Dear Children:

It is with great sadness to hear of your beloved mother’s death.  No matter what age, to have a parent die is a difficult happening and the beginning of a very different life without them.

Though I was not fortunate enough to know your mom, I admired her ability to model grief.  She was losing her health and her life while also grieving the loss of her marriage and husband.  I am grateful to her for being a role model of grief.  There are few.

To those of you in school, maybe you could find a grief space in someone’s office.  When I counseled in a school, I had a bulletin board in my office for those students who had a loved one die; they could post the loved one’s picture.

The deal was, if my office door was open they could come in, sit, think, take the picture down, stroke it, kiss it, talk to it, and simply grab a grief moment.  I call it using your personal GriefGear because your grief is unique.  Sometimes you might want to talk, but other times not.  Grief is lonesome.  You will miss your mom every breath you take, always.

Sending thoughts of love,

Karen  Johnson

Karen Johnson

Karen O. Johnson, M.Ed. began grief group counseling in 1981 with ten teens experiencing the death of a parent. Since then, she has worked with a large population of youth, families, and adults coping with loss as an individual and group counselor. Over the span of 35 years in the education industry, she has held various positions in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education including: teacher, counselor, principal, crisis team member and director and crisis line counselor and director in the Jordan, Murray, and Salt Lake School Districts in Utah, and the Texas Independent School District. Currently, Karen is the Area Chair, Lead Faculty in the Social Sciences Human Services Program at the University of Phoenix. Karen is also the founder of EveryDayGrief, LLC, a company offering seminars for helping professionals, where innovative techniques are shared to positively impact the grief journey of youth and adults. Along with counselor trainings, she runs grief support groups.

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