Dedicated to the Boys in Red

The seven boys and their coach’s wife died in a highway accident on their way home from a basketball game on the weekend — just minutes away from their hometown of Bathurst, New Brunswick. Today, schools and families all across Canada pay their respects as thousands attended the funeral for the seven lost members of the team known as The Boys in Red.

There have been some amazing tributes…

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If There's Anything I Can Do

Photo by m a r i s a

“If there’s anything I can do… please let me know.”

If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you’ve heard those words spoken. On the phone, in person, accompanied by a hug or a handshake, written inside a sympathy card…

And if you’ve ever anxiously stood by while a friend suffered through the process of grief and mourning a death, you’ve probably said the same thing yourself — meaning every word of it, too.

“If there’s anything I can do…” is usually born of a sense of helplessness, don’t you think? We ache for the friend who is in pain, we want to reach out and “fix” everything, but so often we just don’t know what to do.

So, what really does help, when someone you care about is struggling to come to terms with a sudden loss?

The answer is probably different for each individual, as we all react differently to different emotional situations —

I’ll bet you know someone who craves a big hug for comfort, for example, and others who turn inside their emotional wall to present a stoic face to the world. Me, I’m all in favour of the hugs. In fact, a physical touch is often a good start. Put an arm around your friend’s shoulder, and that touch can cut right through the awkwardness of searching for the right words…

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Christmas Remembrance Gifts

Today’s guest is Dazzlin Donna Fontenot, who lives up to her nickname with a simply dazzling personalized gift idea that combines the virtues of thrift and creativity with the kind of real meaning we seek in the holiday season. Thanks for sharing this, Donna! ~Jen

Christmas Remembrance Gifts

The holiday season is meant to be a joyous one, but as we age we often must deal with loss. Many of us have lost parents and grandparents, or other family members in the past, and they are very much missed at holiday gatherings. Nevertheless, they can still be a part of the festivities as we honor them with remembrance gifts.

lacey vase gift - DazzlinDonna I like to give remembrance gifts that utilize some bits of the loved one’s favorite clothing, knick-knacks, or crafts. For example, this year, we purchased several cobalt-blue glass jars from the local Dollar store (for $1 each), along with a few bags of pot-pourri. We then used my grandmother-in-law’s old lace doilies that she had crocheted many years ago, wrapped one around each vase, and tied a ribbon around the neck of the vase to keep the doily “attached” to the vase. Next, we simply filled the vase with pot-pourri, and it was ready to be given to her grandchildren as a gift to remember her by.

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