mental health global online advocacy event. At the "Big Event for Mental Health" world leaders, mental health experts and celebrity guests will join WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to teach us all what we can
all do to boost our mental health and how we can all help make sure that quality mental health care
is available to everyone in need of it.
2020's World Mental Health Day, comes at a very challenging time for us all when our day-to-day lives have been drastically altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been so many changes and so much instability. People, including those with mental health conditions, are experiencing even greater levels of social isolation than before the pandemic. And so many people are managing the grief of losing a loved one, often without being able to say goodbye or even hold proper funerals or memorial rituals.
No doubt the need for mental health and psychosocial care and support will greatly increase in the months and years to come. Funding and investment in mental health programs on all levels is more critical than ever before. For this reason, the goal of the World Mental Health Day 2020 campaign
is increased investment in mental health.
For more information, please visit: https://www.who.int/
Navigating Holiday Grief Online Retreat
Rev. Meghan Smith Brooks and Teri Wilder will lead you on a 3.5-hour virtual retreat experience via Zoom to explore, share, feel, heal and experience different modalities that support the process of navigating grief - especially when triggered by holidays or special anniversary dates throughout the year.
When: Nov 21, 2020 from 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM (EST)
Where: Unraveling Grief Retreat on Zoom
The Do’s and Don’t’s of Talking With a Child About the Death of a Loved One - By Guest Blogger Danica ThurberRead Now
The Do’s and Don’t’s of Talking With a Child About the Death of a Loved One
1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18.
(Kenneth Doka, Editor of OMEGA, Journal of Death and Dying)
Talking to a child about death may be one of the hardest things you have to do in your life. I conducted a survey in early 2020 about parents’ experiences with helping their children talk about and grieve the loss of a loved one. One respondent’s answer was very telling:
[M]y husband, their father, died. Telling my kids was even more painful than his death.
That’s what makes this topic so complicated: along with starting difficult conversations with your children, you yourself may be deep in the throes of grief for the loss of the same loved one.
While I wish that there was a way to lessen your pain, I have found that there are several things you can bring into conversations with your kids to make it easier.
As another survey respondent wrote:
Knowing the right language and having guidance on how to talk about death can help make the conversation less scary and have the confidence the conversation is healthy.
The following tips will do just that - provide guidance that can help you have some structure, as well as some confidence, as you enter the unknowns of these difficult conversations with your children.
DON’T SOFTEN YOUR LANGUAGE - BE DIRECT
“We speak of heaven and of illness. We do not use words such as ‘she went to sleep’... It can be hard at first to be direct, but two years later we see great fruit from the hard conversations.” - 2020 survey respondent
It can be tempting to soften the blow by softening your language (“he passed away,” “she went to heaven in her sleep”). However, kids don’t necessarily grasp the nuances of adult language. For young children especially, it’s important to use the words “dead” and “death” and then to describe what that actually means. For example:
“… explain that when someone dies their body stops working, they can’t eat, talk, feel, etc. That their heart and lungs stop working…” - 2020 survey respondent
My children’s book, “Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement,” portrays this type of direct conversation in a simple and emotional way. The main character, Lulu is eight years old, and because this is her first major loss, she needs to know precisely what death means as it applies to her relationship with her Grandma:
Once a child understands the physical reality of death, you can then explain it in terms of your family’s spiritual beliefs regarding what happens after death.
If you’re facing an impending death, you’ve got a good opportunity to be honest with children now about a loved one’s prognosis. I know it’s hard to be honest about this, because you may be having a hard time accepting their prognosis as well. However, talking about what will happen when the loved one dies, as well as who will take care of them, and then answering their questions, will greatly help them prepare for a loved one's impending death.
“My husband was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2016. He died in May 2019. [A]long the way we worked to be honest with our kids about how serious it was while also not wanting to burden them more than was necessary.” - 2020 survey respondent
Kids though, take all their cues from their parents. While I was in deep traumatic grief, I tried to remain/appear steady for them. - 2020 survey respondent
The concept of death is something that is acquired as a child matures and goes through life experiences. Explaining death using concepts that are either too old, or too young for the child, may cause more frustration and hurt. It may be helpful to research developmental understanding of death before approaching your conversation with your child. Cancer.net has a very helpful summary.
According to cancer.net, school-aged children (6-12 years old) are able to understand that death is final (AKA, irreversible regardless of what they think, say or do). However, they may still think of the deceased person existing in a changed form, such a spirit, like a ghost, angel, or a skeleton. “By age 10, [children can] understand that death happens to everyone and cannot be avoided,” that is, they understand the universality of death. They may be interested in the specific details surrounding the circumstances of that person’s death, or what is being done to the body (autopsy, cremation, burial). School-aged children “[m]ay experience a range of emotions including guilt, anger, shame, anxiety, sadness, and worry about their own death,” and they may also incorrectly assign blame to themselves, thinking they somehow caused the death. Every child will experience grief differently, but some may “[s]truggle to talk about their feelings. Their feelings may come out through behaviors such as school avoidance, poor performance in school, aggression, physical symptoms, withdrawal from friends, and regression.” In addition, school-aged children “[m]ay worry about who will take care of them, and will likely experience feelings of insecurity, clinginess, and abandonment.”
In light of this age-centered understanding of death, when talking to a school-aged child about death, you may:
“Helping them know their dad is still with them, loves them and is proud of them.” - 2020 survey respondent
A child’s sense of security is rocked when a loved one dies. Speaking from my own experience of childhood loss,
I know that children will need an abundance of reassurance in the coming weeks and months in order to recover that loss of security.
DON’T say things like these:
Hopefully you can detect the cringe-worthy burdens lurking behind these words. While these phrases may have the appearance of reassurance, they only serve to stifle a child’s grief because of an expectation of how they “should” or “shouldn’t” be feeling.
Instead, here are some things you can do repeatedly (keyword!) in conversations with your school-aged child:
LET THEM LEAD
“I try to just meet them wherever they are emotionally. If they want to talk, we talk. If they want to cry, we cry.
If they want funny stories, we tell funny stories. I have found in my own grief, that grief is much more bearable
if you’re allowed to talk about it & live in it. So i try to do that for them too.” - 2020 survey respondent
It’s commonly said that a child’s inability to cope with trauma or big emotions is the their mind’s way of protecting them. Children will tend to express their grief in small spurts, rather than in long, drawn out seasons, as an adult would. In between these spurts, the child may seem completely fine. According to cancer.net, “A child’s grief may seem to come and go. And a child may rarely verbally express his or her grief. This is normal. Your child may also re-experience the intensity of the loss as he or she grows up.” It’s almost as if the loss needs to be re-processed with each developmental stage they pass. I’ve certainly found this to be true in my own experience.
DON’T force a child to engage in a grief activity. Have activities such as a trip to the cemetery, a book about loss, or a therapeutic art activity ready to go for when they seem to be feeling sad or when they bring up a question. Let the child’s emotions lead you, but don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. You might also learn more from an overheard conversation during play time, or their recent drawing of the family.
“When the boys were 3 and 5, their brother died as a result of a birth defect […] We learned to be more in the moment when it came to grief for them-they would be sad and ask why he had to leave one minute and then be totally ok the next.” - 2020 survey respondent
WHEN TO SEEK HELP
If you yourself are emotionally incapacitated by the loss of a loved one, it can be near impossible to provide the support your child needs. It takes so much courage to recognize that you need help. Attending counseling and seeking social support from other trusted adults will help not only you, but your child as well.
Pay special attention to signs that your child may be having an especially difficult time coping with a loved ones death:
See source link here.
YOU CAN DO THIS
While you’re the adult in the situation, that doesn’t mean you have to have it all together, or provide all the answers. A listening ear, a comforting hug, and a willingness to answer questions will go a long way towards helping a child cope with the loss of a loved one.
Remember, you’re allowed to grief, too. Showing at least some of your grief in front of your children shows them that it’s perfectly ok to feel their grief too. A family that learns to grieve together, no matter how messily, will be able to help each other find strength and hope as they navigate a loss, together.
Books can be helpful tools for both you and your child. They can be conversation starters, as well as give you a tangible reference point for discussing things you don’t have words for (“remember how in the book, Grandma lost all of her hair? That’s what will happen to your mom soon.”). If you’re looking for a book that can help you and your child talk about things like death, cancer, hospice, or the loss of a grandparent, check out “Lulu Faces Loss and Finds Encouragement,” available on Amazon on October 20, 2020.
Danica Thurber is a professional artist, therapeutic art Life Coach, and art teacher. She's also the art ministry director at Vineyard Boise. Visit her website at https://projectgrief.org/
US National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims
Friday, September 25, 2020
Tragically, each year an estimated 14,249 persons are murdered nationwide, a murder every 36.9 minutes.
Each day we miss and love those we've lost to violence, and stand heart-to-heart in solidarity with survivors. Please take a special, intentional moment on Friday, September 25th to remember and pay tribute
to all who have died by violence here in America, and around the world.
If you've had a loved one taken from you by a violent act and are missing them and holding them in your heart and memory please leave a comment with their name and something special about them.
"So long as we live, they too shall live and love for they are a part of us as we remember them." - Gates of Prayer
GRIEF & SUICIDE LOSS speech from THE 2ND ANNUAL STRENGTH 2 THRIVE WALK-A-THON FOR SUICIDEPREVENTION AND AWARENESSRead Now
My grief connection founder, sara Cobb, sPEaks ABOUT GRIEF & SUICIDE LOSS AT THE
Sara J. Cobb
Founder, My Grief Connection
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For any type of crisis situation you can text CONNECT to 741741 to chat with a Crisis Text Line counselor.
My Grief Connection - Created 04 July 2019
Updated 19 January 2021
© 2020 My Grief Connection