Grief Diaries books

Grief Diaries is an amazing series of books which delve into the experiences of those who’ve suffered a loss. The series contains a number of book specific to various types of loss, such as Loss of a Spouse, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Parent, Loss by Suicide and many more. The books provide incredible insight to the grief journey from a first-hand perspective. A box of Kleenex is highly recommended when reading these books, as the stories are incredibly personal and touching. The books are a highly valuable bereavement tool as not only do they offer comfort and hope, but they are an all-important reminder that we do not walk this journey alone. A full list of the book titles can be found at www.griefdiaries.com. Many of the titles are also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. Simply search under ‘grief diaries” and the list will come up. Julie Mjelve, co-founder of Grieving together,  has been blessed and honored to be a contributor to three of the books, Loss of a Spouse, Loss by Suicide and How to Help the Newly Bereaved. Whatever loss you have experienced in your life, all the Grief Diaries books aim to come alongside you and hold you up through your own personal journey.

Awareness, News
Black Mourning Dress
Traditional mourning attire

Traditional mourning attire

There was a time when wearing black after a death was simply what was done.  It was the proper etiquette. A widow would wear a full length black dress, often for a full year. Black armbands were commonly worn for 6 months following the death of a parent or spouse. Yet these traditions seem to be a thing of the past. Was there something important about wearing black? Did it truly help the grieving person? On one hand, I think the gut response is to answer ‘of course not, it’s just a color’. True. Yet, not true. The important part of wearing black was that it was a society-wide norm. Everyone knew what it meant if you were seen wearing black. Nowadays, widows don’t wear black dresses, and armbands are rarely seen outside of a funeral service, if even that. Instead, we might see pink if the person died from breast cancer, or orange to signify their favorite color. Is there anything wrong with that? Again, the first instinct is to answer ‘of course not, it’s just a color’. Again, true. Yet, not true. Unfortunately, while it is fantastic that people wish to support the research of breast cancer, wearing pink does not let your surrounding community know whether you have lost someone to breast cancer, or just know someone who underwent treatment for breast cancer, and continues to live today.

black ribbon mourning awareness pin

Modern mourning symbol.

Wearing black is more than a tradition, it serves a function.   Whether we like the color choice or not, someone many years ago chose black as the color to represent mourning. The

Awareness
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Stop Watch

Time is Measurable, Love and Grief are Not In March, Julie openly wrote about her grief hero, comedian Patton Oswalt, and how his honest and ‘unpretty’ truth gave her hope.  His candid and very public grief journey continued recently when he announced his engagement to actress, Meredith Salenger, “only” 15 months after his wife died. As usual, some people had strong opinions about this news. And, boy oh boy, some of those nasty opinions pretty much blew up the widow-verse. The prickles came when reading venomous remarks condemning Oswalt’s engagement–everything from “Nope, too soon” to suggesting his grief wasn’t genuine.  After all, he’d just taken his wedding ring off a few weeks prior to his engagement announcement. Now consider this: Imagine Patton is a widowed woman living in Victorian times.  If she adhered to full rather than half mourning, she would wear a black mourning dress for twelve months.  This mourning dress, the visible expression of her grief, would be shed at the end of that year and she would be expected to remarry.  Despite what she may feel inside, the visible mourning period dictated at that time would be over.  Done.  No controversy. But today we have prickles and condemnation. Enter the Widow-verse. Erica Roman, a widowed writer, eloquently schooled those who think they know how love works after being widowed.  Her defense of Patton’s new love caught his attention and Erica’s blog went viral.  I highly suggest reading her post.  It obviously resonates with many widows, but it also serves as education for those seeking insight on supporting someone who has lost a spouse.   https://ericaroman.me/2017/07/07/a-widows-rage-defense-of-patton-oswalts-engagement/ In my mind, the naysayers were not aware of two widowhood concepts.

  • Time has no effect on love and grief, and
  • Widows have the capacity and ability to love both their
Awareness, Grieving Together
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Humboldt Broncos

Our prayers of support go out to the families and friends of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A Hockey team As a ministry/company we exist to help those who are grieving so at this time we want to offer our support in any way we can,  if you are someone who has been affected by this tragic loss please just give us a call and we will get you whatever you may need from our company.   Sincerely Grieving Together

Awareness, News
Shattered-Heart

What is in your heart?” she asks.…

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear”. C.S Lewis

I remember my heart and my head three years ago while witnessing my beautiful husband wither, wrapped in the suffocating blanket of end-stage cancer.   The first line of C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed is “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear”. That was the first line, the only line, I could read and absorb from any book after Brad’s death. Understanding anything longer than a couple lines was like suddenly being expected to maneuver the uneven bars at the Olympics. It wasn’t happening and it continued not happening for months. At the six month mark I could read bits and pieces for my grief group, but even that required guidance from the facilitator. Just tell me what to do. That would’ve been easiest for me; if someone told me what to do I could then attempt to focus on being accountable to someone other than myself. No part of me, heart, head or body, was reliable. In the raw newness of widowhood I had to remind myself to inhale, exhale, repeat–never mind eat or pay bills or take out the garbage or read and comprehend something. I was C.S. Lewis-afraid and unable to move much beyond that fear without recoiling back into a whimpering ball. My heart was cold and inexplicably still beating. Outside, I was going through life’s motions, putting on the façade of ‘I’m OK’ to make others less awkward. I would’ve much rather screamed at everyone to “Shut Up” about their inane earthly problems, but habits kicked in and I was mostly “nice” those first months. Mostly nice: my malfunctioning social

Awareness
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“It's easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she's never been anything but dead, than to miss her at all the places where she was alive.”
John Scalzi, Old Man's War
“I felt like a mouse running through one of those cardboard mazes. I didn't have to think about anything I did. My body just...went. The difference was that, unlike the mouse, there was no hunk of cheese waiting for me at the end. No reward of any kind for making it through. In fact, there was no end at all.”
Alicia K. Leppert, Emerald City
“How can it be that there is such a colossal gap between what we think we know about grief and mourning and what we actually find out when it comes to us?”
Jim Beaver, Life's That Way: A Memoir
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