Sunday, August 2, 2009

BP/USA What Helps the Most

A few weeks ago I presented a workshop at the Bereaved Parents of the USA Conference in NYC. One workshop I attended was called "What Helps the Most" by Elaine Stillwell. Her son Denis and daughter Peggy were killed in a car accident.

I think this is a very helpful list. I'm also interested to hear why YOU think has helped you the most.

Funeral service (a ritual of saying goodbye and remembering)
Loving support (friends, family and faith)
Talking (telling our story, sharing our child)
Books (wisdom from those who have walked before us)
Expressing your feelings
Sacred Space (place and time to meditate and ponder)
A Spouse who respects your way of grieving
Crying
Notes and cards (saying 'I care')
Giving your anger a voice
The love of a pet
response from the clergy
discuss feelings with spouse and family
journaling
visiting the cemetary
yoga, treadmill, walking
give yourself a present (tell yourself it is from your child)
religion/spirituality
support group
music
vacations
exercise
writing
planting a garden
watching the growth of an amaryllis (or other flower)
planning a memorial
hobby
quilt making
welcoming their friends
establishing a scholarship
volunteering
new routines and traditions (new ways to celebrate holidays, new friends)
doing crazy things (license plate with their name, give angels to everyone)
stay in the present as much as possible

3 comments:

Rebekah said...

Great list! I think there are certain things that helped in the beginning and other things that helped later on.
The funeral service, support from friends & family, music, books & writing helped early on but as time has passed I've wanted to find ways for my son to be remembered and so we've started a foundation to support parents that are newly grieving. I still need all the other things but now I'm at a place where I want to reach out to others too and let them know they aren't alone.

Holly said...

I think the list is really good and encompasses a lot. What has helped me is reaching out and sharing with others-telling our story.

Zil said...

I love this list. I find my bracelet hobby is a great distraction and I create the ones I give away in honor of my son.