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Here are a few things that I’ve learned through almost seven years after the loss of Ellie, and six years of ministry through Ellie’s Way and GriefShare. “Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain When grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s so easy to feel like no one understands. No one knows how we feel or can comprehend the depths of our pain and suffering. It can be a lonely place. Here’s my truth – no one will ever really understand! Some people can acknowledge and listen when they have the time and compassion. It’s nice to have our pain recognized, but that is not why we are here. I believe that Jesus lived how we are supposed to live, and his guidance is worth following. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) God has planned a path for you. You will travel the path on your own, with God to help if you choose. Don’t compare your path with someone else. Other people’s paths may cross or run nearby, but only you can take steps on your path. Only you can choose to see the beauty around your current location and enjoy your journey. There may be amazing drops to deep valleys, but keep looking forward and take it […]

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I was at a grief support meeting with about sixty parents that lost their child in so many different ways. We had spent hours sharing and caring about each other. It was one of those evenings when each story would grab your soul and not let go. There were stories shared by the parent that could not be there with their child and then the parents that were there for the last breath! These were gut wrenching, heart stopping, and unforgettable stories. In the meeting, we could see the body language and facial expressions, and each voice told a story in itself! Then, some incredibly wise words rang out: “Let’s pretend that you could put your grief into a bag and place it in the middle of the room. Once everyone put their bag in this mountain of grief, what bag would you trade your grief with?” Parents sat there stunned, thinking about each story. Some parents had lost multiple children, four of five, and at different times! They thought about this and some even packed an imaginary bag and placed it in the middle of the room,sat back down, and waited for the next step. We had time to think about each story and looked at the faces around the room. Each face held the very story they shared that evening. Everyone had blank looks as they thought about who they would trade their story with. That evening, sixty parents walked out of that room with their own bag […]

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We’re giving away (50) Ellie’s Way Memorial Necklaces for our Christmas Giveaway! Enter our giveaway for a chance to win this beautiful PERSONALIZED memorial necklace. It’s a wonderful way to keep your loved one’s memory close to your heart and part of the conversation. “Immediately one of my most prized possessions.” – Heidi H. “My favorite item is my necklace. I wear it everyday from the time I get up to the time I go to bed! I will cherish it for as long as I live!” – Stephanie P. On Friday, November 30th, at 9PM Eastern, we will randomly select the (50) winners from all entries received and announce the winners here! We will notify each winner by e-mail with instructions to order a necklace. We need to receive the orders by Saturday, December 8th, in order to ship in time for Christmas. Do you have support on your grief journey? Consider joining the Ellie’s Way Group, a closed Facebook group with over 14,000 grieving people who encourage each other. Click to join! Giveaway Entry Form

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We are having our first Ellie’s Way Getaway in May 2019 in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.  hope that many in our group can join us for a memorable long weekend in Sedona.  We are very excited to meet everyone, relax and recharge, and enjoy the beauty of Sedona.  We’ll be staying at the Arabella Hotel Sedona (www.arabellahotelsedona.com) from May 16th through May 19th.  Here’s the link to our “Ellie’s Way Getaway Group” for more information such as booking the hotel, flights, itinerary, etc.  www.facebook.com/groups/ellieswaygetaway

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Before Ellie died, I took my son to his baseball hitting lesson. We really liked the instructor. I was just being friendly and asked him “How many kids do you have?” He informed me that he had two sons, but one had committed suicide several years before. I remember being shocked and at a complete loss as to what to do or say. I think I probably looked very uncomfortable, and I was. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I probably changed the subject, and I would bet that I didn’t offer up very much in the way of comfort. Before Ellie died, I was afraid of death, pain, suffering. I didn’t want to experience any of those things for myself and it was scary to see in other people. I didn’t know what to say, how to feel, what to do, and the easiest thing was to avoid thinking about it. Sadly, I had never been to a funeral before Ellie’s. Before Ellie died, I didn’t appreciate taking Ellie to the costume jewelry store or playing with her dolls. I enjoyed our bedtime routine of reading and snuggling, but I always wanted to leave before she wanted me to. I had things to do. What was so important? Well, things change. After losing six-year-old Ellie, I have learned a few things. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they care, even if it doesn’t seem like it. The fact is that unless you’ve experienced […]

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Introducing Steve Siler I’m not even sure how we met, but it’s been a few years now. I’m so glad to call him a friend. I admire Steve’s heart of compassion and endless drive to help those who are hurting. His faith and hard work bring so much healing to many people who are going through difficult times. I hope you enjoy getting to know Steve as much I have! Todd Nigro Founder of Ellie’s Way Drink Deep: A Musical Journey through Grief by Steve Siler, Director: Music for the Soul “When someone is in pain, reading is difficult. Their eyes move across the page but they can’t really process what they are reading. That’s why music is so great. A person can just lie back and let the music wash over them.” As soon as Dr. Doris Sanford, a therapist and author of several books on emotional pain, told me that, I began to think about a doing a musical project for grief. Not long after, in 1997, my wife’s father passed quite unexpectedly. It was then that a friend of mine and I created a recording of songs called Dancing with Angels. The idea for the title song had come from my wife telling me that on the plane flight heading to her father’s funeral she had looked out the window and imagined him free and dancing on the clouds. When I founded the ministry Music for the Soul four years later it was my intention to revisit […]

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It was a wonderful day when I married my college sweetheart. He was everything I wanted in a husband; handsome, athletic, good sense of humor, committed Christian, etc. He was a school teacher and tennis coach, who loved to make others laugh, and so people were drawn to him and his magnetic personality. We became Youth Group leaders at our local church and spent lots of time with high school students. Eventually we started a family and God blessed us with 2 little girls. My first husband Rick and the girls May 27, 1989, started out as any another Saturday when we awoke and had breakfast with our girls. Megan was 3 and Kristin was just 9 months old. My husband, Rick, grabbed a piece of strawberry pie before heading out the door. He and one of the students from our Youth Group were going to do some painting on the church exterior. It wasn’t long until a storm was brewing on the horizon and I knew Rick would be on his way home. Suddenly there was a knock at the door and as I opened it, I was surprised to see a police officer standing there who said he had some unfortunate news to share. He proceeded to tell me there was an accident at the church, something about aluminum ladders getting too close to power lines and that two people were electrocuted. One of the people was identified by my minister as Rick, and the other was the […]

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We all have a path that brings us to this moment. I’d like to share my story, the ups and downs, what God has done in my life, and a few things I’ve learned along the way. Growing Up I was born in Japan, a military brat. I was named Todd Murdock Nigro. I’ve always wondered where “Murdock” came from. I’ve never heard a good explanation. But, I think it’s pretty cool now. My wife says it’s “distinguished”, I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll take it as a compliment. Sadly, my parent’s marriage did not work out. My mother did her best to raise three children. We didn’t have much and my mother worked most of the time, so I was pretty much on my own from a very young age. I grew up mostly in Utah in a non-religious family in a predominately Mormon environment. I learned that it was okay to not fit in, because we didn’t. My relationship with my mother was always difficult. She would always want to talk, yell, or lecture us whenever we were with her. I get it now. She had no one but us. My older sister and little brother would gladly let me do all the talking and so I did. I felt the brunt of my mother’s instability. She had come from a very difficult home. Both of her parents were alcoholics and she was the youngest of three. I can only imagine the lack of love, abuse, […]

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What is it about tears that we are afraid of? They have been part of human expression since the beginning. Check out these quotes that honor our tears. “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears. For tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” – Victor Frankl “Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” – José N. Harris “If I can see pain in your eyes, then share with me your tears.” – Santosh Kalwar “Tears are the silent language of grief.” – Voltaire “There is a sacredness in tears.” – Washington Irving “Tears are words that need to be written.” – Paulo Coelho “Let me come in where you are weeping, friend, and let me take your hand.” – Grace Noll Crowell “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 “Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.” – Eileen Mayhew “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Let’s make some friends and get connected with others who are on a similar journey through grief and loss. Join the Ellie’s Way “Share Your Memories” Online Facebook Event on Sunday night, November 1st, from 9pm – 11pm Eastern Standard Time. People will still be around after that, if you wander in late or haven’t finished sharing. Throughout the Sharing time, the hosts will drop in questions to start new conversations. Engage with the questions that interest you and start a dialogue. Don’t hesitate to chat/message others who you would like to connect with – that’s why we are all here. The rules are simple. Be as honest as you want to be. Be as supportive as you can. Share if you want or just soak it all in. Don’t worry if you miss some of the conversations — you can always come back to this event page and view the content and make comments. Ellie’s Way GIVEAWAY! We’ll be giving away (5) Ellie’s Way Memorial Necklaces for this event. You’ll receive an entry for joining the event, sharing the event, or inviting your friends. Click to learn more about the necklaces. Winners will be announced at the end of the event. Please join the Share Your Memories Online Facebook Event! SHARE the event and invite anyone that might benefit!

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