March 2016  Newsletter


In March, we can feel that  Spring is emerging.  It’s a great time for release and renew ourselves as well as the earth.

As we renew ourselves to help us heal, it’s important to remember self-care.  Taking care of yourself makes you more valuable to others.  Self-care might include good nutrition like we discuss in our featuer article this month.  Or it might also include rest, deep breathing or meditation, journaling, treating ourselves to a massage, energy healing or other holistic treatment. 

So as we enjoy the season change, please look after yourself and RENEW your body, mind and spirit!  It helps! 

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



Grief & Eating… the GOOD, the BAD, & the UGLY


food-11Grieving – is food a FRIEND or FOE? 


Are you an emotional eater?


Can the right foods help your stress level?


Food can be both friend and foe related to stress and grieving.  I know that I am an emotional eater.  When stressed, I head for chocolate, wine and ice cream – in nay order.  I gained 30 pounds after my 21-year-old son died and more after my 30-year marriage fell apart following that.  As I aged and that extra weight got more accustomed to me and I to it, it became harder to lose.


Don’t beat yourself up, we all do it!   
(or most of us, in some form – up or down)

food-particularly-chocolate-at-a-time-of-grief-or-crisis-is-never-a-mistake-lucinda-fleesonJust be aware of it, give yourself a break during the early heavy grief period, then decide what is important and how to deal with it.  Know that carbs are comforting but not very nutritional  and on the flip side, green vegetables produce serotonin to help your mood.

I studied nutrition with the AFPA – American Fitness Prof & Assoc, and I discovered Juice Plus back in 2009.  JP+ is fruits and veggies that are tested to ensure no pesticides+, then juiced raw and dried at low temperature to retain the nutrient value.  I liked that approach because it was food, nothing else – and I figured Mother Nature knows best (vs. the scientists who fracture nutrients in supplements).

Within two weeks, I felt an improvement in my mood and over time — my hair, skin, teeth and immune system improved.  Then I saw health improvements in others around me taking JP+ (I still take it, so does my husband and son).


I also attended countless lectures by the many doctors in nutrition education events on the benefit of raw foods.  Even the Center for Disease Control, the FDA and other government agencies recommend eating 13-17 servings of fruits and veggies daily.  That’s not even considering the impact of traumatic grief, which adds stress and depletes health over normal situations.


How do you do that???  Especially when you are listless and foggy with grief?
Some things helpful in making it easy – for yourself or others:

Useful articles from other nutrition specialists:


Bottom line…  food heart


  • Try NOT to beat yourself up.  
  • LET GO of the guilt and forgive 
  • Be GRATEFUL every day
  • Get some rest, EAT WELL, and get some exercise
  • Reach out for HELP and PAMPER yourself occasionally 
  • INDULGE when you need to – whether anyone is watching  or not!  

You do not need anyone’s permission to take care of YOU!  NO ONE ELSE looks after you and knows what you need like you do. Your departed loved ones want that for you and you’ll be more effective for the ones remaining.




Video Blog:   





 Video Blog:  




See below for other upcoming events, featured resource, and more.
 Take time to relax, get quiet time, good nutrition and renew for spring. 


   What’s ABJ up to ???
What we were up to in March 2016: 
  • Attended Business Intensive, Atlanta, GA (3/1-2) 
  • Hosted Networking meeting on “Overcoming Obstacles”
  • Completed a GRM class over the phone from Texas
  • Hosted Day-Long “Release & Renew” Retreat
  • Made connections with national grief orgs. & speakers
  • Taped an OPEN-TO-HOPE Radio show.
  • Attended “The Children’s Room” reception for grieving children & families
  • Videotaped a dozen additional video blogs
  • Held ABJ Board Meeting & funding discussions
  • Met with other nonprofits’ executives 
    Hired a new Marketing Assistant, Emily LaDroga 
  • Brought on a new board member, Dave Salvacion.

Coming April 2016:

  • Monday April 4th 3PM ET – TELE-SUMMIT Interview
    • Awaken to Happiness”  with FREE GiFTS – sign up! 
    • Shefali Burns interviews Barbara on “It’s All About the Love” 

  • Group GRM (Grief Recovery) class at Roots -To-Wings Yoga Studio
    • Thursdays 4/7 through May 26, 6:30 – 8:30 PM (8 weeks)
    • Included: Grief Recovery Handbook, Tools for use/re-use 

  • Interview on KDWA Radio’s “Grief Chat” 4/12 at Noon ET 
  • Sat. April 16th – Hosted Session w/Laura Emerald, a spirit Medium
    • initial 6 private sessions almost full, contact for more 

  • VIRTUAL SUPPORT by phone & eMail available (schedule HERE)
  • 3-day business conference in Atlanta
  • Applications for Grants, Raffle, Fundraising
May 2016:
  • Thu May 5th, Sponsor @New England Resident Service Coord.Conf. – CT
  • Planned Memorial Day weekend Retreat w/National speaker
  • Planned TCF of Greater Nbpt 13th Anniversary Event (end May)
  • Planned BLAB interview & webubar with Connect-2-Coach
  • Crowdfunding campaign 
Q2 2016 and beyond:  (may be subject to change)
  • TCF National Conference – July 8-10, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Photo Shoot on Bereavement Weekend Cruise to the Bahamas  (Sept) 
  • Planned “Hike to Heal” with Brandy Sales/Wecast Productions – (Sept)
  • Planned themed webinar & events in Q3 & Q4
  • Planned in-depth interview with Connect-2-Coach


ABJ offers Two Kinds of 
Individualized Virtual Support

  1.  GRM 1-on-1 class by phone 
  2.  1-on-1 Virtual Support

Sometimes you don’t want to join a group.  Or you want to supplement a local group and get help to find one.  Seomtimes, you just want to be treated uniquely, as individual as your situation and how you grieve.  You may just want to be insured of confidentiality.


Whatever the reason, A Butterfly’s Journey understands and wants to provide private, individualized, unique support – to compliment whatever else you are doing (or not doing). We get it, we’ve been there.  We can help you find resources local to you and we can provide either a structured option (GRM – Grief Recovery Method) or a more tailored Virtual Support approach.  More info on ABJ site (or call 617-410-6309 or contact us with questions.


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”


For more information, visit the ABJ web site   
Contact Barbara at 
617-410-6309  or 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! 


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helping grievers with a donation.



 Thank you!




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