Loss and Grief
Grief is the word we use to describe our response to loss but it is not a singular feeling and it is not confined to the time after a death. Grief draws upon the entirety of our emotional landscape. Every possible emotion and expression of those emotions, from subtle to grand, are released into our bereavement. Grief brings us face-to-face with the unknown. Grief asks us to navigate a new landscape in service of making meaning, of our loss and of our lives.
In our grief-illiterate culture, grief is often relegated to an undetermined time period after death. In truth, many of us carry grief with us from a very young age. Grief is triggered not only when we lose someone we care about but also when we lose what we think we know, when we lose our way, our joy and our center. Grief is present every time we feel helpless and with every encounter with the unknown. We meet grief when we experience,
loss of a loved one through death or end of a relationship
loss of the experience of abundance and security
loss of the sense of knowing yourself or what brings you joy
loss of meaning and direction
loss of health or promise for the future
Grief and Blessing
The landscape of grief is not barren although it tends to feel like the void when we first set foot over the threshold. As the process unfolds we begin to find familiar emotions, sadness, anger, gratitude and love, that anchor our experience. In the landscape of grief our emotions take on new shape, they may feel bigger, deeper or more subtle than we've experienced them before.
Being with these emotions with honesty and compassion is part of how we honor the loss. Grieving is not a journey that ever really ends but rather it holds the potential for deep, personal transformation. What we might learn through grief is how to fully inhabit ourselves, how to face and transform pain, how to uncover the blessings in loss and, finally, how to make meaning in our lives that grounds us deeply in the present and looking forward to authentic possibilities.
Grief and the Future
It is often hard to imagine the future once our dreams, expectations and hope for it come undone. Grief stops us in our tracks. It is a great involuntary pause. How do we keep on when we've lost what gave our lives a sense of direction, purpose and joy?
Grief coaching offers reflection, guidance and support in navigating this territory. Every person's grief is unique to them and warrants an individualized approach that honors each person on their path. While there are no rules to grieving, there are those who have gone before you and can hold and understand the depth and complexity of your experience.
Through sharing, expressing emotions, writing practice,creative arts and ceremony we begin the process of mapping the territory of your grief. We find bearing in the terrain and learn how to re-imagine a future that is honest, reverent and grounded.
I am available in person, by email, by telephone and through skype to offer the support you need. Consultation is free and sessions are on a sliding scale. Group/family support sessions are available as well.
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