Monthly Archives: March 2016

On Remembering Sad Anniversaries


  It’s easy (and fun!) to remember the exciting anniversaries and special dates in our lives—wedding anniversaries, birthdays, dating anniversaries, first-day-at-a-new-job anniversaries, heck, anything that gives us a reason to celebrate! But this post via Adulting served as a great reminder of the importance of remembering our loved one’s sad anniversaries, too, by actually marking them in our calendar and reaching out with an encouraging text, phone call, or card to let them know they are not alone on their difficult day. We loved this simple advice in the post: “…when it [the anniversary] comes (and it’s appropriate based on this friend’s personality), just send a text, “Hey, I know this is a hard day. I love you and I’m here to talk or eat ice cream with you or whatever you need.” We don’t have to go to extravagant lengths to remind the ones we love that we are there for them. The simplest of acts can serve in more powerful ways than we realize. Allow this post to encourage you in the way it encouraged us by making intentionality a priority in your relationships.

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How to Write a Condolence Note


  We were so inspired and moved by Joanna Goddard’s post about writing a thoughtful, genuine condolence note. It can be so hard to know what to say to a loved one who is grieving. We want to be intentional and personal and kind but sometimes, even though we know what we want to say, it’s hard to actually get the words out. Head on over to Cup of Jo to take a cue from Joanna’s prompts (things like telling stories about the loved one who has been lost and describing how you can help in specific, tangible ways), pick up a pen and an empathy card, and pop a note in the mail to someone who needs it most.

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The New Person: Interview with Morgan Booth

Photo by nbarrett photography.

  We are so excited to introduce you to Morgan Booth. We met Morgan a few years ago when she went on her first adventure to the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana as a chaperone for a youth group service trip. We have been so blessed by her friendship and her service to our organization. This summer Morgan will be spending seven weeks in Ghana overseeing our inaugural Summer Collegiate Internship Program. Without her selflessness and willingness to sacrifice her time, the dream of ours to implement this program could not have become a reality. Read on to learn more about Morgan’s work as a travel nurse, the impact the loss of her father had on her life, and they ways she stays motivated and inspired even when times feel tough.   Tell us about your job as a travel nurse. What does a day in the life of a travel nurse look like, and how did you end up in this line of work? I first heard about travel nursing when I was in college working on my nursing degree. I knew immediately that I wanted to pursue that career one day. My love for travel has […]

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A Unique Way to Show Support

Photo by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.

We were so inspired by this post by Joanna Goddard about a truly unique way that she showed support to her grieving sister. Joanna’s twin sister, Lucy, lost her husband, Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, MD, last March after a valiant battle with lung cancer. He was just 37 years old. Joanna writes about spending time with Lucy this past fall when she came to visit Joann’s family in Brooklyn: “She was grieving the loss of her husband, Paul, and she felt very lonely. ‘I feel like bursting into tears when I think about returning to an empty house,’ she told me. She said it still felt like the house she shared with Paul, but she wanted it to feel like a home of her own, where she could have a fresh start with her daughter. So, we brainstormed: What could we do to cheer up her place? I reached out to my super talented interior-design friend Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook and Juniper Studio, and she was kind enough to agree to help. What she did was more than we had ever hoped for.” Hop over to Cup of Jo to see the incredible before-and-after photos of Lucy’s living […]

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Contagious Joy: Interview with Dana Dix

Photo by Nancy Borowick.

This week we are honored to introduce you to Dana Dix, a dear friend of the organization’s and the visionary behind Seth’s Social Center. Dana lost her 25-year-old son, Seth, in 2012, and while she was in the depths of her grief over her horrific loss, she stumbled across Pam Cope’s story and it inspired her to reach out in order to learn more about Touch A Life. Read on and take part in our conversation with the amazing Dana, learning about her road to healing and the advice she has for grieving families. How did you learn about Touch A Life, and how did you decide to get involved in the work going on in Ghana? My 25-year-old son, Seth, died on December 10, 2011. I found myself begging God to shoe me some reason to hope for a future without my son. Just a few weeks later, on January 1, 2012, I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. A repeat of a past show featuring Pam Cope and Touch A Life played and tugged on my heartstrings. I was so touched by Pam’s story and the important work the organization was doing in Ghana. I cried out to […]

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Ways Creativity Can Help You Through Grief


  We absolutely love this post on 5 Ways a Creative Practice Can Help You Through Grief. Through the Legacy Projects hosted at the Care Center and in our expanding Art Healing program around the world, we have seen families creatively commemorate memories in honor of their loved ones in such powerful, profound ways, serving as a true testament to the accuracy of this post. In particular, we love this excerpt from the post: When you’re grieving, it can feel as if everything in your life has changed, and often it has. Creativity can be a solid, comforting, and familiar friend—a pillar of self-support…Make no mistake, establishing a creative practice takes effort, commitment, and discipline, just like many of the most worthwhile things in life. But it will reward you, again and again. Hop on over to Tiny Buddha’s website to read the post in full, and we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section—has creativity helped you move through your grief journey?

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Climbing Out of Darkness: Interview with Jessica Hooten


It is an honor for us to share Jessica Hooten’s story with you today. Jessica and her husband, Clay, live in Dallas, TX, with their daughter, Quinn. In 2014 the Hootens lost their beautiful daughter, Priscilla, to anencephaly, a fatal disorder related to the development of the brain while a baby is in utero. Read on to hear learn about Jessica’s story, one that includes a transformative journey to the Touch A Life Care Center in Ghana. Thank you, Jessica, for being so honest, vulnerable, and raw with us—we are so grateful for your story and we are blessed by your words. How did you decide to go to Ghana with Touch A Life? I had been to Ghana once before in 2010. In 2014 my husband and I were pregnant with our second child, another little girl who we named Priscilla Joy. She was due in the summertime, and when we went to a doctor’s appointment about halfway through our pregnancy, we found out that Priscilla was anencephalic and would not live long after her birth. To say the least, we were devastated to learn of this fatal diagnosis. As I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, I […]

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On Unsurvivable Losses


We stopped in our tracks when we came across this beautiful quote from Anne Lamot’s book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. It captivated and encouraged us, and it seemed to sum up our hopes and dreams for this Grief Community platform in a way that we never could: “I have seen many people survive unsurvivable losses, and seen them experience happiness again. How is this possible? Love flowed to them from their closest people, and from their community, surrounded them, sat with them, held them, fed them, swept their floors. Time passed. In most cases, their pain evolved slowly into help for others. The great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, I slept and dreamt that life was joy. / I awoke and saw that life was service. / I acted and behold, service was joy.” What do you think about this quote? Does it impact you as much as it impacted us?

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