10 tips to help someone grieving

When you lose a loved one it is so hard. Their world has just been turned completely upside down. One of the hardest things is for those that aren’t affected by this tragedy that want to do something but just don’t know what to do. Here’s 10 tips to help someone grieving.

  1. Send a card, sympathy or just a thinking about you card. It’s a small way for people to feel that people are thinking of them.
  2. Get them restaurant gift cards. Sometimes it’s all you can do to get out of bed. Cooking makes eating an unimaginable chore.
  3. When you see them, say hello or I’m sorry, acknowledging their loss is so simple but all that’s needed. People struggle with what to say when a simple I’m sorry is perfect.
  4. Don’t try to solve the “problem”, there is no problem to solve, they just need time and patience to work through their grief.
  5. See if someone has put together a list of things they need, like meals, shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.
  6. Make a donation to help the family financially if there is a gofundme.com page. Even $5 helps. The last thing people want to do is worry about the small stuff and this is a way to help them.
  7. If there’s no gofundme.com page then make a donation in memory of the loved one that died.
  8. Let them cry if they want and if they don’t cry, don’t be worried. Everyone deals with grief differently and whether or not crying is present doesn’t mean they don’t feel the loss.
  9. Don’t exclude them from invitations, they may say no, but being remembered is important. Especially three months down the road when everyone has gone back to their everyday lives.
  10. Most important be patient, it takes time and each person is on their own time frames. Let them know it’s ok to change their mind last minute. If they are having a bad day the last thing they want to do is put on their happy face and be cheerful.

These are just a few things that are helpful when trying to help someone grieving. In the very beginning grief is all they can see. By using some of these tips it allows them to feel normal. Normal has changed for them and it will take a while to find the new normal.

I think the most important tip is to be patient. Sometimes they just need to stay home and rest, or find something else to do. Know that whatever they do is normal. Normal for them, but it is normal.

Feeling That Holiday Spirit

As I sit and wrap gifts I am really feeling that holiday spirit. In my house, nobody really wants much nor do we need much. So we are decorating and I am looking forward to making cookies, spending time with family and friends.

We’ve already started driving around looking at the lights around the neighborhoods. It’s great the was some people go all out. Other’s decorate more conservative yet beautifully. There are those tacky homes too. But love them all!

Each one is enjoyable in its own right. My older Son got this light that changes colors. He doesn’t want to put lights out front because it would take away from that one. I think he has a point. He’s the one that loves to decorate and make things look good for any holiday.

Knowing that we don’t want or need much is a nice feeling. That means we are in a good place in life. So many have hard times during the holidays. I don’t want to jinx it, but I just want everyone to feel content.

While I’m sitting here, I’m thinking about the fact that I’m pretty much done with my shopping and close to done wrapping. It’s a feeling of being content. On top of that I am sitting here in shorts and a tank top. Love it. The weather is beautiful. It was about 70 today. It’s been that way for about a week.

My mom is coming to visit next week. I hope the weather holds out for her. She would love that. Even if it went down to the 50s I know she’d be happy. I’m looking forward to the holidays this year and I hope you are too. Enjoy what you have and send love into the world and especially for those that need it.

I hope you are feeling that holiday spirit. Think about what you can do to enjoy the holidays! That’s what the holidays should be about.

A Dog’s Love

IMG_1047There’s nothing like a dog’s love. I never really had pets.  I had gerbils and gold fish as a child, my stepfather had a dog but I only lived with them for a few years. My mother brought home a cat when I was 16. I really didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of it. I remember telling my mother “If you want a cat, you have to take care of it, I don’t want the responsibility so it’s all yours”. Yes, I was 16 and knew I didn’t want the responsibility.

When I met my husband he had a cat. Spock the big tabby cat and my husband were a package deal. Turns out I’m allergic to cats. But it wasn’t too bad at that point. Before we got married we went on a field trip. To my surprise it was to pick up a kitten.  Ugh, then there were two. But it was ok. I didn’t have to take any of the responsibility.

It’s not that I didn’t like pets, I just didn’t want to take care of one. If you are going to take on the responsibility of a pet, you need to be prepared to take care of it. There’s feeding them, taking them outside to take care of their business and vet bills.

When my husband died I would up with the two cats. I knew I couldn’t take care of them. First of all, I was pregnant and am not supposed to change the cat litter. Second, I was grieving and had a toddler to take care of. I kept them anyway. I had a neighbor help with the cats until I could figure out what to do.

Eventually I found a place that would take the cats and place them. It was a no kill shelter. They promised to find them a home. It was a hard day for me. Those cats were my husband’s love. Plus now I had to give away another piece of him. There was no way I was able to take care of them and love them. I knew it was the right thing to do.

My kids always wanted dogs. I had to say no, I couldn’t take care of them. It wasn’t fair to the dogs. As they got older and more responsible I started thinking more about it. My youngest still kept asking on a regular basis. I never gave in. One day I decided it was time. I researched and knew I wanted to get a dog that were small, friendly, easy going personality and most important wouldn’t shed. Ding, ding, ding, a Shih Tzu it is. I went to online and started looking. I found some but since I worked part time they wouldn’t let me adopt them. Next thing I know there are signs around the area about a doggie adoption on Saturday.

IMG_1273

Lulu

When I got there I saw this cute, groomed dog that looked like it might be a shih tzu. When asked I was told she was a Lhasa apso. I continued to look and then, there he was. Sitting nicely in a crate, all dirty but still cute. I saw him and took him out and fell in love at first sight. While they were getting the paperwork ready people were talking to me about the Lhasa apso and that nobody wants her because she’s 9 years old and didn’t get along with other dogs or kids. My kids were older so that shouldn’t be an issue. We put the two dogs together and they got along fine. Chevy and Lulu both came home with me to their new home.

Chevy

Chevy

My youngest son was at practice, but I was so excited I couldn’t wait for him to come home. My older son came down and didn’t seem so interested but said hi to them and pet them. When practice was over my younger son came home. I told him to go out back for a minute. He put on a big smile and asked who’s they were. I said ours. He didn’t believe me at first, but after a little convincing he believed me. Believe it or not, my older son didn’t believe it for a couple days. He thought I was kidding and we were dog sitting.

Now I look at these two dogs and can’t believe how lucky I am to have these two precious doggies. They follow me all the time. I have my little fan club. Recently I broke my leg and they followed me everywhere and now that I’m up and walking again, they are still right there.

These dogs are AMAZING, and I can’t believe how much I love them. I could just eat them up.