welcome grief supporters

Welcome to Tatum's resources page for grieving supporters. We are glad you've found us. 🧡You will find a list below filled with resources that can help you on your grieving-adjacent journey. ✨Click on the box to open and learn more.✨

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist or individual in any way. The following information is recommended from my experiences through individual and group therapy, personal research and the grief community.

grief resources

understanding grief

There is no right or wrong way to grieve!


"Grief occurs whenever an attachment is broken. Grief is triggered whenever you must leave behind someone, something, a function, a way of life, a dream, or anything else you've become attached to and do not want to live without." - Amy Florian.

You will experience grief if any of the following are triggered or in transition.


  1. Material: loss of a physical object, personal and/or sentimental possession, or familiar surroundings
  2. Relationship: partial or complete loss of a human or animal relationship
  3. Intrapsychic: loss of a dream, whether the focus of the dream is oneself or others
  4. Functional: temporary or permanent loss of a physical, cognitive, or mental capability
  5. Role: loss of one’s customary identity or “place” in a family structure, work organization, faith center or other setting
  6. Routines: loss of the familiar structure in one’s life 
  7. Systematic: loss of faith in an entire system


Intuitive: experiencing grief more in your heart than your head.

  • Likely to express and talk through your grief
  • Likely to process and tell their your story repeatedly
  • Likely to journal
  • Likely to seek out support groups or others with similar situations
  • Likely to ask:
    • Who can emotionally understand and advise me?
    • Who can I talk to about my feelings?
    • How can I process this so I don’t hurt so much?
    • What books can I read so I know I am not alone?

Instrumental: experiencing grief more in your head than your heart.

  • Likely to face facts
  • Likely to take action
  • Likely to remain objective and analyze the experience
  • Likely to go at it alone and seek individual counseling
  • Likely to ask:
    • What concrete actions do I need to take to get through this?
    • How can I manage my grief and move on?
    • How can I keep my emotions in check so they don’t hold me back?
    • What can I read to help me learn how to cope?

Through studies, women tend to be intuitive grievers and men tend to be instrumental grievers. Make no assumptions, men can be extremely intuitive grievers while women can be strongly instrumental grievers. Knowing your grieving style can help tremendously with your coping and healing methods.

Learn more about these topics in Amy Florian's book, A FRIEND INDEED: HELP THOSE YOU LOVE WHEN THEY NEED IT MOST

what we want you to know

Being a griever seems to set us apart from society, from our friends, family, co-workers etc. Grief can be a very lonely place. It can be hard to explain or educate our supports on how we feel. Here are some things we want you to know as supporters and adjacent-grievers.
  • Give us some grace please. We understand you don't know what to do or say, and neither do we. Let's work through it together.
  • We are always thinking of our loved one. Bringing them up brings us joy. Avoiding conversation about them feels like they don't matter. Don't be afraid to ask questions about them. You will never startle or upset us by saying their name - we were already thinking about them!
  • We can not be fixed. Stay away from platitudes and "positive quotes" as they usually hurt more than help.
  • Society makes people feel uncomfortable with grief, like it's a mental illness that should be taboo. Imagine your life and feelings being invalidated and "uncomfortable" to society.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about our grief, imagine how we feel.
  • Grief is overwhelming. Focusing on the future is extremely hard for us. Most of the time we are only focused on today. Stay present with us and don't pressure any future talk or planning.
  • We are always longing for our loved one.
  • Reaching out to ask us how we are doing with no judgement towards our answer is really refreshing and makes us feel heard.
  • When you say things like, "I just didn't know what to say to you so I haven't said anything," it feels like we slipped your mind. It feels great to know we aren't alone and that someone is thinking of us. A simple message goes a long way. Instead you can just say, "Thinking of you." (More under, WHAT NOT TO SAY)
  • Be patient with us and please don't judge. This is overwhelming, we will probably do things wrong.
  • Please don't be upset if we don't answer back until we're ready. Getting back to people, answering questions and chatting can be very overwhelming at times. As much as we love connection we also need some alone time. Give us time to find the right moment for us.
  • Allow space in a conversation to talk about them. It's hard to go from talking about them with ease around people, to talking the same way but now with awkward silence. Ex: I used to be able to say, "Keith loved this song!" and get a response like, "Me too! This is my favorite!" Now its, "-silence-... I'm sorry..." (Don't make it weird!)

how to help as a friend

We know that no one is rightly equipped for this. We may expect too much or too little at times but we are always appreciative of the love and support. Thank you for being on this grief roller coaster with us and for the eagerness to learn! You are greatly appreciated. 

  • Stay away from triggering platitudes and statements such as, "Everything happens for a reason." These statements tend to hurt more than they heal. More under the WHAT NOT TO SAY tab. 
    • Supportive messages & meaningful conversations go a long way. You do not need to fix us but sit with us and try to understand where we are.
    • Offer your ear without judgement.
    • If you are supporting from afar, be ok without a response. Try, "Thinking of you." "I'm here for you." "How are you feeling right now?" "What's on your mind?" "What's your favorite memory of them?"
    • Be vigilant and aware: sometimes we want to talk and sometimes we don't. Sitting in the silence is just as helping as talking through things with us. Don't be afraid to simply ask, "do you want to talk right now?" 
      • Help without being asked. It's really hard to know what we need, let alone ask for it. Run errands, do chores, clean the house, watch the kids, cook - the list goes on. 
      • Asking a lot of questions that result in decisions is very overwhelming. Try not to pressure any decisions. Encourage that they have time to make the decisions they need to make.
      • Drop off home-cooked meals. It's hard for us to make any decisions in early grief. Having food at the house and ready to eat is a huge help! Try asking what day they are available and drop off the food without asking "how can I help?" Often times, we don't want to ask for help, we just want it done and appreciate when it is. 
      • PLEASE DON'T DO THE LAUNDRY! We like to keep things the way they are and we want to keep the smell on everyones clothes!
      • Ask about triggers. We carry a lot of them. Try asking us what our triggers are so that you can help us avoid them.
      • Please try to avoid any complaining or negativity. It's hurtful to compare anything to our grief.
      • Read and share books about grief. I bought a few grief books and started sharing them with my circle of friends. I got awesome feedback and they learned about grief through my eyes - helping them better support me and my journey.
      • Understand "Grief Brain".
        • “Traumatic loss is perceived as a threat to survival and defaults to protective survival and defense mechanisms,” says Dr. Shulman. This response engages the fight or flight mechanism, which increases blood pressure and heart rate and releases specific hormones. Grief and loss affect the brain and body in many different ways. They can cause changes in memory, behavior, sleep, and body function, affecting the immune system as well as the heart. It can also lead to cognitive effects, such as brain fog. The brain’s goal? Survival. - American Brain Foundation
      • Learn more from Megan Devine's "How to Help a Grieving Friend"

        what not to say

        THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK :) "Would I want to hear this as a griever?"
        Although our first instinct is to give advice, or say something that sounds soothing, think about how your words will be heard. We are taught to find the positive, the lesson, the silver lining in every situation - but there are none of those in death. 
        I'm going to break this up into 2 parts: (1) topics to avoid and (2) specific statements.


        (1) TOPICS TO AVOID:
        • Platitudes and positivity quotes. 
          • These seem to work on everyone except a griever. They usually end up hurting more than healing. We can not be fixed. Our void can not be filled. Trying to fix us is hurtful, but trying to learn and better understand our feelings is helpful.
        • Talk about the future.
          • Grievers live in survival mode. The world is seen differently through the grief lens. Talking about the future is overwhelming. We are usually living for the moment or the day. Stay present with us and avoid talk of the future.
        • Complaints and negativity.
          • Although this is usually never healthy for us, I'm specifically talking about early grief. The woman who took too long in the grocery store line is a story to avoid with a griever. Our focus is on our loss and nothing compares to that in the moment.
        • Specific topics that are triggering.
          • This is person specific. In order to understand the triggers, you can open up a conversation to learn more about their triggers and what topics make them feel uncomfortable to talk about.
        • Everything happens for a reason. 
          • WHY NOT?: There's no reason this should happen to me. I didn't do anything to deserve this pain and suffering.
        • It's all in God's plan.
          • WHY NOT?: Accidents, diseases and tragedies happens. No matter if we are religious or not, “God’s plan” is a statement to avoid. This feels like it’s no one's plan. It feels unbearable that someone would choose this for us. No matter what you believe, try to keep religion out of the “reason” this happened. It feels impersonal & avoidant. 
        • What happened?
          • WHY NOT?: If they are ready to tell the story, they will tell you. Instead say, "I'm sorry about what happened."
        • You're not over that yet?
          • WHY NOT?: This should be a given... we will NEVER be "over it." We never move on. We move forward and carry our grief with us.
        • Hope you're doing ok.
          • WHY NOT?: If you're looking to ask how someone grieving is doing, "Hope you're doing ok." closes the conversation before it's started. FYI, I'm probably not doing "ok". Instead, say "I know everyday is different. I hope you are surviving through it today. I'm thinking of you and here for you."
        • You're young, you'll meet someone new.
          • WHY NOT?: It's not about someone new. It's not about anyone else but the one we lost. 
        • You're strong/resilient.
          • WHY NOT?: Was I not strong or resilient before? I don't have a choice. 
        • "At least..." statements.
          • WHY NOT?: We tend to use "at least" statements to find the positives in situations. With death, there are no positives. Instead, sit in our grief with us. It's refreshing to hear, "I know this sucks. I'm here for you." Just admit what we already know, THIS SUCKS. 
        • He is in a better place.
          • WHY NOT?: Again... this should be a no-brainer. He'd be better here with me.
        • Why don't you...
          • WHY NOT?: Unless you've gone through grief and are helping out with your experiences, stay away from suggestions of what we should be doing.
        • Don't use comparisons.
          • WHY NOT?: This isn't the grief olympics. You don't get a medal here & you don't want one. 
        • I can't imagine.
          • WHY NOT?: Yes you can. You can imagine dinosaurs, monsters, quicksand etc. You've got a big imagination. You can imagine it, you just can't feel it.
        • You're going to be fine.
          • WHY NOT?: I'll never be fine. I am a different person - I've changed. I will carry my grief forever.
        • I know you'd rather not talk about them.
          • WHY NOT?: This is such a huge misconception. We are ALWAYS thinking of our loved one - whether we are talking about them or not. We LOVE talking about them. You'll never blindside us by bringing them up.


        work books

        gift suggestions

        • TTL's Amazon Storefront
        • TATUM THE LABEL apparel.
        • Food delivery gift cards. UberEats, DoorDash, etc.
        • Pajamas/loungewear. Comfy cozy clothes are helpful in any part of our grieving - especially in the first few months.
        • Blankets (custom with photos or store bought)
        • Candles, lotions, bath bombs. Calm, soothing scents.
        • Home-cooked meals. Uber eats gift cards.
        • Plants or "Forget Me Not" seeds.
        • Instead of flowers, check out food baskets.
        • Framed photo or favorite song art.
        • Custom hats of their handwriting from Gnarley Graphics.
        • Custom cups from CupIt Designs.
        • Journals and pens/pencils.
        • Puzzles, cards, board game.
        • Dream catcher, wind chime.
        • Custom jewelry - Custom ring on Etsy.
        • Shampoo & hair products.

        grief instagrams


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