Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 35+ years and is the author of 32 books, including six grief resources. Her latest resources are Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss and Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids: Grandparents Adapting to Life’s Surprises. www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. A popular speaker, Hodgson has given presentations at local, state, and national conferences. She has appeared on more than 160 radio talk shows, and dozens of television stations, such as CNN. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors, and other directories. Hodgson lives in Rochester, Minnesota, USA with her husband and twin grandchildren.

To learn more about her grief resources please visit her website.

Counseling for Ambiguous Loss: One Expert’s Approach No Comments

Ambiguous loss is loss without closure. There is no body to view or bury, no death certificate, no inkling of what happened to your loved one. Uncertainty and worry are part of your days and seep into your being. Though ambiguous loss has many of the same symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), therapists and counselors treat it differently. Counseling hinges on how long you have been suffering and the strength of your support system. It also hinges on family structure…

Continue Reading »
A New Answer to the Grief Question, “How Are You?” No Comments

“How are you?” became a dreaded question. Four family members, my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law, died in 2007. My daughter and former son-in-law died from the injuries they received in separate car crashes. Family members and friends couldn’t believe the story and I couldn’t either. Suddenly, our twin grandchildren were orphans and my husband and I were GRGs, grandparents raising grandchildren. Recovering from multiple losses takes longer than recovering from one…

Continue Reading »
The “I Didn’t Realize It Was That Long Ago” Response to Your Grief No Comments

Grief throws off your timing. After a loved one dies you may go backwards in time and be overcome with memories. Then the opposite happens. You look ahead and wonder how you will survive. Every day you think of your loved one. Indeed, you may feel stuck in grief. The sixth anniversary of my daughter’s death was in late February. I wasn’t prepared for the tears or a friend’s reaction.When I mentioned the anniversary she replied, “I didn’t realize it was that long ago.” Six years didn’t feel long to me…

Continue Reading »
Ambiguous Loss: What Is It and Has It Happened to You? No Comments

My daughter is a licensed family therapist. One day she sent me an email, asking if I was familiar with ambiguous loss. Though I’ve studied grief for years and written six grief resources, I wasn’t familiar with the term. Now I know more about it. This loss is one without closure. There is no body or death certificate, for one thing. All of the families associated with September 11th have suffered ambiguous loss. You may be experiencing this loss if a parent has Alzheimer’s, a sibling has chronic mental illness…

Continue Reading »
Finding My Deceased Daughter’s Purse: Grieving Again No Comments

The lower level of our house gets lots of use, especially in the winter time. We watch television there and work in our home office. Fourteen years ago we had new carpet installed and it had become worn and dirty. “Sorry, I can’t get it any cleaner,” the cleaning man said, and I believed him. It was time to install new carpet again. Before the crew arrived we had to clear out closets and cull legal papers. In 2007 four family members died and we took in items from three estates. My husband was managing these estates…

Continue Reading »
Using a Deceased Loved One’s Expressions and Words No Comments

Long after they are spoken words stay in our minds. Your departed loved one may have had special expressions he or she used again and again. Maybe your loved one invented new words or silly, comical words. Thinking about these words brings back memories. My deceased daughter, the mother of my twin grandchildren, had a quick wit. She made people laugh and I appreciated her talent. When she had news to share she would say, “Here’s the latest and the greatest.” I didn’t realize this expression had crept…

Continue Reading »
You May Mourn, But Don’t Succumb to the Victim Role No Comments

Finding your way through the grief maze takes time, gut-level honesty, and personal courage. Questions keep you awake at night and haunt your days. Who are you now? Will you survive this? What will life become? Some mourners, unfortunately, get stuck in the victim role, which is damaging and nonproductive. After I lost four family members, including my daughter, in 2007, the victim role was tempting. I wanted to wallow in grief and victimization. But thanks to life experience, I didn’t do these things…

Continue Reading »
Passing on Your Loved One’s Values Helps to Keep Their Spirit Alive No Comments

On the first anniversary of our daughter’s death my husband and I held a graveside service in her memory. It was a brief service because the February temperature hovered around zero and the wind chill was fierce. Despite the weather 10 people gathered to remember her. I passed out a list of our daughter’s values. These simple, powerful values are her legacy. Today, as my grandchildren graduate from high school and prepare for college, I am reminded of my daughter’s values and how they shaped her life…

Continue Reading »
Living a Mindful Life Is a Way to Cope With Grief No Comments

“Crisis impacts your writing,” the author said. “I wrote some of my best stuff when I was in crisis.” Though I had never met this local author before, I felt connected to her. Both of us were freelancers and both of us had experienced crisis. During our conversation we agreed that crisis made us more appreciative of family, friends, and the blessings in our lives. The memory of this conversation was tucked away in the back of my mind until 2007, when I lost my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law…

Continue Reading »