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Celebrating a Life on Mother's Day: Helping Others to Help You Through Grief.

GLENDALE, Calif. -- The relationship between mother and child is special. That relationship doesn't end when a mother dies, but it changes and the following years, special occasions, and holidays are often a bittersweet mix of grief and memories. Mother's Day can be particularly difficult for the bereaved who have lost their mom.

Through nearly 100 years of service to the community Forest Lawn has gained a special expertise in grief. Understanding the important need among friends and family members to help a grief-stricken loved one, Forest Lawn offers these tips.

--Be a good listener - having the "right" words doesn't matter, just take the time to sit with me and listen to my stories, my anger, my pain and my joy; just listen.

--Don't change the subject when I talk about my mom. I feel the need to talk about her often and it helps me to keep her memory alive, especially on a day like Mother's Day.

--Don't be concerned if I start to cry. Almost anything makes me cry these days. It's normal and healthy to cry when you're bereaved.

--Talk with me about my mom - help me celebrate her life. Tell me what you remember about her, things she said or did that stand out...hearing this brings her closer to me.

--Suggest we go do something - anything! But don't be offended if I tell you today is not the right time - just keep asking.

--If I ask, give me private time. It's okay for me to be alone with my sorrow and alone with my mom; to celebrate or remember in my own way.

--Don't try to figure me out, solve the problem, or fix the situation. It won't happen and we'll both end up dissatisfied.

--Join my celebration - at church, on a walk, planting her favorite flower. Take a few minutes from your day to celebrate a life that I cherished.

--Don't tell me that my mom was "spared by dying" - it's not comforting.

--Focus on me...not my brothers, sisters, kids, or others. At this moment, all I feel is my pain.

About Forest Lawn

For one hundred years Forest Lawn has been the community resource where families and friends turn to celebrate life - from weddings and baptisms to funerals and family history. Founded in 1906, Forest Lawn serves Southern California through its six locations - Glendale, Hollywood Hills, Cypress, Covina Hills, Long Beach, and Claremont - with 1250 acres, only 750 of which are developed. Forest Lawn originated the memorial-park concept that eliminated upright tombstones in favor of sweeping vistas and lawns. In addition, Forest Lawn opened the first mortuary on dedicated cemetery grounds.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 2, 2005
Words:438
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