Testimonials for Begin Here

Here is a selection of testimonials and review excerpts for Begin Here: helping survivors manage. We truly appreciate your words of support. Thank you.

Direct, honest, also a sense of humor in a tough subject. Good, helpful information everyone should know. –Participant in South Washington County Schools Community Ed class

I just wanted to tell you how much your book has helped.  I…saw your book from the Star Tribune and ordered right away.  I knew between my cousin and I, one of us would use before the other.  Unfortunately that time came too fast and my Uncle passed away last week.  I gave her the book. I am going to order another one. It’s been a horrible, sad week and I thank you again for the book to help us and guide us in the right direction! –Name withheld

With nearly 40 people attending Kat Reed’s forum, between our two services, this captured the biggest group. …people purchased her book…and find it very helpful, both for their parents and for their children. Both of my pastors are filling a book out for their children and grandchildren.  When a family is grieving, some of these important items are forgotten.  I am also taking advantage of using Kat’s book to help my sons with all my personal information and who to contact about what and when. –Deb Kruse RN, Parish Nurse, Lutheran Church of Peace

My mom passed along a copy of “Begin Here” a couple of weeks back and I just finished it tonight.  This is just a simple thanks for creating something concise, actionable and a resource in which potentially awkward conversations can be calmly discussed with the book as a facilitation point.  I aspire to create something this useful in my own realm and to build the type of community it sounds like you’ve cultivated over the years. Nice work! Thanks –Name withheld

Had Barnes & Noble order for me the above referenced book which you recommended. It is absolutely perfect for what I am trying to do: organize my estate for my executrix.  Thanks so much for being right on topic. –Name withheld

I am a Geriatric Care Manager…and I am interested in obtaining information regarding the wholesale cost of your book Begin here. I have purchased a few in the past for my clients and they have really helped. Thank You So Much! –Name withheld

Just lost mom and here I sit in ferry traffic thinking of (yo)u and your good work. Tomorrow will be helping dad and family deal with this news. Sad but relieved. She was suffering these last few days. Thanks for giving folks tools to help cope. –Name withheld

I’ve just handed out your book. I’m ordering more. It is a powerful moment to watch the sense of relief come to the face of someone whose loved one is close to death. The person is overwhelmed, full of sadness and confusion. And I bring out your book and they say, “Wow, thanks, this is incredible (and) just what I needed.” I mean seriously, it happened… just that way. Thanks!  –Rev. Roger Butts

When my dad died, we were prepared, have five siblings strong working on things, but still there were areas we had no clue about. Sadly, my family has had its fair share of deaths in the past ten years. If there had been such a book for us to reference, it would have made such a difficult, emotional time so much easier. –Nicki Presby

My dad passed away five years ago, and as a list-driven person and lawyer (who is supposed to *handle* things), I could have used this resource so much. Absolutely wonderful and much-needed. This will be an excellent resource for estate planning attorneys too. –Kathy Davis

Excellent Resource–death and dying. Kat Reed has written a most helpful resource for clergy who work with congregants who are dying or have loved ones who are dying. The book helps lead the grieving person in a systematic way to address all of the little issues that emerge, that most never would anticipate. Kat Reed is clear, compassionate, and organized. This book is something I recommend without hesitation. I have ordered many to have on hand, in my office, to give out to folks confronting life’s final passage. One congregant gave this book to a neighbor whose wife was dying. He wept with relief and gratitude upon receiving it and used it to calm his mind and give him some direction in a most troubling time. Begin with Begin Here and you will have one more tool that will provide good ministry among your people. –Rev. Roger E. Butts

Everything you need know to get through a difficult time after losing a loved one. What a wonderful book to have on hand before you need it and essential when you need it. There are so many good ideas and resources in the book. There are also various forms and lists in the back of the book to assist in dealing with cancelling services; how to notify credit agencies; a script to follow when needing to obtain information for Social Security, Veteran’s Affairs, Insurance and many more. I gave one to a friend who lost a spouse and to an adult child who lost a parent. Both were very grateful for the information and guidance in the book and found it extremely helpful. I highly recommend this book to everyone. –Name withheld

A book everyone needs to have. This book is a practical, hands on tool to guide you through one of the most stressful and emotional times in someone’s life – the death of a loved one. This book helps take you through the steps to putting business, financial, and personal affairs in order after the loss of a loved one. It can be an overwhelming task, but this book helps put things in perspective and make the process more manageable. I love the way it’s organized and the helpful links and resources. I recommend this book to everyone; unfortunately death is something real that eventually we all have to cope with. Most of us don’t have the experience to even know where to begin – hence this book – perfectly titled. A must have for anyone. –Name withheld

A great help in time of need. Today I had the opportunity to pass on to my daughter and son-in-law one of our copies of “BEGIN here: helping survivors manage” by Kat Reed, following a death in their family. The appreciation was so sincere and heartfelt, expressed in saying “Oh, thank you so much. I always thought there should be something like this when you need it.” I was so glad we had an extra copy. As Hospice volunteers, my wife and I know how valuable this excellent manual can really be. There are just so many things to think about during the stressful time of grieving the death of a loved one that often something is overlooked or information is misplaced. It is extremely helpful to have all the necessary information at hand in one concise location. Not only is “Begin here” a tool to use at the time of death, but it is also a planning tool to organize important information in the event of an unexpected death. For that reason we have copies for ourselves and other family members. I highly endorse this helpful and valuable manual. Thanks, Kat Reed. –Dennis Hansen

As someone who has (sadly) had to deal with a lot of tragedy and death, I sincerely wish I would have had “Begin Here: helping survivors manage” to help me to deal with all of the practical, real life issues which one needs to deal with but has no idea how. This book contains all of the things you do not think about until it is too late and you suddenly (and usually quite quickly) have to deal with. “Begin Here: helping survivors manage” is much more than just a practical guide for the survivor – it is an easy to understand and follow reference book which guides you step by step out of the darkness. When your emotions are running high, it helps to focus your attention on what tasks are needed to be done and when – it will save you from becoming completely overwhelmed. –Amy Kranz

This book is meant to be used. From its handy tabs to its sturdy spiral binding, the form definitely follows the function. And the function is one that many people are finding they need. This book is for those left behind. It is for the son or daughter who, in the midst of raising their own family, find that they must now pick up the pieces left behind by a parent. For the sister, brother or even the parent who must deal with all the paperwork, notifications, and tying off of final threads that go along with our modern lives. Look around at your own home office or file system. What would happen if you were suddenly gone? Would anyone know where to find your credit card statements? Did you know that heirs are liable for credit card bills? What about life insurance? Who is responsible for filing the final tax return for the deceased? What if the deceased was a veteran? Then there’s social security, and dealing with all the deceased bills and paperwork. In our modern busy busy world, families rarely take the time to sit down and talk about the important details of their lives. Money is still a taboo topic around many dining room tables. This book takes you step by step through the questions above, and many more. Much of the problem lies in not even knowing which questions to ask. Here are lists of them, each under a handy tab, from Residence to Financial to Legal. The book also comes with scripts for dealing with insurance and other complex topics, as well as sample letters used to contact different entities. Kat Reed speaks from experience. She helped her nearly deaf father through these details after the death of her mother. These are the questions that need answering, for many at a time when they are least likely to be able to focus on these details. Perfect for anyone dealing with a death and those that support them. Note: I gave a copy of this to my aunt when my uncle died very suddenly. I think it was a balm for her soul. –Linda White

A great resource when you just don’t know where to start! Kat Reed has written this book in order to be able to help others. Unfortunately, there were no resources like this when she was going through hard times with her own parents. I respect that she followed her heart and developed a tool that will be useful to many. When a death of a family member has occurred and you are the survivor…many responsibilities present themselves. When using this book, one can have many of those questions answered and the lists of resources that can be completed. Contact lists, financial tasks, and legal tasks are just a few that are included. I feel this is a great book to have on hand before a death would occur…having information documented gives you the feeling that you are somewhat prepared when that event may happen. –Kim F

An Excellent “Toolkit”, Grieving families are usually overwhelmed with the hundreds of details that need their attention – and they’re rarely prepared for everything they face after the funeral or memorial service. Where to begin? Here! Kat has created a guide and tool kit for everyone in this uncomfortable and confusing time. The volume is compact, has pockets for important papers, and has tabbed chapters covering all the topics involved, including residential, financial and legal tasks – as well as creating the support system that will ease their way through the difficult days, weeks, and months following a death. I’ve recommended this book to hundreds of people – and will continue to do so. It’s the best, most affordable means for families to get the support they need. The author…provides practical everyday assistance to the people left behind. –Kim Stacey, Association of Women Funeral Professionals

Thank you. My husband and I were in the process of gathering and inserting the information into this book, when he suddenly died. It was a great comfort to have a starting place for the business part of grief. This book is a great gift to our survivors. –Kay Sheetz

…a guidebook/workbook covering everything from bills and pills to wills. She even delves into little-thought-about items such as magazine subscriptions, pest control and, of course, thank-you notes. –Bill Ward, Star Tribune

She provides a resource list in workbook format that clearly identifies the various responsibilities a death in the family may entail, such as sample letter templates that can be used to notify businesses and guidelines for closing out a home or apartment. The author also provides gentle support to families and outlines the many duties that can be delegated. Readers who want to make it easier for those they love and will leave behind can “Begin Here.” –Barbara Kummer, The Phoenix Spirit

My personal experience is that typically the widow is just baffled,I would have thought I would be giving the book mostly to women, but I also have given it to men who were lost, who always thought they would go first. –Chris Glasoe, managing director of Doxa Advisors, has given the book to several of his estate-planning clients

For the grieving. If it’s possible to “enjoy” a story about grief, then that was my reaction to your January 3 article about the insightful book written by Kat Reed. When my husband died two and a half years ago, I thought I was prepared for the paperwork and daily changes that would come. But I was not prepared for the numbness and overwhelming grief that make even the smallest decisions nearly impossible, and often irrational. If I had those months to relive, which I thank God I don’t, I would do many things much differently. How nice would it have been to have such a book. How nice it would have been if the funeral home, in understanding of this difficult time, had such a book to offer me as part of its package. How nice it would be, now that such a book is available, if funeral homes would recognize what an invaluable service they’d be doing to provide this book. –Kathryn Abram

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