PEO Publishes Book on Loving Ways to Help the Ill or Bereaved

(Photo submitted) Left to right, Linda Page and Becky Marsten.

FLEETWOOD-Everyone has at some time badly wanted to help a family member or friend grieving or dealing with a serious or long term illness and didn’t know where to turn for appropriate information, advice and ideas on a delicate subject.

Well, help is on the way, and it’s coming from Ashe County. A Loving Concern: Ways to Show You Care has recently been published by a non-profit organization, the Ashe County chapter of PEO International, which provides scholarships, and low interest loans to area women. All profits from Loving Concern will help fund women’s scholarships. Contact to inquire about grants.

Becky Marsten of Crumpler originated the idea for the book and served as editor in compiling information from a myriad of sources. Linda Page of Fleetwood was primary editor of the recipe section. Becky answers questions about the book below.

What is the biggest challenge for most people in knowing what or what not to do or say?

We all have gifts and talents that we have nurtured over time, but sometimes we need help in knowing how best to show our love. A lot of people are concerned with saying something in just the right way, and the stronger they feel or the sicker the patient, the harder it is for them. Some end up agonizing to the point of spinning their wheels, then not being able to do anything. Feeling guilty is non productive for anyone involved. It also helps to realize that the first note or conversation is just a single opportunity of many one may have over time. You don’t have to say everything in one installment. This is especially true for helping the bereaved for weeks and months after family and friends have returned home or gone about their business.

What all does the book cover?

It includes what to do for the ill or bereaved, how to help a grieving friend, what to say or not say to the bereaved, ways to help caregivers, being a caregiver, the business and financial aspects of serious illness or death, meaningful quotes and scripture references, as well as ideas for small gifts and even user friendly recipes.

How can one send cheerful, positive messages to long term or terminal patients?

Most get well cards are too perky and are aimed at people with simple issues who will be healthy again in a week or so.

A Loving Concern recommends considering encouragement or thinking-of-you cards rather than get well cards for the seriously or terminally ill One can also use attractive blank cards to write a personal message.

Where can Loving Concern be purchased and what is the cost?

The soft cover book can be purchased with cash or checks locally at My Favorite Kitchen Things has generously agreed to stock the book. The cost is $15. It is available for $15.00 plus shipping and handling through Amazon, which takes credit cards. An e-book for Kindles is also available through Amazon for $9.99. Out of town readers can order at or from Facebook. PEO will appreciate readers taking time to post a short review of the book on Amazon and Facebook. We need to get the word out about this unique resource.

What was most helpful to you in compiling the book?

Our local PEO chapter enthusiast ally grabbed the idea and ran with it. Members embraced the project all the way through proofreading and marketing. It was a real group effort. Our own Jane Johnson designed art for the cover and page dividers. The book was printed by Creative Printers of West Jefferson.

Explain the role of social media in promoting the book.

A Loving Concern has its own Facebook page where the chapter posts (M-F) additional tips and recipes. Facebook users can visit the Facebook page daily, and if they “like” the page, these tips will appear on their own timeline. In addition, A Loving Concern has a website ( which gives further information about the book and links to Amazon.

Does the book cite other resources helpful to readers?

Yes, over thirty resources are cited in the bibliography.

What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

We are getting a wonderful response. We’ve already had some re-orders, and some churches are using the book to train deacons, and others who sometimes deal with questions of illness and grieving.

(Photo submitted) Left to right, Linda Page and Becky Marsten. submitted) Left to right, Linda Page and Becky Marsten.


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