Finding Solace in Expressive Arts — Part 2: A Hands-on Approach

by Connie DeKrey, LSW, CT When I was a very small child, the favorite gift I received at Christmas was my first set of Play-Doh. Naturally I was drawn to the brightly colored lids atop enticing yellow cans. But oh, then to open them, revealing the soft, malleable mass of possibilities! I would occupy myself …

Finding Solace in Expressive Arts — Part 1: In the Garden

by Connie DeKrey, LSW, CT The role of expressive arts in helping individuals move through their journey of grief is an idea that has always excited me. I have witnessed so many examples not only in my work as a bereavement specialist, but also in my personal life. While the concept of working through one’s …

3 Practical Suggestions to Help Your Child Through Grief

by Kriston Wenzel, LSW, CT Helping children and young adults face life challenges can be difficult, and adding a death to the mix makes it even more complicated. Communication is one of the most effective ways to help children through hard situations. Throughout my years of experience as a Hospice bereavement specialist, I’ve had a …

Grieving the Loss of a Father – On Father’s Day

Father’s Day can be a difficult time for someone grieving the loss of either parent. It also can be awkward for friends and family wondering what to do with—or say to—the grieving person on this special day. We hope that you will join those who have found the following suggestions helpful in similar circumstances. Ways …

3 Ways to Use Mindfulness During Your Grief

by Stephanie Pritchard, LPC, NCC Mindfulness has become a hot topic in recent years even though it’s been practiced for centuries. It’s a tool that can be used to address a variety of challenges that people face, such as anxiety, depression, overeating, problems in relationships, chronic pain and grief. Fundamentally, mindfulness is more than having a general awareness of what’s happening...

5 Ways to Support a Grieving Person

by Heather Larson, LSW, CT Knowing how to help a grieving friend or family member who has experienced loss through death can be challenging, but there are some things you can do to support someone going through this difficult time. The following are five practical ways to support a grieving person in your life. Be Present First things first, show up. I...

Balancing Holiday Traditions After the Death of a Loved One

by Janna Benson Kontz, MDiv Holidays and grief form an interesting tension for each of us after the death of a loved one. We feel the tension between wanting to celebrate and never wanting to celebrate again. We feel the tension between wanting to be happy and feeling guilty for being happy. We feel the tension between traditions that included...

How to Handle Grief When Approaching Milestones and Anniversaries

Heather Larson, LSW, CT Grieving is some of the hardest work we will ever do. I have discussed this idea countless times with those who are deeply grieving the death of a loved one. The moment when one reaches his/her lowest point while grieving is different for everyone. What is likely not so different is that our grief intensifies at...

5 Ways to Handle Things Left Unsaid

by Rebecca Anderson, RN As a hospice nurse who has experienced parental loss, I draw on my personal experiences with the grief and loss of both my parents to offer guidance to the families I serve at Hospice of the Red River Valley. [caption id="attachment_3691" align="alignright" width="300"] Rebecca and her mom Terry[/caption] Just as each life is unique, so was the loss...

Moving Forward: Hospice Supports Young Widow Through Her Grief Journey

Welcoming a new baby into the family is usually a time of exuberance, love and joy. But for Holly Undlin, this event came during a time of extraordinary circumstances and many unknowns as her husband, Matthew, was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer shortly after the arrival of their son, Finn. A terminal diagnosis meant their family’s plans for the...