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.

Does Staying Busy Get You Through Grief or Lead to Avoidance? No Comments

Several days after my daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash, I received call from a friend. She told me her son had died in a car crash when he was 17 years old, something I didn’t know. Her call and advice to “stay busy” touched my heart. Since I had experienced loss before, I understood the advice, but it makes grief counselors cringe. Becoming too busy can turn into grief avoidance. When my friend called I had no inkling that two more family members would die. I didn’t know I would find a way to “stay busy.”…

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Grief Help: What Religion Can and Cannot Do for You No Comments

The death of four family members in 2007 caused me to examine my religious/spiritual beliefs. I had so many questions. Why did so many family members die? Why did my daughter die now? Would I survive such tragedy? The answers to these questions didn’t come quickly; rather, they evolved with meditation, prayer and time. I belong to a liberal religious community and members rallied to help. My husband and I met with our minister several times. She was extremely kind and helpful and we knew the church…

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Playing Hide and Seek With Grief: Recovering From Loss No Comments

The church service had just begun and the congregation and guests were greeting one another. A friend, who knew four of my family members died in 2007, approached me and asked, “How are you?”, “I’m good,” I replied. “How are you?”. Widowed a year ago, my friend replied, “Oh, I’ve found that grief hides. When you think it’s gone you find yourself crying.” I understood her comment. After losing my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law, there have been many times when grief reached out and…

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Before You Join a Grief Support Group, Consider These Points No Comments

Grief is exhausting. That’s bad enough, but painful emotions are confusing and may keep you from functioning. Churches, hospitals, national and local organizations all have grief support groups. Though they may look the same from the outside, these groups can be very different on the inside. In 2007 four of my family members died, my elder daughter, father-in-law, brother (and only sibling) and my twin grandchildren’s father. So I understand grief and especially the grief of multiple losses. Getting help is a proactive step…

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Reclaiming Personal Power and Painting a New Picture of Your Life No Comments

The other day I came across a rerun of Oprah Winfrey’s television show. Interior designer Nate Berkus was one of her guests. He was there to talk about recovering from loss, something Berkus knows all too well. Five years ago his life partner was killed in the tsunami that wrecked havoc on Thailand. When the date appeared on the calendar, Berkus would have an anniversary reaction and mourn again. In time, however, he came to think of the date as just a number. “I took back the power,” he explained…

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During Your Grief Journey Help May Come From Unexpected Sources No Comments

Like most mourners, you may be looking for practical help. Where do you find it? You may start by calling family members and friends. Your religious/spiritual community may be a source of help as well. The local hospital may have a grief support group. Bereavement communities on the Internet are also helpful. As I discovered in 2007, after losing four family members, help may come from unexpected sources. More than four years have passed since my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law died…

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Finding Your Light in the Midst of Grief No Comments

An old Gospel hymn, “This Little Light of Mine,” talks about sharing your personal light. In the midst of grief, however, darkness may be all you see. You can’t envision a future or figure out how to get there. Worse, you may think your light has gone out forever. It hasn’t. Your light — the talents, training, and experience you possess — is still within you. These gifts have not disappeared, but are fallow, waiting to grow again. How can you rekindle your light and share it? Connecting with a spiritual community is a good place…

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Continue Your Hobbies As You Grieve for a Loved One No Comments

My mother loved to bake. Her orange sponge cake was famous in the neighborhood and our church. She was also known for her chocolate and blonde brownies, flaky homemade biscuits, and French chocolate cake. Friends would drop off ingredients and ask my mother to bake for them. If she had wanted, she could have turned her skills into a business. Mixes weren’t available yet and everything she baked was made from scratch. It’s a wonder any baked goods came from our tiny kitchen…

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Joining Life Again After the Death of a Child: Your Grief Recovery No Comments

My daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Surgeons operated on her for 20 hours, but were unable to save her life. Her injuries were too severe and her brain had stopped functioning. With disbelief and dread, my husband and I signed the papers to stop all life support. When my daughter’s life ended, I felt mine had come to a halt. The experience was surreal and I walked around in a daze. But my husband and I hardly had time to mourn, when, nine months later, her former husband died…

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Memorial Service Basics: Honoring the Deceased, Comforting the Bereaved No Comments

After my daughter and father-in-law died the same weekend, my husband and I were in such shock we could hardly think. Family members agreed that we could not hold two services at this time. We would have a service for our daughter and have a memorial for my father-in-law at a later date. Planning our daughter’s memorial service was a challenge because we did not belong to her church. All we could do was rely on our instincts and focus on memorial service basics. What are these basics?…

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