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I am still so amazed at the outpouring of kindness that I've received since I made my blog public! I am flattered that so many people have started following me. I'm humbled by the people who have reached out to me. I feel honored that several of you have confided in me your struggles!
A while back a woman emailed me telling me how she just stumbled across my blog while searching for something else. She told me how my words had helped her. She asked if I had any books that I could recommend to help her with her grief.
It made me think that I should share some of the things that have helped me so much over the past few years.
First, I highly recommend the experience of counseling or a support group. I was so lucky to have a friend share a great Christian support group called GriefShare. I was also so very fortunate to have three friends attend with me. I am now leading a group at my church and find that even five years out, I'm gaining insight and strength from it. At the very least, I encourage you to sign up for their daily emails!!
Here are some blogs/ groups that have really helped:
Grief Healing - Every week they do a post in which they list links from other blogs. They also have great posts that help with all types of grief.
Soaring Spirits A group for widowed people. They even have a couple of camps each year so you can go be around others who share the same experiences. Thier blog was a life saver to me early on in my grief journey. A different person writes a new post each day. Several women who meant so much to me have moved on from this group and I follow their personal blogs now!
What's Your Grief - Organization to help with all kinds of grief. I follow them on Facebook. They post great articles on their blog. They do a "grief in six words" post on special occasions. The most powerful "grief in six words" I've ever read was "The smallest caskets are the heaviest" (See how powerful words are??)
Hello Grief is another great resource. I just looked at this site, and it looks like it hasn't been updated in a while, but it is still a great resource so I'm going to keep it here. They still seem active on their Facebook page. I was even featured when they did a series on exercise and grief. They asked for sound bites for a single article but ended up writing a series and using what everyone had sent in. Here is my post.
Second Firsts - Christina Rasmussen lost her husband and had to pick her like up and move forward. Through that process, she started Second Firsts. It is also the title of her first book. She is very encouraging about moving forward from many setbacks in life not just the death of a loved one.
And then there is Catherine Tidd. I found Catherine's Facebook page- Widow Chick, and her publicist sent me a galley copy of her book Confessions Of A Mediocre Widow. I loved the book and recommend it to any widow out there.
For absolutely beautiful writing and encouragement, I love One Fit Widow. Michelle was a young widow with small children after losing her husband in a plane crash. She used exercise to help her with her grief and now has a successful business- I hate to call it a business because it is more like a ministry! Here is her Facebook page. She also has a book coming out soon.
There is power and strength in numbers and I certainly found both with Modern Widows Club. Carolyn Moor's organization made me realize that I wasn't alone. I paid for her monthly newsletter for a while and it helped me tremendously. I encourage you to do that if you think it will help you.
I also have a few books that were so inspirational for me. I was still able to do regular reading immediately after R passed away, but as time went on my attention span was so short that it took me forever to read a book. It was during this period that blogs became so important to me. I could read a single blog post and have it help me so much without losing my concentration on it. I have finally gotten back to be able to concentrate long enough to read a book. Thank goodness!
Unbroken- If you have not read this book, I encourage you to start reading it today! I'm no sure how this book crossed my path so soon after R's passing, but I'm so glad that it did. It helped me on so many levels. It made me truly believe that when it is our time to die, we will die. When it is not our time to die, we will not die. What Zamperini went through and survived is awe inspiring. This made me realize that if this man could live through everything that he did, I had the strength to live through the nightmare that was my life at the moment. I cannot recommend this book enough.
The Last Lectures- Written by a college professor, Randy Pausch, about LIVING while he was dying. It literally is his last lecture to his class. Very powerful!
Dream New Dreams- Written by Randy Pausch's widow, Jai Pausch, it is about Randy's illness and death and how she rebuilt her life in the aftermath. This book was published right after R's passing and it calmed me to know that I wasn't the only one.
Here is a quick list of some other resources that I follow:
Alive and Mortal
Grief Speaks Out
The Widow or Widower Next Door
Carole Brody Fleet -- Widow's Wear Stilettos
A Widow's Might
A quick google search on the specific type of grief being experienced will bring up other resources. I wish everyone peace on this terrible journey, but I know that things get better, and I pray these resources will be a source of strength and comfort.
I know that I have probably left out a very important resource. If I do I will update this post and put a link to it on future Now Choose Life blog posts!
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