Weep with Those Who Weep: How to Help a Friend Through Loss *Tips from Nancy Guthrie*

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." - Romans 12:15

I have been working through the "Mourning and Dancing" bible study from shereadstruth.com (if you haven't heard of these incredibly beautiful, super hip, easy to comprehend bible studies or joined the community group on their app - hop to it because whoa!) and Nancy Guthrie's tips mid-study from her book "What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" was so spot on and encouraging to read, I wanted to share in hopes of helping other people who feel lost and alone in their grief or how to help a loved one who is grieving. 

"What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" by Nancy Guthrie

"What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" by Nancy Guthrie

How to Help:

Show up.
Don't disappear. Don't avoid. 

Listen more than you talk.
Resist interrupting, correcting, fixing, advice-giving, and judging. 

Weep.
Your tears don't add to their sorrow; they demonstrate they are not alone.

Laugh.
Be a safe person to laugh with by not assuming that their laughter means they are done with their sorrow.

Leave a message.
A grieving person may not want to answer the phone.  Leave caring words for them to listen to again and again. *or send videos!* 

Send a note.
And then another.

Mark your calendar.
Make a note on your calendar to reach out on days that might be hard, such as birthdays, deathdays, and holidays.

Supply practical needs.
Provide food in disposable containers, meal delivery from a favorite restaurant, paper products so they don't have to do dishes, babysitting or a manicure for a day out of the house.

Invite but don't push.
Grieving people often feel like they don't fit in anymore. They need gentle encouragement to return to life with friends.

Consider the kids.
Mostly, kids just want things to be normal.  Helping maintain the old routine can be a great way to serve the family.

Be patient.
Just as time is necessary in the healing of a physical injury, we cannot hurry the process of emotional healing.

Ease the financial burden.
Financial strain on top of heartache can be especially difficult.  Consider some costs you may be able to help cover.

Offer to help with the hard stuff.
Ask what hard thing they need to do but can't - picking out clothes for burial, cleaning out a closet, writing thank you notes- and offer to do it for them or with them.

Commit to being there over the long haul.
Grieving people need friends who aren't going anywhere.

Point them to Christ.
Pray with them and for them, and leave room for them to lean into the Comforter.

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Six ways to say "How are you?" to a grieving person:

1- "What is your grief like these days?"
This question assumes that it makes sense that the person is sad and gives them the opportunity to talk about it.

2- "I can't imagine how hard it must be to face these days without (name of the person who died). Are there particular times of day you're finding especially hard?"
Keep saying the name of the person who died.  It is music to the grieving person's ears.

3- "I find myself really missing (name of the person who died) lately."
It is a great comfort for those who are grieving to know they are not the only ones missing their loved one.

4- "I often think of you when I'm (gardening/driving by your house/going for a walk/getting up in the morning/etc.) and whisper a prayer for you to experience God's comfort. Are there particular things I could be praying for you?

5- "I know that (name of the person who died)'s birthday/deathday is coming up and it must be so very hard to anticipate that day. How can I honor their memory with you?

6- "I know (a holiday, birthday, anniversary) is coming up and it is difficult to imagine that day without him/her there.  Is there anything I could do to help you get through tht day?"

"Hi Joey!" <3 <3 <3

"Hi Joey!" <3 <3 <3

Thank you for reading and supporting me. 
xoxox

 

 

Tessie's Book Club

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Alright guys, who's ready to host the first book club dinner?! Emphasis on dinner, I'm (always) hungry!!

Anyways, I often read through (sections) of multiple books at a time because I am just so smart! Here are some of my favorite books of late that I have been posting a lot about on my blog Instagram and blog Facebook page so it's about time I post them on my *actual* blog...

Oh Maria - literally the biggest fan girl of Maria RN!  I had the inspiring privilege of listening to her speak at our Beautycounter Leadership Summit in Minneapolis earlier this month and whoa, I was like "RUN FOR PRESIDENT!" The woman is so intelligent, kind, real, approachable, and making major influential and needed movements in our world.  I am grateful for her heart and willingness to bring courageous conversations to often quiet subjects that hold great promise and relatable content to so many people.  Maria said she wrote this book to be a companion for people- each thought starts with an inspirational quote, followed by a reflection / meditation, and ends with a prayer.   I especially love "Why it Takes Courage to Care" and "It's Okay- in Fact, It's Crucial- to Grieve." 

OMG- my sister, Carebear, had me start following Orlando (@mrorlandosoria) on instagram last year when I moved home because he "reminded her so much of me and my humor and his break up story is close to mine and he is just hilarious!" So, duh, I was like "he must be the best..." and since then I have been COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS for his book to be released.  I won the award for patience because it finally came out in April and it was worth the wait - it's A M A Z I N G!  Not only is Orlando hysterically open and honest about his disappointments and insecurities in life, bringing such animation to his instagram and book, he is also an extremely talented Interior Designer by trade (creative, cute, talented, JUST LIKE ME - right Cara?)  Get It Together! is so well done and will keep you laughing and thinking "Hey, life isn't perfect and sometimes things suck...but Orlando keeps it real and comical!" all while wanting to redo every inch of your home -which he also includes *cost effective* tips for!

Ohhhh this book is magical and a dream for everyone like me who loves spending all their money on holistic health, whole food goodness, and Beautycounter (Almila Kakinc-Dodd worked for the Environmental Working Group so *swoon* all BC Advocates!)  Everything in this book is beautiful, Almila's way of life in regards to healing and simple stillness reminds me of my holistic health coach, Jessica Zanotti, and what I have been working on practicing in my own world.  The name Thirlby, comes from Almila's blog of the same name, and the book truly is an easy to navigate field guide broken into Farmacy, Spiritual Smack, and Beauty Bites - lead by her incredible intro story of coming to the United States.  I pretty much read through the entire book in one evening and now I am meditating through it, incorporating different aspects, especially from the Spiritual Smack into my rituals. 

Another magical book alert!! Slow Beauty by Shel Pink is such a beautiful ode and encouragement to self love - YOU are the love story.  It walks you through creating soothing daily rituals and enchanting life paths.  After I read through this book I was *READY* to go forward with leading a Slow Beauty themed retreat this fall based off of practices and homemade beauty remedies from the book (you totally want to come to the retreat, right?) 
I have always been interested in lunar moon phases (especially in regards to my cycle- ammiright, ladies?!) and Slow Beauty gives great guidance on moon salutation as well as other mantras, meditations, and energy practices. 
One of my favorite aspects of Slow Beauty it is laid out by seasons.  My dear friend and life coach, Leah Hart, whose voice rings out to me throughout the book, has always instilled the importance of seasonal changes in regards to a healthy lifestyle balance and connecting with nature / the extraordinary world God created. 
Leah always says she believes "Self-love will save the world" and I can't help but agree. Slow Beauty is an incredible guide to being comfortable celebrating ourselves, in a truly lovely way!

TBH - I haven't read this book yet buuuut I have watched both of Guy Winch's TED Talks and I loved them so I am pretty confident in this book being part of my club!  I wrote the following on my Blog's Facebook page the other day and now I am just going to copy/paste it (haha) because it was a quality - from the heart post, okay?! :)

Emotional Hygiene FTW!

https://www.ted.com/…/guy_winch_the_case_for_emoti…/up-next…

I just borrowed Guy Winch’s recently published book “How to Fix a Broken Heart” (also the title of another one of his TED talks) from the library. The words in this podcast and the liner notes of his book spoke to me deeply “...while we wouldn’t expect someone to go to work or function well with a broken limb, heartbroken people are expected to function in their lives despite the emotional pain they feel.”
The words are also reminiscent of the first time I heard Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk “All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes” regarding mindful meditation which significantly changed my anxiety and taught me to stop allowing fear to control my life (thank you, Headspace! 🙌)
It’s Mental Health Awareness month and with experiencing two excruciating losses in my life in such a short amount of time - I am so grateful my head and spiritual faith were in the best, most connected places they have ever been so that I can dig through the treacherous process and reality of losing Joey.
Please, reach out to me or a loved one anytime with any questions, support, encouragement and resources regarding your mental health. Remember, you are never alone, and talking about it is so powerful and starts the path to relief. <3
We are all in it together (literally, read the statistics on depression and anxiety) I got your back - and I thank all those for having mine! 🙏

Yo, Carebear got this for me for my bday (she's the best!) and IT IS SO much more than a book of super cool vintage trailers.  Mary Jane Butters is a BOSS - she's a Park Ranger turned retail queen/glamping campground founder/Organic Goddess millionaire - Y'all need this book to read about her life story alone!  Anyways, Mary Jane breaks down everything from how to shop for a trailer, what to include in an emergency roadside toolkit, plumbing (or no plumbing) options, how to grill a fish!  Bentley and I have aspirations to travel national parks in our custom vintage trailer and thanks to Carebear and Mary Jane we are pre-pared and ready to HIT THE ROAD!

The planets.  Photo archieves from NASA.  Forward by Bill Nye. Enough said!

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Okay, there it is- my latest collection of #TessiesBookClub picks!
Keep in mind two things:
1- According to my alma mater, Huffman Elementary, readers are leaders!
2- The links I included under the books are from Barnes & Noble because I want to keep them in business. But, I got the majority of them from my boyfriend (aka the library) and the *newest* 2018 releases from gifts (thank you Cara + Sean!)
So you don't have to spend much to be smart you just need to pay taxes and have friends and family members buy you gifts. 

Seriously, who is hosting book club first!? I'm not afraid to host it myself and eat an entire casserole...
 

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