Top 5 Common Myths of Grief

by Jennifer Messelt, bereavement specialist If you’ve grieved the death of a loved one, you know grief is complex. There’s no way around it. Did you feel societal expectations about the “right” way to grieve? Did you ever feel like you were grieving “wrong?” Our culture’s discomfort with grief has created many myths and misunderstandings, often inhibiting those who are...

Coping With the Grief of Sudden Death

By Kriston Wenzel, LSW, bereavement specialist As a bereavement specialist at Hospice of the Red River Valley, I facilitate support groups. The support groups vary from our teen/kid groups, to general grief groups, to grief groups for widows. As a facilitator, I am always in awe of the honesty and emotion shared by those who attend the groups. A topic of...

Coping With Grief During the Holidays: Resources for the Grieving, Tips for Everyone

Traditionally, the holidays are a time of joy, laughter, sparkle, glitter and celebrations shared with family and friends. But for individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be difficult, bringing about feelings of anxiety, sadness and emptiness. As the holidays approach, it may be helpful to think about how to take care of yourself...

What not to say to a grieving person

What NOT to say to a Grieving Person: Tips from a Bereavement Specialist

By Jennifer Messelt, MSW, LCSW "I know exactly how you feel." In the nearly seven years I have worked as a bereavement specialist, I have learned this is one of most unwelcome phrases heard by those who have experienced the death of a loved one. No matter how similar two losses may seem, no two deaths are exactly the same....

Honoring the Memories of Loved Ones

Honoring the Memories of Our Loved Ones

By Connie DeKrey, bereavement specialist I just returned from a trip to Walmart to pick up graduation cards. On my way to the Hallmark kiosk, I passed by an aisle newly designated for plastic white crosses, silk floral arrangements and wire wreath holders. Memorial Day is fast approaching. While the original intent of this holiday is to honor soldiers and veterans...

Coping With Grief at Milestones

By Virginia Grief changes things. This may sound simplistic, but when a loved one dies, our lives are never the same. Our lives continue—days come and go—but how do we celebrate milestones and grieve at the same time? Recently, I spoke with a mother who attends a grief support group. Her story (shared with her permission) is one of double tragedy;...

How to talk to a child about death

How to Talk to a Child about Death

By Kriston Wenzel, LSW Talking about death is not something most of us are comfortable doing—even with other adults. Sometimes in the midst of our own grief, we forget that death can present a tremendous blow to even the youngest children. Children understand death very differently than adults, depending on their age and stage of development. Below are tips to...

Strategies for self-care while grieving

4 Strategies for Self-Care While Grieving

By Connie DeKrey, Bereavement Specialist Each journey of grief is as unique as the individual who walks its path. That being recognized, an aspect of grief that shares commonality with all who grieve is the need for self-care. Grief may be experienced in a variety of ways—emotionally, certainly, but also physically, cognitively and even spiritually. The reactions of our minds and...

Grief During the Holidays: How do you cope

Grief During the Holiday Season: How Do You Cope?

 By Connie DeKrey, Bereavement Specialist Ordinarily, we think of the holidays as a busy, joyous time. But when one is grieving the death of someone beloved, there is nothing “ordinary” about it. Holidays are typically filled with memories and reflection, so it is not surprising that the longing we may feel for that absent loved one intensifies against the backdrop of...

Grief During the Holiday Season: Embracing Memories

By Connie DeKrey, Bereavement Specialist                                                         *** Christmas 2004: This was an even-numbered year, which meant it was our turn to celebrate the holiday with my husband’s side of the family in Bismarck; odd-numbered years had traditionally been spent with my side of the family. But current circumstances dictated differently. My Mom was temporarily staying in Fargo to receive radiation treatments...