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3 Ways to Help Someone Who Is Grieving the Loss of a Parent

Dealing with the loss of a parent is a tragic life experience we all eventually go through. As the friend of someone who is grieving, you can offer invaluable assistance. Help your friend begin the walk towards healing and recovery with these simple but effective techniques.

1. Make Contact

Even though you might not know exactly what to say, the most important way to help a person in grief is to reach out. Talk to them, and let them know you are thinking of them. Too often, a grieving person is ignored–not consciously, perhaps, but because others don’t know how they should react, or they don’t want to bring up an upsetting subject. Don’t let these reasons prevent you from connecting with your friend.

Be assured that their loss is on their mind, so talking about it isn’t reminding them about something they’ve somehow forgotten. Continue to check in with the grieving person in the weeks and months after their loss. This can be when a good friend is appreciated the most.

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2. Don’t Dismiss the Grief

Of course, what you say is important. And two of the most common things said to those who have suffered a loss–“I know how you feel” and “maybe it was for the best”–can seem dismissive. Avoid them. Don’t try to “correct” what a grieving person is going through. You can’t. Simply assure them that you are there for them through your words and your actions.

3. Offer Help

You can always help in concrete ways, depending on your relationship with the grieving person and their unique situation. Bring them meals, if appropriate. Offer to babysit or do errands–whatever you think might be needed. Remember that it’s more helpful to offer to do something specific rather than simply saying “call me if you need anything.” They might be too overwhelmed to ask for help.

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Grief is hard to face alone. If you have any tips for supporting a friend or family member through the death of a parent, please share in the comments.

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Winston-Salem Skyline

Best Family Activities in Winston-Salem for the Summer

A weeklong family vacation on a cruise ship is the dream but work and responsibilities are the reality. That doesn’t mean you should give up family fun altogether, though! Take a ‘daycation’ in Winston-Salem to get the kids out of the house and spend some quality time together.

The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and the SciWorks of old have merged to become the Kaleideum, a collective working to inspire youngsters in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts, and literacy through hands-on play.

 

Little ones will enjoy the exhibits at the Downtown location, which range from The Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory to The Prop Shop, a “behind the scenes” look at theatre. The North location is great for all ages, as it hosts butterfly gardens, an out-of-this-world Planetarium, interactive experiments, an enormous pendulum, and even river otters.

 

They also offer day or weeklong Summer Camp opportunities for children aged three to 8th grade.

Nothing hits the spot like a beer after a long day. We recommend rolling over to Hoots Beer Company, where they boast “a good, well-balanced pub beer” and a community attitude. Their beers are simple, no crazy-craft or awkwardly named brews here, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. They’re just right. If Goldilocks drank beer, she’d be here. To top it all off, Hoots is a dog-friendly venue with pinball machines and outdoor seating. Relax after work at 840 Mill Works Street.

This is the one stop fun stop, conveniently located across the street from Hanes Mall. Choose between three 18-hole Miniature Golf courses, or putt all three, and get a prize if you make a hole-in-one! When you’re finished, take a bumpy boat ride in the Bumper Boats equipped with squirt guns to help your family cool off from the summer’s heat.

 

If you don’t want to get soaking wet, step inside to the Arcade and play all day. There are more than 30 interactive games inside, many of which reward you with tickets that can be exchanged for candy and prizes.

If your teenager is into indie flicks, this cinema is a dream come true. It’s small, intimate, and the movies can only be described as wonderfully underground. If you’re not into those movies like your teen is, they sell wine for your personal enjoyment. Most of their concessions are from local businesses like Black Mountain Chocolate and Wolfies Frozen Custard; community involvement is such a staple in Winston-Salem!

Nothing will take you back three hundred years like these National Historic Landmarks. Explore the restored and reconstructed buildings in Bethabara Park like the Buttner’s House, the first distiller’s house in the country. They also host monthly Concert Band Evenings, a relaxing end to a beautiful day in our Twin City.

 

When you visit Old Salem, you’ll see local volunteers don the traditional garb to show how the Moravian settlers lived and worked. They practice old trades like shoemaking, quilting, and coffee roasting. Join in during the One-Day Family Camps to make food at the hearth, create corn husk dolls, and try your hand at pottery. Don’t forget to try a hunk of sugar cake from Winkler Bakery!

Stand-up Paddleboarding in Winston-Salem? Bet you didn’t see that coming. Depending on your level of confidence, you can take Introductory Lessons, do SUP Yoga, or complete a 3 hour Fitness Session on land and water. They also offer a “Glow-Paddle” trip after sunset, with lights attached beneath your paddleboard so you can see the wildlife below the surface.

Take them out to the ballgame! Nothing feels as American as heading out to the BB&T Ballpark for a night of baseball and hotdogs with your family. Hear the National Anthem echo across the city and meet Bolt, the Dash’s lovable mascot. Grab some hot tater tots from Bolt’s Electrified or cotton candy from the Carolina Snack Shack and take a seat to enjoy the game. Then “oooh” and “ahhh” at the post-game Friday Night Fireworks.

We love being a part of this community as a local law firm, located in Downtown Winston-Salem, so you might just see us out and about this summer. If you do, be sure to say hello!

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teenage driving

Teenage Driving: Four Essential Safety Guidelines

You can probably remember the first ticket that you got and how scary it was to tell your parents. And now, as a parent, the thought of having your teenager out on the road alone is even more terrifying.  Getting into traffic trouble is scary for parents and their kids alike, especially if it’s more a more serious situation than just a speeding ticket. Here’s a few tips for you and your teen to stay safe on the road and minimize those anxiety-inducing moments.

Obey the Speed Limit

The number one reason drivers get pulled over is speeding. Even if you’re the safest driver on the planet in every other way, if you’re speeding, you put yourself and others at risk. You should always put your safety above getting somewhere fast, even it means you’ll be late.

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Eyes on the road

Our cars are full of distractions. The radio, our phones, our passengers: it’s tempting to give them a glance every once in awhile. Cars move at incredibly fast speeds, which is great when you’re paying attention. But because of the speed, if your eyes leave the road for even a second, you’re putting yourself in danger. An accident can happen faster than it takes to reach down and change the song: stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.

No texting

Speaking of distracted driving, don’t text while you’re driving! If even a short moment of distraction can cause an accident, the complex attention required to write a text should be focused entirely on the road. No message is important enough to risk your life. If it’s an emergency, pull over before calling or texting. Otherwise, keep your phone out of grabbing distance to avoid temptation.

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No drunk driving

This topic may be hard to bring up, but it’s an important discussion to have. If you ever end up in a situation where you are under the influence of alcohol, never get into your car to drive. Give your car keys to a sober friend before consuming alcohol. If you drink and drive, your judgement will be impaired and you will make bad decisions, no exceptions. It’s not worth threatening your future: your college plans, your job prospects, your life itself can all be thrown off track by an accident or a DWI conviction. Getting in trouble with your parents is much better than getting arrested.

There’s no foolproof way to avoid getting in an accident, but if you follow these safety guidelines, you will make the road safer for yourself and everyone around you.

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Winston-Salem Skyline

Our Favorite Drinks in Winston-Salem!

Back away from that vending machine!

In a city like Winston-Salem, you are cheating yourself if you settle for a $2 soda from the office stairwell.

The Twin City is full of fantastically satisfying drinks to wet your whistle. Whether you’re dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, in need of a little pick-me-up, or taking it easy after a long day at work, Winston-Salem has the drink for you.

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If you’re looking for coffee, you can’t go wrong with a handcrafted miracle-in-a-cup from Camino’s Bakery. Their menu changes seasonally and the drinks are always exactly what you need. This season, Magical Coffee is the ultimate morning savior. It’s simple but delicious; iced coffee, cinnamon, half and half, and brown sugar. For something a little more adventurous, try their Lavender Mlel; a mystical potion of espresso, honey, cinnamon, lavender syrup, and steamed milk that’s sure to get your day started on the right foot. Find your ideal caffeinated beverage at 310B West Fourth Street or 300 South Marshall Street.

Nothing hits the spot like a beer after a long day. We recommend rolling over to Hoots Beer Company, where they boast “a good, well-balanced pub beer” and a community attitude. Their beers are simple, no crazy-craft or awkwardly named brews here, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring. They’re just right. If Goldilocks drank beer, she’d be here. To top it all off, Hoots is a dog-friendly venue with pinball machines and outdoor seating. Relax after work at 840 Mill Works Street.

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drinks

When it’s too early for a beer and too late for coffee, you need Sunshine. Sunshine Beverages began and flourished right here in the Twin City so you can find these cloudless cans all over town. Your options are Blueberry Lemonade, Ginger Berry, and Clementine Twist. Each can is packed with electrolytes, vitamin B12, and incredible flavor. We can’t pick just one flavor to recommend because they’re all perfect for a midday boost. We’ve heard it’s the cure for a bad hangover, too.

How about a spot of tea, instead? It’s always time to embrace your inner posh tourist at The Flour Box Tea Room & Cafe. With teas from around the world including Great Britain, Morocco, India, China, and Sri Lanka, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your craving for loose leaf tea. We recommend the classic English Breakfast for any time of day. If it’s too warm out for a hot tea, try the Rose Lemonade. It’s a refreshing, tasty drink that sends soda packing its bags! While you’re there, pair your tea with a gorgeous slice of cake or a biscuit. Find your little teapot at 137 West Street SW.

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drinks

Finally, the wine. Carolina’s Vineyards & Hops only sells wine from North Carolina, so you know they’re all going to be good. The available wines change every few weeks, to give you the full scope of our state’s grapes, but their signature line stays the same. We recommend the signature Two Triangles wine, which has “tropical fruit, peach, and honeysuckle” flavors along with a “hint of effervescence.” Perfect to pair with their local artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. Grab a glass at 1111 South Marshall Street, Suite 184.

So… where to first?

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Accused of a Crime you did not commit featured image

Have You Been Accused of a Crime You Did Not Commit?

It could happen. A witness makes a mistake. Evidence points in the wrong direction. Someone lies in order to protect himself. And you find yourself in the frightening position of being accused of a crime even though you’re innocent. What should you do if this happens to you or a loved one?

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

If you are falsely accuse of a crime, the overwhelming temptation is to immediately explain yourself to the police–to tell your side of the story. Don’t do it. Absolutely everything you say to the police can be used against you. But what you don’t say can never be used. Your Constitutional right to remain silent exists at the very first stages of an investigation. The police must remind you of this right only if you are in custody and about to be questioned. So stay calm, be straightforward, and remain firm—don’t say anything.

Get an Attorney to Help You

If the police want to question you about a crime, you need a criminal defense attorney. Definitely. Don’t wait to contact one—do it right away. Experts agree that the innocent need an attorney as much as, or more than, the guilty do. In many cases, an attorney is brought in too late to be as useful as they could be had they been contacted earlier.

A trusted criminal defense attorney is an invaluable ally. They can advise you of your rights, determine exactly what charges might be filed, discover what evidence the police have, and explain all your options if a case proceeds. And remember that the attorney-client relationship is privileged: Feel free to talk about all aspects of your situation with your criminal defense attorney. The more they know, the better.

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Additional Legal Advice

If you are falsely accused of a crime, gather any material you think can help demonstrate your innocence: emails, receipts, documents, phone records, and so on. Share it with your attorney. It’s also a good idea to draw up a list of witnesses who could help prove your position. And, if the situation warrants—if you are in a fight, for example, that might lead to a false accusation—being the first to call 911 will help your case.

What Not to Do

Do not tamper with or destroy any records or evidence you think looks bad. Doing so will only make your situation worse. Likewise, do not try to talk with the victim or accuser. This will likely hurt your case as well, perhaps quite seriously. You should also refuse to submit to any type of testing the authorities might ask of you until you’ve consulted a criminal defense attorney. And never allow the police to conduct a search without a warrant. Having one ensures that all parties are following the correct procedures.

Being accused of a crime you did not commit is extremely stressful. Knowing your rights, bringing in help and proceeding with caution will all help make the best of a bad situation.

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