Welcome – A Note from Chelsea
Hello and Welcome to With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes! I am glad you found us — we want to help you through the difficult times of loss — in our own special way.
Our mission is simple....
To help you honor and remember the beautiful life of someone you care about — inspiring you to believe that love and connection lives on, always.
Learning to live after loss is probably one of the hardest things you will ever do. It certainly was for me. I lost my father when I was only 4-years old and my mother when I was 28 years old. Losing my mother was unexpected and devastating, and looking back, I wonder how I made it through.
I grew up with sadness around me. I experienced my mom's sorrow of losing her parents and her husband in a short time period when I was a child. She was left a widow to raise her only child without family support. I witnessed the life-long effects of loss on my childhood sweetheart (and now husband of 21 years), whose young father died tragically leaving behind 5 small children. Most recently, my husband and I experienced two heart-breaking miscarriages as well as the sudden loss of his brother.
With all this loss came tremendous pain and sorrow, but also invaluable experience and transformational growth. This growth, of course, would be traded in an instant for the return of the people I love. And this experience has led to my life work of helping others move through grief.
I learned how NOT to do loss. I want your experience to be different — one filled with support, compassion, and understanding from both others and yourself.
The common element in death is that others want to help, but often do not know how. The bereaved person is lost and may not know how to seek help. This can lead to years of struggle, depression, anxiety and lack of fulfillment. I understand this frustration and sadness from my experiences as well as through helping others. Through my struggles and desire to relieve my pain, I studied and learned the best holistic methods on how to reconcile and transcend grief to come to a new appreciation of life and today.
Today through my years of work and study, I am able to share my teachings and information, so you too can heal grief in a quicker, healthier and supportive way rather than going it alone.
As you can see my mission is personal, and I want to help you with loss and grief. Whether you lost someone you love or simply want to know how to best to help a grieving friend, you'll be sure to find a resource or information you need from our site by following the first steps below.
Grief Expert, Author & Founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes
Your First Steps
Are you grieving a loss?
Your first step is to download our FREE Grief Relief 101 Support Guide to share it with your family and friends so they know how to properly support you.
Are you a friend of a griever and not sure what to say or do make things better?
Your first step is to download our free Support Guide, which provides pertinent Do's and Don'ts and STEP BY STEP Instructions on how to build a support network for the bereaved.
The guide also reveals the 5 mistakes to avoid when talking to the bereaved as well as 4 steps you don't want to miss when a colleague returns to work after loss.
Are you a grief professional?
Subscribe to our Newsletter, for inspiration, tips and guidance on grief, loss and bereavement that can be shared with your clients.
Fresh and useful ideas are presented to give you a new arsenal of grief support tools.
Do you want to honor a life well-lived?
Take comfort in finding just the right memorial keepsake to remember the person who died or express your condolences to the family.
We take great pride and effort to ensure we carry the best, most expressive keepsakes to honor this special relationship.
Our heartfelt memorial items will serve as a reminder to you, that Love Does Live On...
About Us — How It Started
A simple poem — Hello from Heaven — was the beginning of the mission to help others at time of loss.
When my mother, Donna, passed away unexpectedly right before Christmas in 1996, I knew that my family and the holidays would never be the same. To cope with my pain and grief, I wrote a poem, Hello from Heaven, to express what I thought my mother would want to say to us after she arrived in heaven. The gentle and soothing message conveyed that she was always with us, guiding and watching us from heaven — always by our side.
Over time, I would enclose the poem in memorial gifts to help others. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and after many requests, I decided to publicly share this heartfelt message, so I published my first gift book, Hello from Heaven. As time passed, I was inspired to create more gift books to comfort others, including Forever Remembered, Merry Christmas from Heaven Above, If Only I Knew and Choose Hope.
These one-of-a-kind gift books have comforted people across the country and are used by grief support groups as well as hospice and funeral home professionals. But the gift books were just the beginning, as I continued to recognize the need and demand for support and healing at time of loss. Having witnessed and experienced loss, I always knew others needed help just as I did, and the vision was born.
About Us — Today
The vision is simple — to help the millions of grieving people to receive the comfort, understanding and acknowledgement they need in a caring and helpful way from family, friends and their community during time of loss and after. Through educating society about death, dying and grief, the taboo around death can be lessened, allowing the bereaved to have a knowledgeable and supportive network of many who can and will help.
At With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, we want to help you heal your grief and honor the life of the person you care about, knowing that love and connection lives on. We can help you:
Remember Your Loved One
If you are personally grieving, you will be able to find a meaningful keepsake to remind you that your loved one is always with you...loving and guiding you from above.
Express Your Sympathy
When you don't know what to do or say, be assured that the condolence gifts in our collection can help you show your sympathy in a caring and thoughtful way. In turn, the person you care about will be comforted and your kindness will be remembered. Rest assured our products are carefully selected to ensure that you give the most caring and tasteful gift.
Provide a Supportive Community
Going through grief is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do. But an ever-growing community of support and understanding is available.
About Us — Tomorrow
Our vision has led to the ground-breaking movement to educate Western society about mourning and grief — with the focus on how to support each other through the life-changing transformation of losing a loved one.
Grieving is one of the most universal of all human emotions for those who love, yet is the one we are most afraid of talking about. Grief cuts across race, religion, gender and economic status. The vast majority of us will outlive a loved one, whether a grandparent, spouse, sibling or even a child. We will all face grief at one time or another, yet as we grow up and throughout our life, we do not receive education on how to handle loss.
Western society has become afraid of the subject of death. We don't want to acknowledge the long and lasting consequences of loss on others, talk about dying, or think that loss will strike us. We don't want to think that someone else's misfortunate could become ours.
Instead, let's replace this fear of death with knowledge. As a society, we can increase our understanding about dying and the transitions surrounding it so we can make it through these life changing experiences — not alone— but with the support of our community. Dying can become accepted as a normal part of life, just like being born. We will prepare future generations to accept this inevitable part of life with grace, understanding and compassion.
The end goal is that the people we care about will be supported in the best possible way for life's most difficult times.
Grief Expert and Author Chelsea Hanson comforts people at time of loss and guides them through the transformative process of grief to live life again with renewed appreciation. Over 700 funeral homes across the U.S. and Canada have used her grief support programs and on-line memorial gift stores.
Chelsea is the author of the Hello from Heaven series of books, which provide gentle reassurance that love lives on, and that our loved ones are always with us. Having experienced loss and transcended grief herself (see story above), Chelsea provides a sense of comfort and understanding to reassure you that healing can occur.
Chelsea is also the author of the upcoming book, Shine On — Healing Tools to Inspire and Empower You to Live Life Now, which helps you heal grief through cultivating spiritual connection, continuing the relationships with deceased loved ones in new and healthy ways, and making meaning in your life from loss.
Chelsea lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Bill, and young son, Jacob. Chelsea loves flowers, books, photographs, jewelry, shopping, as well as spending time with her son. She enjoys writing and speaking about holistic healing methods, connecting with her authentic spirit, and working with heart-based business owners.
You can bring Chelsea Hanson to your community!
One of today's leading grief experts and educators, Chelsea Hanson presents workshops and seminars on grief-related topics to both laypeople and professional bereavement caregivers throughout the United States and Canada.
Sponsor organizations include: hospices, funeral homes, extended care facilities, churches and organization interested in providing grief education to their community and staff.
CONTACT US for more information or if you are interested in sponsoring a seminar or workshop in your area.
Speaking and Workshop Topics
Presentation formats include workshops, seminars and in-house training for audiences of all sizes. Information can be tailored to your topic and organization. The most popular topics are listed below:
Grief Relief 101
What to Expect When You are Grieving
Learn new strategies and tools for dealing with loss, setting intentions for healing, incorporating new priorities into your life and working your way through grief.
- The REAL definition of grief — what it is, what it isn't, and when will it be over?
- How to ride the emotional rollercoaster and not feel like you are going crazy.
- How to cope with secondary losses, changes and shifts in a different life.
- The Right Way to Grieve — Yes there is a RIGHT way — YOUR way.
Grief Relief 101 Toolkit
Healing Methods to Transform Grief into Healing & Living Again
Learn ways to create spiritual practices and rituals to contain and transform grief.
- Take Care and Prepare — Learn to take care of yourself first so you have the strength to ride the emotional rollercoaster.
- Spiritual Breakthrough — How to examine your spirituality so you can connect on a deeper healing level.
- Go Inward instead of Outward — Learn to mourn from the inside out, and connect with the real you so you can grieve in a healthy way.
- Step Into Love — How to see yourself and everything else through the eyes of love.
- Choose Joy — How to choose a path of joyful living and grieving!
10 Unique Ways to Honor and Remember a Loved One
Your loved one's legacy will reflect how you love, how you raise a family, how you live your life and how you can make decisions. Through the rest of your life, your loved one's influence, love and care will be with you. Learn valuable information about using touchstones of comfort, creatively cherishing memories, enjoying your loved one's legacy and honoring a life well lived.
- Remembering Loved Ones In Your Home
- Remembering Loved Ones with Mother Nature
- Remembering Loved Ones Through Causes
- Remembering Loved Ones During Special Occasions
Love Lives On
Keys to Strengthening Your Spiritual Connection
This presence of the person you love will be with you always...in your heart...in your memories...in your spirit...in how you continue to live. Discover spiritual ways to support healing after loss:
- Step by step plan on how to cope with milestone dates such as anniversaries holidays and birthdays.
- Is my loved one really in heaven? Understanding the spiritual component of your grief.
- Learn different ways to communicate with the Divine to feel supported and guided in your life.
- Explore guided imagery, unique connection methods and daily self-care rituals.
- Learn to understand the subtle feedback you are constantly getting from the Divine and your intuition so you can make decisions to support your highest good.
7 Ways You Stop Your Joy and What You Can Do About It
Did you realize that there are things that you automatically do every day that stop your joy? Learn the Joy Blockers that get in the way of your happiness —and most importantly—what to do to release these blocks.
- Why Happiness is elusive to most people.
- The 3 Happiness Techniques that you can practice every day!
- A powerful guided imagery to help release your Joy Blocks and step fully into YOUR Joy!
- Explore your beliefs about Joy and release patterns that keep Joy out of your life.
- How to create a joy plan that you will take with you into your life.
- How to transform those around you with your Joy!
Contact us or call 1-855-404-4387 for more information.