By Mitch Carmody —

My resolution for the year ahead is to practice one element of what I call Proactive Grieving. That element is being intentional; to reach out with some sort of communication that recognizes a special day for someone who has suffered a loss.

Certain calendar days throughout the year are very significant to those who grieve the loss of a loved one: death days, birthdays, diagnosis days, anniversaries, day of the accident, day of surgery, religious observations, holidays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, family annual event days and more.

In the first year of loss, even the day of the week that a person died is significant to the survivors, as is the exact time on the clock that our loved one died. For example, my son died on Tuesday. Dec. 1, 1987 at 6:32 p.m. After that, each Tuesday at 6:32 punched me in the gut. For many, many years I dreaded each rollover of the month as another 1st of the month emerged that reminded me of the day he died, as well as marking the day as another month completed in survival.

In the coming year, I plan to create a dedicated calendar marked with those significant days of those whom I know are grieving the loss of their loved one. This will remind me to send a card, send some flowers, send an email, make a phone call or a personal visit. Reach out and touch someone, it heals both ways.

Mitch Carmody is a writer and workshop leader. Reach him through his website, www.HeartlightStudios.net.

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Mitch Carmody

Mitch Carmody

After suffering many familial losses from a young age and ultimately with the death of his nine-year-old son of cancer in 1987, Mitch Carmody, has struggled with the grief journey and how grief is processed and perceived in this country. He published a book in 2002 called “Letters To My Son, a journey through grief." The book has now reached the bereaved in every state and 7 other countries. From the book’s success he now travels locally and around the country lecturing on the grief process and/or conducting workshops on surviving the loss of a loved one. He has also conducted a variety of workshops with The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents USA as well as a sought after speaker for many keynote presentations. As a trained hospice volunteer, he has also helped many loved ones and their families through the dying process. Mitch has published several articles in national bereavement periodicals, is a frequent contributor to TCF Atlanta On-line and currently a staff writer for Living with Loss Magazine. Through email correspondence on his website he council’s the bereaved on a daily basis. Since the death of his son 19 years ago, Mitch has dedicated his life to helping those individuals and families whom are trying to navigate in the uncharted territory of death, dying and the bereavement process. Through his compassionate insight and gentle spirit he will touch your heart and hopefully give you tools to aid you on your journey Mitch lives in rural Minnesota with my wife of thirty years, he enjoys riding my horses, gardening, writing, helping others, giving blood monthly and creating works of art. He is also a proud first time grandfather to the daughter of their surviving daughter Meagan. To learn more about Mitch and his work, go to: www.HeartlightStudios.net. Mitch appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Letters From My Son.” To hear Mitch being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley042706.mp3 Mitch appeared again on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing the Holidays, Helpful or Hurtful? To hear Mitch interviewed by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley122508.mp3

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