Blog: grief

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

Read More



My Resentment Box-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: June 23, 2019

We want to be nice girls so we stuff our feelings, paste on a plastic smile and carry on. Inwardly the heart churns and toxic fumes accumulate as we drink our own poison hoping the other person will die.  Resentment is the number one killer of relationships, especially marriages. I’m a beaten up expert on this topic as I learned how to recognize and survive this toxic crisis in my first marriage.  I recall how each time I felt resentment, I wanted to pick up a rock and throw it toward my enemy.  But because I tried to have harmony in the home I hid the rock (my anger) and put it into a pretty little imaginary box where it would be nice and safe. I was clueless about the dangers of ultimate explosions. I did not know that resentment was: Feeling heartbroken after exerting a great deal of effort…

Posted in: Communication, Conflict, confront conflict, decisions, Expectations, faulty thinking, Forgiveness, Friendship, grief, happy, honest, intimacy destroyer, listen, Making Wise Choices, personalities, Resentment, suffering, Tension

Read More



Where Have All The Relationships Gone?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: May 19, 2019

I live alone, so relationships take top priority. I’ve come to realize it takes sacrificial time on all our parts to make relationships meaningful, intimate and joyful. Sixty years ago people had family and friends over for meals, sitting on the front porch or in the living room and having “interesting” conversations. Sometimes fun and meaningful and other times cringing with awkwardness. But at least people were connecting and talking. There are 24 hours in the day for all of us, but time has become our scarcest and most precious commodity. Let’s unpack T.I.M.E. and see where it takes us. T.        Take time – In this generation one of our greatest expressions of love is when we make time for each other. You won’t recognize its significance or value until your life falls apart.  My friend Cheryl said this: “Many of my friends have lost loved ones and I’ve been around grief a…

Posted in: Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Faith, Families, feeling good, Friendship, girlfriends, good conversation, grief, happiness, homes, honesty, joy, Laughter, loneliness, love, recapture your joy, Understanding each other

Read More



Binding Up My Messes-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 28, 2019

Christmas 1992 my first husband, Dick presented me with a precious gift, a new leather Bible. Oh the smell and beauty of this grand book. For twenty-seven years, through the death of both of my husbands, and travelling all over North American and beyond, this treasured book never left my side. It’s highlighted with notes, symbols and dates and I can’t perceive being without it.   Being hauled around in suitcases, passed around at conferences and thrown into overhead airline bins, over the years my beautiful Bible literally fell apart. Silver duct tape did the trick until December 18th, 2018.  I quit fighting the inevitable. I quit fighting the inevitable and took my Bible into a little Book Binding shop on a little side street in Kelowna, British Columbia. The owners were more than eager to help me find a new leather cover. As we passed through the back work area…

Posted in: ask God, brokenness, grief, messes, trust, trust Good

Read More



Three Lies that cause Unnecessary Suffering-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 12, 2019

I know you can relate when I tell you I’ve caused myself a lot of unnecessary suffering because of lies I believe. For example: Lying awake at night because I made a mistake, did something where I didn’t measure up, said the wrong thing again or misinterpreted a comment.  Imagine what joyful and fruitful lives we could experience by overcoming some of the daily, debilitating lies. We know all our shortcomings and foibles so it’s easy to condemn ourselves.  God’s truth seems so perfect and unreachable. The reality is that we live in a world of truth and lies The list of lies is endless but I will tackle three. This is my personality. Really? Your personality was shaped through all the imperfect script, images, information and your environment. Yes, a large portion of it was passed through your family genes, but God is in the people transformation business. You’re…

Posted in: adversity, angry, ask God, Beauty from the Inside Out, Christ, decisions, disappointment, disappointments, Expectations, Faith, False Belief Systems, faulty thinking, feeling bad, Freedom, God's love, grief, happiness, healing, joy, lies, love, messes, needs, Overcoming Struggles, pain, personalities, pray, self worth, self-esteem, suffering, temporary, Valued

Read More



How To Feel Good When You’re Feeling Bad-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 9, 2018

We’re a generation that’s not good with feeling bad.  Yet there are those days or seasons where life just feels bad.  I’m not talking about a depression or severe anxiety that needs tender loving counselling or therapy; it’s the dailyness and sometimes ruggedness of a certain season. Like sadness or loss of something precious and valuable, or the month of December known as…Christmas. Christmas is difficult for many people.   Christmas is the season where you are supposed to feel good. We all want our life portrayed like the magical Holiday movies of people skating at Rockefeller Center, houses covered in lights and Christmas presents with huge, perfect bows. It’s the magic and pleasure we all hope to experience.  But sadness or grief confuses our expectations and priorities. On one hand we want all that goodness and fun, yet somehow it seems wrong and too much work. Both my husbands…

Posted in: adversity, alone, Beauty from the Inside Out, care, Christ, Christmas, could, death, decisions, Encouragement, Expectations, Faith, feeling bad, feeling good, Freedom from Busyness, gifts, God's love, grace, grief, happy, Hope, joy, Laughter, Overcoming Struggles, presents, shoud, should, trust

Read More



I’m Not Afraid Anymore-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: November 14, 2018

When the balance of gravity in your life shifts, and the familiar and comfortable is taken away, it can paralyze us with fear. How do we calm our hearts and stop the anxiety when there are more questions than answers and we have no idea how we’ll survive tomorrow? Fear is a monster that has the potential to destroy us. November 15this the second anniversary of my beloved Jack’s death and I can honestly say: “I’m not afraid anymore.” Fear no longer has its grip on me and assuredly I tell you that through Christ I have become more than a conqueror. How did that happen? Let me explain. I admit I was afraid in the months following Jack’s death. How I would live out the rest of my days…alone? What would happen to my speaking and writing ministry?  Would I fit into my circle of friends as a single…

Posted in: Christ, death, decisions, Faith, Finding Truth, God's love, God's promises, grief, Jesus, joy, love, Making Wise Choices, satan

Read More



Everything in Life is Temporary-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 30, 2018

A place I worked in for twenty-one years is being torn and shredded until it is non-existent. Gone. The office and people to which I dedicated those years have gone on with their lives, and so have I. It’s hard to accept that this successful and fulfilling era of my life was only temporary. If you don’t agree that everything in life is temporary, just pull out an old photo album. This year I’ve started almost every day saying: “Today is the very best day I’m going to have.”  It doesn’t always turn out that way, but if I have dedicated that day to God, then everything happened the way it was designed to unfold. Again, if you’re not sure today is your very best day, look at a photo of yourself 15 years ago, and you’ll probably agree: “Hey today is pretty good!” Today is the very best day…

Posted in: Encouragement, God's promises, grief, heart of God, Hope, Jesus, joy, loneliness, love, momentary trouble, Overcoming Struggles, pain, temporary, thankful, trouble, weeping

Read More



The Empty Chair-by Heidi McLaughlin-Revised

Posted: April 14, 2018

Canadians are known for being polite, but not when it comes to hockey. The smell, sights and sounds of a hockey game bring out the unleashed passion of the faithful and dedicated Canadian fans. Don’t ever get caught up in a conversation about the opposite team, you’re about to hear more than our polite “Ay!” In the last week I’ve seen that Canadian passion turned into deep compassion as our country, and the world grieves the horrific accident claiming the lives of sixteen members of the Humboldt Broncos. The tremendous outpouring of love on this team is unprecedented, and this story has touched the lives of all of us.   Even those of us who are not hockey fans know the pain of deep grief and loss. Like the flavour of the week, the support, hype and attention will soon fade away. In a week this will be old news….

Posted in: Canadian Hockey, death, empathy, empty chair, Families, funeral, God's love, grief, Humboldt Broncos, listen, mourn, pray, Prayer, sympathy

Read More



“If Only…” by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 27, 2017

Those haunting raw words keep us awake at night, encrust our hearts and trap us in the “City of Regret.” If only the ambulance arrived sooner. If only I saw symptoms. If only I hadn’t opened that cash drawer. If only I hadn’t said that, done that, ignored that. If only I hadn’t started gambling, drinking, overeating. The pain gnaws at our soul and accuses of us failure and forbids us to move forward in freedom. What I’ve learned in the last few months is that resurrection life isn’t just about what happens after we die, it’s what happens while we live. Fully alive! Right now my darling Jack is experiencing resurrection life in ways our human minds cannot even imagine. I miss him dreadfully and can’t even comprehend the joy he experiencing. But resurrection life starts in our spirit when we receive Christ as our Saviour and is completed…

Posted in: death, Freedom, grief, if only, Jesus, joy, pain, regret, resurrection, unbelief

Read More