Lessons Learned From Loss: Asking for Help

By JoAnne Funch

As we experience a loss it is important that you reach out and ask for help. Telling someone what you need is not shameful, nor is a sign of weakness. But asking for help may make you vulnerable and uncomfortable if you are used to doing everything yourself. I say this from experience, because after the death of my husband I felt uncomfortable asking for help from neighbors and friends. After all, these people had busy lives and I thought their lives hadn’t stood still like mine had.  Eventually projects around the house stacked up and the one single project now turned into four or five and how could I ask someone as a favor to do them all?  One day a friend explained that most people feel helpless around you and would do anything to ease your pain, but we must remember to ask and not presume the people who love us are psychic!

I eventually learned to ask for help without guilt or shame. I continue the practices years later because I no longer feel a need to struggle when people who love me would be honored to lend a hand.  What a gift this knowledge has been and in turn I have paid it forward whenever my skills can lend a helping hand to those I see in need.

Here are a few suggestions on tasks to start with;

  • ask a neighbor kid to mow the lawn, pull some weeds or tend to your garden
  • ask your brother, father or neighbor to help with anything related to fixing or repairing household projects
  • ask someone for help with your finances, preferably someone you trust and feel has skill with money
  • ask a friend to accompany you out to dinner once a week in the beginning of loss, this will aid in the feeling of loneliness
  • ask a sister, mother or girlfriend to baby-sit the kids so you can have some time to yourself and take that time to rejuvenate

These simple suggestions will help you to come up with some tasks of your own. Take the step to ask for help – you will be glad you did.

JoAnne Funch

JoAnne Funch is a grief coach, speaker and founder of Heartache To Healing an online grief support site dedicated to helping anyone to cope with loss, grieving, and bereavement in a compassionate and heartfelt manner.


Camp Widow

I recently heard about an event called “Camp Widow,” which will be held in Sand Diego in August. It is the first time I had heard of it and am so excited to attend. It will be a great gathering of women and men who have lost loved ones – but are harnessing the power of comeraderie to heal and grow despite the grief we feel. If you want to learn more, visit: www.CampWidow.org

The Time Sequences of Grief…Moving Through Loss

By Gloria Lintermans and Dr. Marilyn Stolzman

The loss of a spouse is one of the most difficult loses we experience as your entire day-to-day life is turned upside-down. The grieving process following this loss is divided into five time sequences of grief. One to four months would be called SHOCK, five to eight months of mourning is DENIAL, nine to twelve months is ANGER, thirteen to seventeen months is DEPRESSION, eighteen to twenty four months is INTEGRATION, ADJUSTMENT and TRANSITION.

While everyone experiences grief and mourning in his or her own way and time, predictably there are time sequences and emotions common to all. You may find yourself going through each of the emotional stages of shock, denial, anger, depression, and finally, integration, adjustment and transition in the order listed, or you may find yourself jumping all over the place in a forward-and-backward movement.

You may even seem to skip one stage completely, only to [Read more…]

Organ Donation: The Right to Give Life

By Michele Howe

We’d like to believe we’re equipped to handle even life’s toughest challenges. We like to think that if we’re prepared enough, schooled enough, experienced enough, that we’ve got what it takes to enter any situation and handle come what may. And it’s true enough.

Preparation, schooling, and experience all weigh in on whether we are able to meet and overcome adversities. But there are some situations, those life and death matters, where no amount of pre-anything can fully ready a person to deal with the intensity and aftereffects of such highly charged moments.

Case in point. Procurement coordinator of Lifeline of Ohio, Jeffrey Blitz, encountered just such an intersection. After only four months in his position at Lifeline, Jeff (then only thirty years old) had to meet with the parents of a seven-month-old infant girl who had died from complications originating from a respiratory illness. [Read more…]

5 Tips You Can Do to Help the Grieving

By Jane Galbraith

Who hasn’t heard or said themselves “I just don’t know what to say.” Or “I feel so helpless – there’s nothing I can do!!” Well there ARE things that you can do or say to help those in pain due to the death of a loved one. We can help, and not just in little ways, and it makes a tremendous difference to those we see in pain.

Here are a few points to consider when you are trying to help someone who is grieving: [Read more…]