Will I survive? Will I ever be happy again? These are questions that Harriet Hodgson asked herself after she was left to raise her twin grandchildren, while grieving for four family members, including her daughter. Harriet reminds us that we are not alone in our grief and, though losses may define our lives, they will not destroy them.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation website, The Grief Toolbox website, and The Caregiver Space website. Hodgson has appeared on more than 180 talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN. A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer's and bereavement conference. Her work is cited in Who's Who of American Women, World Who's Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. She lives in Rochester, MN with her husband, John. Please visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy author and grandmother.
When four of my family members died in 2007 my friends rallied to help me. They stayed in touch via email. They called me. They delivered gifts. But the most important gift I received from them was the gift of listening. One friend, who was familiar with grief, asked me questions that prompted answers. Though I was tempted to give one-word answers, her questions were so insightful I wanted to answer them. Before I knew it, we were in a discussion about losing loved ones and recovering from loss. Today, when I meet someone who is in crisis, grieving for a loved one, or who has just received awful news, I give them the gift of listening. It truly is a gift and helps the other person face their feelings, name them, and sort them. Have you given the gift of listening recently?
Happy Again!: Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss
According to a Swedish proverb, friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief. This proverb describes my friends. They were patient with me and, more important, asked questions that prompted answers. Supportive organizations, such as The Compassionate Friends, are a place to speak a child’s name, show photos, and share feelings. Your local hospice may have an aftercare program for family members.