Blog: friends

Learning To Live Alone-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 7, 2019

Living alone is hard, especially if you’ve always had someone by your side for a long time. Your body is jarred when your heart is exploding with joy and no one at home to share it with. Or, an unexpected bill arrives in the mail and now it’s up to you to handle it. You need to turn on the irrigation but don’t know where the knobs are, or you need to learn how to barbecue or change the filter in the furnace. In the almost three years of living alone, I’ve overcome all those frustrations and solitary adventures, but the aloneness is always there. I’m facilitating a group called Grief Share, where once again I’m confronted with the reality of people learning how to live alone. Some for the first time after fifty or sixty years. I ache for them and cry for them because this is hard. Now…

Posted in: alone, ask God, Christ, companionship, decisions, empty chair, Encouragement, Expectations, feeling good, friends, Friendship, happiness, havens, homes, hospitality, laughter, loneliness, Overcoming Struggles, pray, recapture your joy, relationships

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What NOT to say to a Grieving Friend-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: July 7, 2019

I’ve earned the “School of Hard Knocks” degree of being a Grief Expert through no choice of my own. After being widowed twice, losing my dad through ALS, my mother through myelodysplasia plus a myriad of other loses; I’ve heard every encouraging, and not so, encouraging word. After reading that wonderful article by Celeste Headlee in her Huffpost article, I wanted to add a few of my personal favourites. Please don’t berate yourself if you find your words in any of the following scripts. Grief is the most painful feeling we encounter while we walk this earth.  It’s outrageously personal. It’s love with no place to go. It’s awkward. It’s the walking wounded and nothing you say is right or wrong or will make it better. I love it when people try to say something, instead of not making eye contact or walking away.  I’ve been one of the fortunate…

Posted in: alone, Christ, cry, death, Encouragement, friends, God's love, grief, Heavenly Father, honesty, joy, Kindness, laugh, listen, love never fails, pain, pray, relationships, smile, suffering

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Finding Unshakeable Joy

Posted: November 13, 2017

These are the dark days of remembering. The paramedics revived my beloved Jack’s heart on November 11, but then he died November 15th. Yesterday (November 11th) one of my children asked, “Mom, what did you think about when you first work up this morning? I responded, “My house full of paramedics, machines, frenzied and hushed conversations and a lot of thumping.” But as the day evolved, the images changed from the horror of that day, to the beauty found in the valley of pain. My two words for 2017 are hope and healing. For the past year those two words were on my prayer sheet, and the lenses through which I sought God to birth fruit to meaningless words on paper. However, those words became alive through my faith, family and friends. Faith: Faith is my top spiritual gift, but it didn’t feel like it during the dark and lonely…

Posted in: Faith, Families, friends, happiness, healing, Hope, joy, laughter, love, pain, pray

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When Worry Doesn’t Remove Anxiety-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 11, 2017

I’m not prone to worry or struggle with anxiety. The only times I’ve felt anxious is moments before I step onto a platform with a large audience or waiting for biopsy reports. For thirty years I’ve taught people to find “the peace that surpasses all unde rstanding” (Phil. 4:6,7) by changing their worry words into prayer words. It looks something like this. Instead of worrying about a huge problem at work, change your words into a prayer: “Heavenly Father, You know that by tomorrow I have to resolve (the problem).   I confess that I don’t know what to do. I ask that when I wake up tomorrow you will guide me to the right people, the necessary paperwork and give me wisdom to resolve the issue. I thank you in advance for how You will work this out. Thank You, Amen.” In the last thirty years God answered this prayer…

Posted in: counsellor, Faith, friends, isolated, Jesus, joy, Peace, pray, Prayer, trust, unanswered prayer

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UNOPENED GIFT BOXES

Posted: May 28, 2017

Imagine a room filled with gift boxes of every shape, colour and size. What would you hope to find that would make you happy beyond reason? Perhaps a new car, the latest TV screen, latest version of I-phone, a promotion, a new puppy or a luxury vacation? Or maybe you need a good night’s sleep, less stress, be able to get pregnant or stop the neighbour’s dog from barking late at night. I know those are all good desires that would bring a smile to your face and ease in your life. As Christians we have access to a room filled with gift boxes that hold everything we need to feel rich and fulfilled. But we won’t recognize our need for different boxes until a phone call, conversation or tragic incident throws our world out of balance. How do we find the kind of gifts we need during this dark…

Posted in: ask God, desires, friends, happy, Hope, i-phone, joy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, pain, Prayer, purpose, rest, trauma

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When Hope and Grit Collide

Posted: May 8, 2017

Hope gets us up in the morning. We can get through the rough stuff when we believe that something good is going to happen. But sometimes, out of the blue, grit shows up and stops us dead in our tracks. It may be a call from your Doctor’s office, an accident, divorce, bankruptcy, death or other bad news that changes everything and time stands still. That is what happened to me three months ago. Grit showed up in the way of a panic attack. I’ve only had two panic attacks (after the death of my first husband) so I was familiar with the sensations and breathing my way out of it. But it was a panic attack that would not stop and days later I was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew Jack’s (my second husband) death was traumatic and I thought I was dealing with that deep pain during the…

Posted in: alone, community, death, Families, friends, grief, grit, happy, Hope, Kindness, panic attacks, trauma, trust

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Friends Help us to Heal

Posted: February 7, 2017

I call it my “Black Friday.” Throughout the three weeks of my husband Jack’s death and funeral, my house was a revolving door with family, friends, neighbours and super sized casseroles. Then the day came when I drove my last child to the Kelowna airport and walked through my front door. Empty house. Alone. Then came Friday. The sky was heavy with winter gloom and grief stabbed at me with knives that shook me to the core. Never before had I experienced the depth of such pain, darkness and “aloneness”. I was startled when my cell phone rang and then heard the gentle and loving voice of a dear friend. Once I heard the emphatic tone in her voice all I did was sob. And sob. She didn’t try to console me, fix me or make things better. She simply cried with me and then listened. Once I was able…

Posted in: alone, death, empathy, friends, Friendship, funeral, grief, listen, pain, pray, relationships, sympathy

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