Fall / Holiday 2016 Newsletter


 Well, the CRAZY BUSY has continued!  Can you believe the Winter Solstice is already here and we are starting the winter and holidays?  That was FAST… it was an active Fall. 

We did some interesting things with a focus on nature this fall.  Nature is so healing, it’s important to remember to get out in it, to appreciate it, enjoy it.   

In the early fall, we held a photo shoot on a Seminar at Sea and were blessed with morning ocean sunrises and evening ocean moon rises – lovely. 



In mid-fall, I had the opportunity to attend two weddings outdoors – one in Maine on a cliff, overlooking the ocean, the other in Utah in Zion national park overlooking incredible rock formations in a huge canyon.  What wonderful places to celebrate love and to heal your mind and soul.

While in Zion, we got to repel into some beautiful slot canyons!

In our grief, sometimes we lock ourselves up and forget to see nature as a tool for healing.  Nature’s energy, beauty, and serenity are all healing.  Remember to make yourself spend some time on a regular basis out in nature.  You will feel better – guaranteed!.

As we come into the holidays, use nature to help you through this difficult time… even if that means walking in a little snow!  More below on nature & holidays. 

Wishing you peaceful holidays, loving memories and much healing in nature. 

Supporting your journey to a New Normal,   

President & Executive Director, A Butterfly’s Journey

PS.Please forward this newsletter or the ABJ site to help others.  A complimentary 30-minute healing chat with me may also be scheduled HERE


The Holidays Are Upon Us – Now What?

– Are you DONE with holidays before they even begin? 
– Tired of holiday decorating, shopping, music & a fake happy face? 
– Do you want ideas on HOW to get through the weekend without exploding? 

Holidays are great – but they are TOUGH when you are grieving, especially for the newly bereaved.  STOP doing what everyone else wants you to do and START taking care of you.  It’s okay to be selfish when you grieve, but it also helps to reach out, help others and get the focus off yourself.  Find a balance.

Here are a dozen tongue-in-cheek tips…

… NOT your mother’s or your doctor’s advice! 



  1. Eat plenty of chocolate (as long as it’s not seriously bad for you).
  2. Get plenty of downtime…  journal, meditate or read something that makes you feel good.  Be with your POSITIVE memories.  Absolutely take time OFF work & AWAY FROM your technology.
  3. Explain to family and friends that you are not up to shopping and wrapping this year. Your presence or a hug will be your gift.  Sorry, but you are not up to hosting either.  Maybe another time.  
  4. Eat plenty of ice cream – with all the fixings.
  5. Go to the pet store or borrow someone’s puppy or kitten and PLAY.
  6. Play some games or do creative projects with small children.
  7. Eat salty snacks if that is what you crave… share them.
  8. Do a Santa’s little elf routine and surprise elderly neighbors – do something for them, cook them something or just visit with them.
  9. Ask someone to sit with you and tell stories about your loved one.
  10. Drink plenty of water – skip too many substances = depressants.
  11. Make silly faces at yourself in the mirror – don’t worry, no one sees!
  12. HUG yourself and remind yourself of all the GOOD things you have done, how GRATEFUL you are for the time you had with your loved one, and PLAN how you are going to CHOOSE to heal  feel a little better EVERY DAY.


Wishing you restful, peaceful holidays filled with loving memories…


* * * 

Other ABJ written & video Blogs this fall:  



             What’s ABJ up to ???


What we were up to in FALL 2016:

  • Hosted a photo shoot on a Seminars-at-Sea Beareavement Cruise 
  • Attended Grief Recovery Method International Conf. in CA
  • Attended More-to-Life  Weekend Workshop in Atlanta 
    • Released 10-question survey for bereaved mothers, nationally
    • Continued planning for MTL-based online course and retreat 
  • Hiking Hearts held a “Hike to Heal fundraiser on Mt Witactic in MA
  • Hosted a TCF local Candle Lighting as part of TCF WCL
  • In Conjunction, hosted an ABJ Choose-To-Heal Photo Shoot
    • Sponsored by Hiking Hearts – Thank you for your donations!
  • Continued work as a co-author and contributor on “Grief Diaries
    • Contributed to “Prose & Poetry”, released early December 
    • Co-authoring “Will We Survive?” …being released late December 
  • Taped TV Show for “Life Issues” on WCAT, Winthrop, MA
  • Being aired month of January in Boston (6 area cities)
  • Attended Grant Writing classes & a “Meet the Donor” event in Boston 

  • Attended business planning Intensive in Brooklyn, NY 
  • Established a non-profit entity of Shaklee for fundraising
  • Partnership discussions on collaboration with national organizations

Coming WINTER (2017)
EVENTS: (email info@abutterflysjourey.org or call 617-410-6309 for details) 

  • January 8, Shaklee OCENAFRONT OPEN HOUSE to benefit ABJ
    • at 64 Northern Blvd, Plum Island, Newbury, MA 
  • February 12, “Messages From Heaven” at SeaGlass, Salisbury, MA
  • March 25 – 1-day Oceanfront Retreat – “AWAKEN TO HAPPINESS”
    • With Cindy Barg & Laura L’Amour  on Plum Island

Plan participation in ADEC Conference, Photo Shoots+ on west coast

Crowdfunding campaign research & selection, more grant applications


Grief Recovery Method 
1-on-1 Classes
  (by phone)

Classes are based on Grief Recovery Institute’s GRM (Grief Recovery Method), used internationally for 35 years.  We provide a safe environment for you to look at your old beliefs about dealing with loss, which losses have affected your life, and take actions that will lead you to complete unresolved emotions that may still be causing you pain. 

One-on-one classes are more personal, more individualized, and more private.  These classes are held in person if you are local to us – or over the phone if you are not.  That includes the opportunity to ask questions via email.  GRI’s Grief Recovery handbook is used – during seven sessions of 60-90 minutes.  There is homework and you are taught to use tools that you can use again later. 

If you would like to schedule a call for more deatils – click HERE

LELDcolor“So many methods, ideas and self-help books for my grief left me with a good understanding – but very little hope of recovery after loosing my youngest son.  Working with Barbara Hopkinson and the Grief Recovery Method in conjunction with the ABJ, was the single most important step I took toward healing. Barbara works with individuals to identify personal points of understanding and adapts the GRM to each individual. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this endeavor. The caring, encouragement and support I received through her and ABJ is indescribable. What I appreciate most about working with Barbara and GRM is her ability to connect with love and understanding beyond what anyone can learn in a class…she is a natural at helping others!”

                       Janice Littrell, bereaved mother, Kentucky 

Introduction video to the Grief Recovery Method  

For more deatils or a complimentary discussion – click HERE.


Our Story 

A Butterfly’s Journey (ABJ) has a mission to help individuals and families struggling with grief after the loss of a child, or other early loss, to find hope and a new normal. We do that through events, grief recovery classes, a comprehensive online Resource Center, and our photo shoots to allow grievers to express themselves simply, visually and emotionally to spark discussion. We also provide assistance to other organizations through education and resources. 

Barbara J Hopkinson, ABJ Founder, President & Executive Director has lost 3 children and led bereaved families through the journey of grief for more than 12 years.  She founded and leads a chapter of The Compassionate Friends, as well as A Butterfly’s Journey To A New Normal. She is certified Grief Recovery Specialist and author of two books “A Butterfly’s Journey” & “FAITH – Vol.II”

Barbara is now also writing for Grief Diaries. She contributed to the recently released “Prose & Poetry”, and co-authored “Will We Survive?” releasing soon.



For more information, visit the ABJ web site   
Contact Barbara at 
617-410-6309  or  barbara@abutterflysjourney.com for a complimentary 30-minute conversation or schedule it now HERE.   

If you found this blog to be helpful, or know someone it would help, please SHARE and be sure to LIKE/Follow us – Thank you! 


 Please consider helping grievers with a donation.


Thank you!


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