Blog: listen

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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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

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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

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The Empty Chair-By Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: April 13, 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 Cougars. 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, empty chair, Families, funeral, Humboldt Cougars, listen, mourn, pain, pray, Prayer, sympathy

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Women, Love Your Husbands-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: March 12, 2018

I wrote a marriage blog for four years called the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) Marriage, because I believe in the care and nurture of enjoying a loving marriage. So now that I am a widow why am I still writing about marriages? Because it wrecks my heart when I see husbands and wives not treating each other in ways that brings joy and fulfillment to their lives. God designed marriage to be good, so go for the good! Maybe you don’t have the perfect husband, but if he were gone tomorrow, you would treat him differently today. Marriage was not designed to be a power struggle, a wrestling match, or the biggest winner or loser. Marriage was designed to bring out the best in each other; the way God designed us to be. Yes, it takes sandpapering, but that is part of the loving process. Rick Warren in his…

Posted in: Families, fighting, God' Love, Harmony, homes, laughter, listen, love, marriage, pray, Prayer, relationships, time, Understanding each other, weaknesses, winning

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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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