Video Script:

This is Maria and myself — healing together We chose to heal after each losing sons in vehicular accidents. As you might imagine, we went through a period of time that was mind numbing, extremely difficult, and scary.

My name is Barbara J Hopkinson of A Butterfly’s Journey To a New Normal. We help individuals and families struggling with grief to find a new normal after expe- riencing loss of a child or other traumatic loss.

The fact that you are experiencing something that you never thought would hap- pen is exactly why it is normal to feel like Maria and I were feeling. This is why we suggest using ritual as one way to help you heal.

When you use ritual to mark the loss of a loved one, or to honor them, it can be quite comforting. It makes you feel more connected to them and gives allows you to feel more hopeful. There are many types of ritual and many ways to use it. We can provide ideas to choose from.

We suggest using ritual for your loved ones birthdays or ‘angel-versaries’ (an- niversaries of their death). You might also use ritual on a more regular basis to relieve stress, guilt or anger — or show love. An example of the former might be to write down something you feel guilty about on a piece of paper, then in a sort of ceremony, burn the paper to rid yourself of it. You might show love by lighting a candle in their honor, and so on.

Some suggestions to get started using ritual:

Keep an open mind. As long as no one gets hurt, try things even if they seem silly at first.

Make a short list of ritual types that appeal to you. Examples might include birthday cakes; butterfly, balloon or lantern releases; fire ceremonies; planting a tree; lighting candles; memorial walks; bike rides or runs, and many others.

Plan something simple… alone or with a few people close to you. You might start with a few minutes of deep breathing to become calm, or a few words to establish the atmosphere for the ritual.

Go ahead and carry out your ritual plan. See how you feel afterwards, and get feedback from others involved. Make adjustments for the next time.

Ritual can be a powerful tool. It was for Maria & I as we chose to heal.

If you found this video to be helpful them share it and be sure to subscribe to our channel, newsletter or Resource Center. If you have any questions please com- ment below. Once again, I am Barbara J Hopkinson of A Butterfly’s Journey To a New Normal. We help individuals and families struggling with grief after traumat- ic loss to find hope and a new normal.


 …supporting your journey to a new normal.

ABJ2ANN Color logo

         Barbara J Hopkinson
         President & Executive Director

Video by Wecast Productions

Photos by Renee McKenna Photography


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