Tag Archives: death

LoveGram: Loving Difficult People

Hello friend.

This week’s Audio LoveGram talks about reaching out to people whom we may have a hard time loving. It includes an invitation to participate in a Secret Agents of Change special mission called “Operation Finn.”

My dear friend, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, who leads these missions of love with me, is grieving the death of her teenage son. Finn took his life in August and our mission this week is in honor of Finn.

In my audio today, I tell you more about the theme of this mission, which is to offer love to someone you might find it difficult to love. In our live call earlier this week, Rosemerry told some stories about ways in which Finn showed compassion and love when it wasn’t easy.

Listen to today’s Audio LoveGram now!

Just scroll down on that page until you see the audio player. Click play.

The Secret Agents of Change missions are designed to be as simple or as complex as it works for you. Often, you can complete the secret mission of kindness in just minutes if you don’t have a lot of time or energy. You can also choose to create kindness in a way that is more creative or complicated. It is all up to you.

The point is simply to surreptitiously offer kindness in a world that sorely needs it. (Note: sometimes the person who needs the most kindness and surprise love is YOU. Never leave yourself out of the equation.)

 

Here are just a few of the beautiful ways our Secret Agents have been carrying out this mission: 

* My boss is a miserable person who makes everyone miserable. I bought her a gift and asked how I could lighten her load.

* I wrote an affirming email to someone who pushes my buttons, thanking them for the work they are doing on a neighborhood issue

* I sent a beautiful card to a relative that is challenging for me. I am thanking him for the good he does in the world.

* I wrote a letter to my youngest son, who has not spoken to me for months, and told him how much I love him.

* I’m sending secret gift cards to the teens who work at a local company.

* I have opened my heart and prayed for someone who was unkind to me and my dog.

* It seems this mission chose me. At a neighborhood event, one of my neighbors that I find “annoying” came and sat right beside me. I chose to intentionally listen and engage in conversation with her. I am going to make her a special birthday present.

* I’ve been forwarding some of Rosemerry’s poems to people who are grieving.

* I am writing a postcard to a family member who hasn’t spoken to me for years. (A postcard so that she might read what it says before she throws it away.)

* I sent a message to my pre-teen niece and acknowledged her bright spirit at the family reunion we just had.

* I tucked a purposeful sum of money into an envelope yesterday along with a note that said “Random Acts of Kindness Treats in memory of Finn Thilo Trommer, a boy who loved people and ice cream.” I took the envelope to our town’s local ice cream and surreptitiously asked the manager to pay for people’s ice-cream that day.

 

You can read more stories like this on our Secret Agents Facebook Page where our agents report back when they’ve completed their missions of kindness.

You can watch the video replay of the Secret Agents call  — Rosemerry reads the poem and shares some stories about her son, Finn.

Be kind to the people you pass today.

Be kind and gentle with yourself, okay? (Even the parts you think you don’t like.)

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. To make it easy for you: this is the link to this week’s audio LoveGram, this is the link to the Secret Agents of Change replay video, this is the link to the Secret Agents Facebook Group, and this is the link to Rosemerry’s daily poems, the most recent of which will offer you so much comfort if you are grieving a loss in your own life.

 

Don’t abandon loved ones who are ill, grieving or going through loss

I want you to meet my friend, Christina. 

Christina is beautiful woman who is raising six children, running a business, and going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. 

Of course, there is so much more to her than that. You can search her name on Amazon to find her books and learn more. But today, I very much want to encourage you to watch this short video that Christina made as a plea to people to not abandon those we love when times are tough. 

When I saw this video posted on Christina's Facebook page, it touched me so deeply. I immediately asked Christina if she would let me share it. And she generously said yes.

Here's what this video is about, in short:
What can we say or do when a loved one is going through cancer, loss, grief, divorce, depression, or any other major life change? Dr. Christina Hibbert speaks from the heart in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer and shares some thoughts on how crucial it is to reach out — even if we feel unsure or uncomfortable. 

I really want you to watch her 10-minute video

I know that many of us, myself included, can feel so unsure of ourselves when someone we know is going through a hard time.

We can wait for the right thing to say or do. And we wait. And wait. All the while, that person is truly needing our love and presence. 

Christina generously shares some actual words we can say to people so we don't wait. 

Please watch her video and use it as an inspiration to reach out TODAY to someone who needs your love. 

However, if you don't watch that beautiful video, at least please read these words from Christina: 

"Let me just encourage you, if you know someone (and I know we all do) who you feel like needs a little extra help and love —they’re depressed, they’re struggling with a new diagnosis, they are going through a divorce, they have lost someone or something dear to them, a tough anniversary is coming around, or whatever it might be — Just PLEASE SAY SOMETHING. 

Reach out and say “You are on my mind. I care about you. I love you. I am here. I don’t know what to do and I don’t know what to say but I care. And I am here. I am willing to do whatever I can for you. I love you.”

Say or do SOMETHING. Please."

A life of celebration includes authentic love and presence. A life of celebration includes the deep love we share with people and our ability to be vulnerable. A life of celebration includes showing up, even when it is uncomfortable. 

Real celebration is this: Love in action. 

Reach out today, okay? 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,
xo Sherry 

“Love Never Dies” Workshop Replay

Thank you so much to those of you who attended my Reimagine Workshop on Sunday, “Love Never Dies.” ♥️ We missed those of you who couldn’t be there!

I feel so fortunate any time I am able to connect with you and to SEE your faces.  It means so much to me.

I had such a beautiful time getting to know the loved ones whom you brought to the workshop by way of their photos or the stories about them.

I’m still smiling as I think of “his cute butt” and the “toys she saves for visiting children” and “the way he knows the history of food” and her saying, “at least it isn’t raining.”

I’m also still thinking of each of your faces as you shared photos and memories of people you love — whom you will always love.

Being human is such a strange and wonderful thing, isn’t it? We have this capacity to love so deeply — and thus, to grieve so hard. We have the capacity to laugh, even as we miss someone desperately. 

I don’t know if you ever saw the animated film, “Inside Out,” but — [spoiler alert] — my favorite part is the message that often when we are sad, people show up for us with love. We get to connect on a whole different level with others.

That’s how I felt about being with you Sunday morning. I wouldn’t have chosen for us to come together because people in our lives have died. But being with you was such a gift.

I treasure getting to know you and the people you love.

We need to share in the love. We need to share in the grief. We need to connect. We need one another. 

For those of you who were unable to be with us during the actual workshop, I hope you will create a Love List by following along with the replay. (Link below!)

After you do so, please email me if you feel moved to do so. I’d love to see a photo of your beloved and/or to hear some of the things that dropped in during the workshop.

 

Here’s the replay Link
Click here to watch the workshop + follow along

P.S. The actual workshop starts around minute 17. However, I left all of the beginning conversation as participants were joining in, because the discussion was so rich and important. I think you’ll want to listen from the very start. 

 

After you watch the replay; do these!   

Keep adding to your Love List 
If you haven’t already done so, you can download the free printable I created for you and write your Love List items on it. Then, you can keep that sheet someplace handy and add to it anytime something drops in. You can also use the extra prompts on this page.

Share your Love List 
Do you know someone who also is missing the person you made your list as a tribute for? Consider calling someone and reading your list aloud. Sharing stories about what we love is a way to stay connected to the joy of the relationship. It is also a way to share the grief with someone who understands.

Invite others to add to the Love List 
On the call, we talked about how wonderful it can be to invite others to add their own Love List items to the tribute you’ve started. You could call someone on the phone, read them your list, and then ask if they want to share their own thoughts. Or, you could invite their participation via a letter, text, or email.

Check out Jane’s “Before I Go” Work 
I hope you enjoyed meeting my friend, Jane. If you’d like to find out more about the powerful and compassionate work she offers, here is a link to her book, “Before I Go: The Essential Guide to Creating a Good End of Life Plan.” Her course and website by the same name. And her Tedx Talk.

Check out Reimagine Resources
This workshop was offered in collaboration with the wonderful nonprofit, Reimagine. Reimagine is helping us explore death and celebration of life through conversation and creativity. I love this organization and encourage you to stay connected to them.

Add your tribute to my Million Love List Campaign
My mission is to inspire 1,000,000 Love Lists during my lifetime. Please take a quick moment to add yours to the count. If you would like to snap a photo and attach it, that would be wonderful. Otherwise, all you need to do is let us know the first name of the person you created it for. It would mean so much to me!

Don’t forget to “Say it Now.” 
Expressing love is such a healing act. Not just for the person who receives it, but for those of us giving it. Taking time to appreciate the people who are around you — right here and now —is another way to keep love alive. If you want some creative ideas for expressing your love, check out my book.

Ask any questions/stay in touch 
If you have any questions at all about creating Love Lists or celebrating life, email me. I’m here for you.

xo Sherry

Love Letter to the Grieving

I just read a beautiful reminder in the New York Times this morning about how important it is to write a letter to someone grieving about the person who has died.

If you can think of a few special memories you have about the person who died, these can be such pinpricks of light to someone who misses that person. Can you recall something that person said that had an impact on you? Something kind that they did? Something quirky or unique about them that you will always remember?

Share these things.

Even if you didn’t really know the person who died, you know and love someone who deeply loved that person.

Your note can even be simple and short, like this: “I’m thinking about your mom today. Even though I didn’t have the chance to meet her, I know she was an incredible person because look at the influence she had on YOU. I’ve also always enjoyed your stories about times you shared with her, especially baking together and sharing those yummy treats with the homeless. I know she had a beautiful, generous heart and I am holding her (and you) in my thoughts right now.”

Here’s a great quote from the article — thought I hope you’ll read the whole thing:

“A condolence letter is a gift to the recipient, but it’s a gift to the writer, too. Remembering someone you loved is a way of remembering who you were, a way of linking your own past and present. Even when you love only the survivor — even if you hardly knew, or never met, the mourned beloved, you know something crucial: You know that person had a hand in creating someone you love. A condolence letter confirms the necessity of connection, one human heart to another. It’s a way of saying, ‘We belong to one another.'”