• Do you find yourself forgetting to smile?
  • Do you feel mood swings as the seasons change?
  • Are you so buried in grief that you don’t want to smile?




Watch this little boy, who lost both his parents, put smiles on others’ faces…

…  and how it helps him feel better!


CBS On The Road SHWe can all feel better and make progress in healing our grief if we focus on the positive and help others like 6-year-old Jayden Hayes does in this video from CBS’ Steve Hartman “On The Road” series.  We could all learn a lot from this child…

I talk about “Helping Others Helps You Heal” int he last chapter of my first book, “A Butterfly’s Journey”, and I’ve written a previous blog on it as well, but this kid is a great living example!



Placing your focus on others or a cause that is important to you helps you get your mind off your own pain.  It’s amazing how much better it makes you feel when you can see that you are making a difference for someone else, and feel their gratitude.  If  you are doing it in honor of or in memory of a loved one, it feels even more worthwhile.  That, dear souls, is very HEALING!

Try it now…
 STOP & think of something that makes you SMILE!

It could be a funny thing that your loved one said or did.  It could be something unrelated that made you smile that day.  It might even be thinking about this video that you just watched… just SMILE!  Force yourself if you must – it will become a habit if you try often enough.  Each time, it gets easier!  … & you feel better!


Smiling is not a quick fix to grief or the solution to everything.  Nothing is! 
But, it helps – one of many things that does.  Smiling changes your energy.


I’ll give you an example:

We run a MA chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a national and international organization supporting family after a child dies, at any age from any cause.  We do an annual candle lighting ceremony which is coordinated globally, where we honor our children with music, readings and lighting candles.  It is a lovely but a sad event.  

A couple of years ago, we decided to add a section for those families that wanted to stay after the candle lighting ceremony.  Instead of going around telling our sad stories about how our child died, as we often do in monthly support meetings, I told everyone to be prepared to tell a funny or cute story about their child.  When we did that, the whole room of parents that were sad, were then smiling and laughing.  We were enjoying the stories about our children.  It helped us get to know each other and our children better.  The room transformed and filled with love instead of grief!

That is what our children and loved ones want – for us to choose to heal, to get better.  They want us to be happy that we had them with us, even if it was for too short a time.  Nothing breaks the bond of love, not even death.


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Supporting you on YOUR journey to a new normal.

Barbara J Hopkinson,
President & Exec Dir.,  A Butterfly’s Journey

PS  Please SHARE this blog with bereaved families you know.

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