Event for Girls and Young Women

The Legacy Project is hosting an event on February 3, 9-11 am, for girls and young women who have lost their moms. We will work on a project and celebrate moms. We encourage our guests to bring a photo of their mom with them. They will have an opportunity to tell us about their mom, but only if they’re comfortable. They can attend without sharing! This event is free, but we ask for RSVPs so we can plan appropriately.

Register here

Event Address: Coworkqc, 102 E 2nd Street, Davenport, IA 52801
Contact us at (651) 247-8195 or thelegacyprojectqc@gmail.com

Find us on Facebook @thelegacyprojectqc

Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season

This article is reprinted with permission by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. For more information on grief and healing and to order Dr. Wolfelt’s books, visit www.centerforloss.com.

Holidays are often difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of someone loved.  Rather than being times of family togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving, holidays can bring feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.

Love does not end with death

Since love does not end with death, holidays may result in a renewed sense of personal grief—a feeling of loss unlike that experienced in the routine of daily living.  Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died.

No simple guidelines exist that will take away the hurt you are feeling.

We hope, however, the following suggestions will help you better cope with your grief during this joyful, yet painful, time of the year.  As you read through this article, remember that by being tolerant and compassionate with yourself, you will continue to heal.

Talk about your grief

During the holiday season, don’t be afraid to express your feelings of grief.  Ignoring your grief won’t make the pain go away and talking about it openly often makes you feel better.  Find caring friends and relatives who will listen—without judging you. They will help make you feel understood.

Be tolerant of your physical and psychological limits

Feelings of loss will probably leave you fatigued.  Your low energy level may naturally slow you down.  Respect what your body and mind are telling you.  And lower your own expectations about being at your peak during the holiday season.

Eliminate unnecessary stress

You may already feel stressed, so don’t overextend yourself.  Avoid isolating yourself, but be sure to recognize the need to have special time for yourself.  Realize also that merely “keeping busy” won’t distract you from your grief, but may actually increase stress and postpone the need to talk out thoughts and feelings related to your grief.

Be with supportive, comforting people

Identify those friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss and who will allow you to talk openly about your feelings.  Find those persons who encourage you to be yourself and accept your feelings—both happy and sad.

Talk about the person who has died

Include the person’s name in your holiday conversation.  If you are able to talk candidly, other people are more likely to recognize your need to remember that special person who was an important part of your life.

Do what is right for you during the holidays

Well-meaning friends and family often try to prescribe what is good for you during the holidays.  Instead of going along with their plans, focus on what you want to do.  Discuss your wishes with a caring, trusted friend. Talking about these wishes will help you clarify what it is you want to do during the holidays.  As you become aware of your needs, share them with your friends and family.

Plan ahead for family gatherings

Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which new ones you would like to begin. Structure your holiday time.  This will help you anticipate activities, rather than just reacting to whatever happens.  Getting caught off guard can create feelings of panic, fear and anxiety during the time of the year when your feelings of grief are already heightened.  As you make your plans, however, leave room to change them if you feel it is appropriate.

Embrace your treasure of memories

Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved.  And holidays always make you think about times past.  Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends.  Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness.  If your memories bring laughter, smile.  If your memories bring sadness, then it’s all right to cry.  Memories that were made in love—no one can ever take them away from you.

Renew your resources for living

Spend time thinking about the meaning and purpose of your life.  The death of someone loved created opportunities for taking inventory of your life—past, present and future.  The combination of a holiday and a loss naturally results in looking inward and assessing your individual situation.  Make the best use of this time to define the positive things in life that surround you.

Express your faith

During the holidays, you may find a renewed sense of faith or discover a new set of beliefs.  Associate with people who understand and respect your need to talk about these beliefs.  If your faith is important, you may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony.

As you approach the holidays, remember: grief is both a necessity and a privilege. It comes as a result of giving and receiving love.  Don’t let anyone take your grief away.  Love yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  And allow yourself to be surrounded by loving, caring people.

 

Accompanying Brochure: “Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season.”

Spanish Brochure: “Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season (Spanish).” 

A Gathering for girls and young women

The Legacy Project is hosting an event for girls and young women who have lost their moms. We will work on a project and celebrate moms. We encourage our guests to bring a photo of their mom with them. They will have an opportunity to tell us about their mom, but only if they’re comfortable. They can attend without sharing! This event is free, but we ask for RSVPs so we can plan appropriately.

Register here

Event Address: Coworkqc, 102 E 2nd Street, Davenport, IA 52801
Contact us at (651) 247-8195 or thelegacyprojectqc@gmail.com

Learn more about The Legacy Project at www.thelegacyprojectqc.com or find us on Facebook @thelegacyprojectqc

 

Encouragement and my paper planner

I’m old school. I carry around a paper planner pretty much everywhere I go. I tried to go digital, but I felt lost and unorganized. So, I stay true to my paper – my second brain.  As an added bonus to carrying around my planner, I have a place to tuck valuable papers and notes that I don’t want to lose.

One of those pieces of paper include notes from a June 11 sermon from our senior pastor. He spoke about encouragement that day. He went on to say that encouragement is to fill someone up with courage. To instill courage in someone, you have to give them a means of faith. With courage, they feel brave, feel like they can do whatever they thought they couldn’t do. And courage? It’s the first step to freedom. When we practice courage, we become courageous.

Here at The Legacy Project, we’re in the encouragement business. We have the opportunity to impart courage on girls and young women who may feel overwhelming fear, anxiety, and sense of disorder in their lives. It’s easy to type those words: fear, anxiety and disorder, but it’s a whole other thing to be living them. Encouragement isn’t a magic fix, and it can’t bring their mom back to life. But what it can do is offer them a safe place. A safe place to know they are not alone.

We’re hiring encouragers. If you want to make a difference in the life of a motherless girl or young woman by offering her encouragement and support, we want you on our team. We pay you with hugs full of gratitude and endless thanks. Together, we can make mother loss a little more bearable for those having to live it.

Final Call for Birdies for Charity pledges

Pledges due July 14!

A reminder that there is still time to donate to The Legacy project through Birdies for Charity! Since 1971 the John Deere Classic has delivered over $70 million to regional charities, most of it through its innovative Birdies for Charity program. Through Birdies for Charity, it is gratifying to know that 100% of every pledge collected for The Legacy Project goes directly to us. The John Deere Foundation covers all administrative costs to make that possible. Plus, the tournament takes its profits each year and delivers a second check from between 5% and 10% of our final total to make the deal even sweeter. There is no more impactful way for you to help The Legacy Project!

Download a pledge form today, where you can guess the number of birdies and have a chance to win some awesome prizes. You can send your form directly to the Birdies for Charity office.

Or, donate directly online through this link.

But remember, use The Legacy Project’s birdie number (2101), on your paper pledge form or to find us online. Deadline is July 14, but don’t wait that long.

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It’s Okay

It’s getting so close to Mother’s Day.  Many people are working on their brunch menu for mom, buying her last minute presents, sending her flowers. Why do we make such a big deal of this day? Because moms are awesome! We all know this. But for some whose moms are not here, the day can be hard. HARD with all caps hard.

We all face challenges at different points in our lives, and sometime it’s dealing with loss. Even years later, there can be hard days – often around holidays. It’s okay. It’s okay to not feel okay.

You should be able to say, “I’m not okay today”, without being made to feel  you’re not handling things well, or that something is wrong with you.

It’s okay to talk about why you’re not okay. Or not. It’s all okay.

It’s okay to feel not okay when seemingly the whole world around you feels happy and joyful.

It’s okay if you need to practice self-care by taking time for you. Spending time alone or with lots of people around you. It’s okay.

It’s okay to ask for help.

So, how can those of you who are feeling okay, even joyful, help those who are not?

Offer a hug instead of a sideways glance as you keep walking.

Tell them you’re there to listen if they want to share.

Hand them a Kleenex.

Be mindful of others, and think about what you might want if you were not feeling okay.

However you’re feeling this Mother’s Day – it’s okay. Know that tomorrow is a new day.

A Valuable Resource for All Moms + Book Giveaway!

Enter to win! Details near the end of this post. Giveaway ends May 19, 2017.

Hello readers – Laura here. I love to read. In my perfect world, I would read every day. (Fun reading, not work reading.) I would dedicate hours if I could, without those pesky interruptions, like making dinner, cleaning bathrooms, and parenting a tween.

Do you see where this is going? My life is NOT perfect. I don’t take the time to read books as much as I’d like to. Because LIFE. I buy books, and then they become interesting dust collectors, piled high in various spots in my home. I have so many books that I know are great reads, but they stare at me, mocking me for not cracking them open.

If you follow The Legacy Project, then you know how important we think moms are. Cultivating a lasting legacy of moms lost by girls and young women is what we do. I may not have had the good fortune of an organization like The Legacy Project when I was a young motherless girl, but I try to honor my mom’s legacy every day. She was a do-er. Public service was her jam. She served in the first group of Peace Corp volunteers back in 1961. She was a school teacher. After she and my dad started a family, she served many years on our district school board. She campaigned hard for local and national candidates she believed in.

While my service pales in comparison to my mom’s, I have always felt compelled to make a difference in my community. I live out my faith by serving and doing. It’s how I share God’s love. So, when a book comes along that affirms my belief of serving the world in community, I’m all in. Mama Bear’s Manifesto by Leslie Klipsch does not disappoint. I added this book to my impressive pile of “books to read”, but thankfully it didn’t take too long before I was challenged to open it up and start reading. I’m so glad I did!

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Leslie gives practical applications we as moms can use in every day life, because we all know sometimes just getting through our mama day is a major accomplishment. She is the best cheerleader – giving all moms confidence to develop deep friendships that allow them to make a difference in the world together. It’s so powerful serving our community IN community with other strong, beautiful women. I strongly encourage you to read this book. It’s inspirational and encouraging with such hope for each of us and the world we live in. I don’t know about you, but looking at the world around us, I want to embrace hope. I want to be reminded that yes, as a mom, I can make a difference in this troubled world we live in.

So GO! Pick up a copy of Mama Bear’s Manifesto today. It’s available locally in the Quad Cities at Crafted QC and Barnes and Noble. You can purchase it online here. * The Kindle version is available here.

Another wonderful resource that complements the Mama Bear’s Manifesto is the Mama Bear Dares podcast! I’m mildly obsessed with podcasts. While I don’t take the time to read in my day-to-day life, I do listen to podcasts while I walk my neighborhood. Some like music to keep them pounding the pavement. I like podcasts. They keep me motivated and I always, always, always learn something. Mama Bear Dares fits the bill on both counts. Leslie and Tesi, her sister-in-law, co-host and it’s like sitting down (or walking) with two of your closest friends. They are down to earth, and treat us listeners as valuable people. They don’t speak just to hear themselves talk. They have a long list of amazing guests with diverse backgrounds and stories. Each episode makes me think about how I can better serve my family, my community, myself. You just have to check it out and subscribe!

I loved this book so much that I want to share it with a couple of lucky readers. In honor of my beautiful mom, and ALL of the fabulous moms I know, I am personally giving away two copies of Mama Bear’s Manifesto! Click here to enter the giveaway. Already have a copy? Enter anyway – you can make a deserving mom’s day by gifting her a copy.

Bless those women around you by sharing all things Mama Bear with them. They will thank you! You can follow Leslie at www.leslieklipsch.com. Read more about the podcast at www.mamabeardarespodcast.com.

-Laura

*The Legacy Project receives .5% of all purchases made through our Amazon Smile link, at no added cost to you.

Things We Learned from Mom

Nearly every month, on the second Saturday, a group of special women gather in the Quad Cities. It’s a group who have experienced mother loss at different stages of their lives. They are a sisterhood, where they celebrate their mothers and support each other through an encouraging network for continuous healing. They are known as QC Motherless Daughters, and they are the inspiration behind The Legacy Project.

As Mother’s Day approaches, this group of motherless daughters reflect on and honor the memory of their moms. Here they share some of their thoughts on what they learned from mom.

thingswe learned from mom