Welcome to Hope for Grieving Mothers

If you are new to this club (that no one asked to join- the one where your child has died), it is best to start by going to the BOTTOM RIGHT and look at the "Pages" section. Under this section you will find resources for mothers who are grieving the loss of their child. Resources to help your children deal with grief are also grouped together.

Next, feel free to look at the "Blog Archives." There are many topics that you may have an interest in reading. As you girlies know, we now have Teflon brains and often cannot have the focus power that we have had in the past. Feel free to come here often and hopefully you will FEEL the loving support that me and other mamas are sending. Hopefully you will begin to see sparks of hope for your future...

Hugs... Pamela

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creative Grieving- Activities to nourish your spirit

Today I visited downtown Asheville North Carolina. I stopped in a local downtown bookstore and found a cool book by a local writer. "Creative Grieving - a hip chicks path from loss to hope." By Elizabeth Berrien. 

I'm just now digging through this book and found a few pearls of helpful things to DO in order to MOVE through your grief towards healing. 

Enjoy girlies!  Try to focus on the beauty in the change of the season and just BREATHE and relax those tight tired muscles. Know that I'm cheering you on from the sidelines.  Tootsies on the floor-- each and every day. :)

Pamela Parker 

The following contains quotes and summarizations from a small portion of the book.  Please email me if you want additional information on any of these activities. 

Creative Hip Chick Ideas: Activities to nurture your spirit. 

"If you're alive you're creative... We "reduce" and "deflect" our creative selves in many ways. Life is the creative act, not the canvas or the blank page. --Patto Digh

This list of ideas was developed from some of the activities I created and practiced throughout different stages of my own grief journey. You might be thinking, "but I don't have a creative bone in my body!"  Well, the beauty of these activities is that you don't have to be an artist or expert at anything.  

You may find that some of these ideas resonate with you and others don't. You may find you are drawn to do certain activities early in your grief and then gradually feel up to pursuing other ideas later in your journey as your needs shift and your grief is transformed. Although you may initially engage in an activity as a distraction, you may find that you feel uplifted by it and strengthened to try other ones. 

Three categories:
Be Mindful includes writing, music, list making, and self nurturing activities. They are about being gentle with yourself and being mindful of your thoughts and needs while pulling from your creative spirit. 

Getting Physical recommends activities that can help improve your overall well being through movement. Because grief is often held in the body, these activities can help release stress and muscle tension while also providing relaxation for the mind. They can be done at any level of fitness, and they are also a great reason to get up and get going during the day.

Going Visual lists fun art activities that can be done by anyone. They include projects such as making a memory scrapbook, wishing ribbons, or decorating affirmation stones. You don't need to be an artist to be creative!

Do these at your own pace; do them by yourself or with a friend; do them early in the morning or in the middle of the night; do one a day or one every three months. 

Be mindful:
*Keep a journal
*Create a CD that sparks your soul
*Seek a little comfort just for you.
*Write down all the ways you were enriched by your loves ones in your life. 
*Learn to make lists. 
*Spend time around animals. 
*Treat yourself to something you've been wanting. 
*Create a ritual of honor during a holiday, birthday, anniversary, or other celebrations. 
*Learn a new game with your girlfriends. 
*Practice random acts of kindness. 
*Consider writing your own story of loss and hope. 

Getting Physical:
*Visit a massage therapist 
*Become a day tripper
*Try a creative movement dance class. 
*Take a yoga class 

Going Visual:
*Create a memory scrapbook
*Take a creative art class
*Create a memory box
*Make a memorial quilt from your loved ones clothing 
*Try your hand at SoulCollage (www.soulcollage.org)
*Decorate stones with affirmation 
*Create wishing ribbons (using a sharpie, write down your hope or wishes and tie the ribbons to a tree in your yard.  Create your own meaning) 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween thoughts...

With Halloween approaching, I feel the need to send another mamas note.  As I flip through the television channels, the programming is filled with Halloween themed movies and horror flicks. 

When Logan died six years ago, I was sickened when my neighbor put up a pretend "graveyard" in their front yard. I remember my exhusband saying, "so we must look at THIS for a month?!"

Remember that seeing graveyards - cemeteries- aren't funny or spooky to us.  They unfortunately have become part of our lives and those ridiculous "RIP" fake headstones can be insulting.

Stop for just a minute... Until your child died, you probably didn't HATE Halloween or the silly haunted houses. Unless they have experienced the loss and tragedy that we've experienced, they will not understand that death isn't funny. Be patient sisters... It's almost over. It's ok to not pass out candy but i challenge you to also remember the joy of the little sweeties that say "trick or treat".

The complexity of our feelings FEW will understand. Certainly we are thankful that everyone does not know the pain of losing a child and visiting cemeteries and becoming so intimately familiar with death and grief.

Hang in there girls.... Halloween is almost over. Focus on the beauty of the colors and beauty of the leaves as autumn demonstrates it's glory. 

Hugs to each and everyone of you....

Pamela Parker 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You are not a tree--

If you do not like where you are- MOVE!  You are not a tree!  

Metaphorically speaking, this is an important decision for a grieving person. It happens at a snails pace but movement can occur. 

A few years ago I watched a powerful movie.  "We are Marshall" is a movie that was released in 2006. I am often bored by the game of football, as I am by many sports. (Any one who knows me will laugh at that statement!). Read the following description of the movie-

"When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive. -- IMDb Plot: We Are Marshall (2006)"

WHY in the world should a grieving person watch this movie?!  Haven't you experienced enough tears and heard enough sad stories?!  Allow me to explain-  
THIS movie is really about moving forward THROUGH grief. HOW do we move forward?  Each one of us is different.  Our time tables are different as well.  I will tell you that my main thought early in grief- "I don't wanna be in THIS place forever."  I embraced the words, "grieving forward."  Only with doing your grief work will you truly move through your grief.... To a new place. 

Movie quote-- "Grief is messy. It makes you do things you regret. Things you'll always regret."  

I know many many mamas now who are in various places in the continuum of grief. I want each of you to examine where you are and what you are doing to work through your grief. I do not want you to be saddled with lifelong regrets. 

YOU didn't ask to be in this place in your life. You DO have choices during grief as to whether you choose to become too comfortable sitting beside the headstone of your dead child frequently...  or whether you are willing to eventually REALLY join life again. There is a time and place for grieving but there is also a time and place to TRY to move forward. 

This website is "hope for grieving mothers."   With this website, I try to show you that there IS hope for your future, but the decision to slowly move towards healing is yours. 

Alternatives- your children WILL resent you and you WILL lose precious connection with your spouse. Plus- you will MISS the precious days of LIFE!!!  The significant opportunities to honor your child. I have many regrets myself...

"We are Marshall" is sad-- but each of us knows sadness-- but MOST importantly, it shows how grieving folks TRY to grieve forward. Please girls...  Please TRY to keep moving forward. 

Please TRY to HONOR your deceased child by choosing to LIVE and by SEEKING joy. True joy. It is possible. This is not quick nor is it easy, but eventually possible.... But only if YOU desire it. 

Consider this thought-- How have you honored your deceased child this weekend with your actions?

Hugs to each of you as you hopefully make the conscious decision to "grieve forward". Be brave enough to NOT be a tree. :)