Grief and Bereavement
When Someone We Love Dies...
It can be hard to understand what it that means; that someone we love has died, that we will never see them, touch them or hold them again. Somehow, the world seems the same, and yet it's so different because someone we love so dearly is missing. We may feel lost and incomplete, and even wonder who we are in life without that person. Losing someone we love is always painful, and depending on the relationship and the circumstances, it can be completely life changing. It may seem easier to suppress or deny our grief, but that will only cause more pain to us and those around us by eliminating the joy in our lives and creating a feeling of isolation. Grief demands to be felt and it will keep trying to get our attention until we have the courage to face it; gently and in small doses. There is no going around grief, we can only go through it by doing the work of mourning. To do this, we must acknowledge the loss and how it has changed and impacted our lives. We must understand that our lives are different now and that we will never be who we were before our loved one died. We must figure out what our 'new normal' is, who we are now without that person. This is all part of mourning the loss. While it may not initially seem so, it is possible to heal in grief, to become whole again, to continue in our changed life with hope and meaning. Instead of dying while we are alive, we can choose to remain open to the pain of the loss and in doing so, honor the love we have for the person who has died.
Learning To Live With Your Grief...
While on my own grief journey, I came across the quote, "Death ends a life, not a relationship", and it really helped to shift my grief in the sense that I felt some relief that I didn't have to 'let go' of my mother; I could carry her with me and keep her in my life. Although she had died, she was still my mother and I was still her daughter - alive or not, that would never change.
It also helped me to learn that if I was going to carry her with me, I would also have to carry my grief with me; that I would have to learn to live with it and integrate it into my life. Grief never truly goes away; it softens over time, the pain of it lessens, but it is always there. And so, I needed to befriend my grief; to make space for it, to honor it and allow it to come up from time to time. In learning to do so, we are able to have more smiles than tears when we reminisce, and love can live where anger used to.
The Companioning Concept...
While I have had many teachers in my training, it is Dr. Alan Wolfelt who's philosophy of 'companioning' versus 'treating' grief resonates with me most. Companioning is about being present to another person's pain, listening with the heart, discovering the gifts of sacred silence, and respecting disorder and confusion. It is about being still, honoring their spirit, bearing witness to their struggles and walking alongside them. This is how I have modeled my practice as a Bereavement Specialist. I offer my clients a comforting and non-judgmental space to explore the unfamiliar and often brutal surroundings of the wilderness of their grief. At their own pace and with my gentle guidance and support, we journey the path of their grief together; through the darkness and towards light, hope and healing. I have found Reiki to be helpful in healing grief in a very gentle and effective way, and I will incorporate a Reiki treatment into a Bereavement session at no additional cost at the clients request.
Infant and Pregnancy Loss
- A Different Kind of Grief
There is no greater excitement than learning that you will be a parent. And there is no greater devastation than losing a much wanted pregnancy, experiencing a stillbirth or an infant death. 1 in 4 people living in Canada will experience an infant or pregnancy loss, and many of those parents suffer in the pain and silence of disenfranchised grief. While I have not personally experienced this exact loss, I have supported many through these types of losses. What I kept hearing in their stories was a lack of support not only after the loss, but through the loss. Because of that need, I worked with a team to co-create and co-facilitate Home Hospice Association's (www.HomeHospiceAssociation.com) Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula Training; part of their Pre and Perinatal Hospice Program. I host their 6 week progressive healing peer support group; Our Babies, Our Grief in the spring and fall of each year, and I offer one on one grief support to parents at no cost in my Healing Studio year round.
Making the decision to seek grief support is the first step in healing. I offer a 30 minute complimentary confidential consultation in my studio as an opportunity for us to meet, to get a feel for each others energy, to find out what you want help with and if I can help you. Feeling comfortable and safe allows for more openness and honesty during sessions. If we both agree that we are a good fit for each other, we will book a session at that time. Bereavement sessions are one hour in length and are $65 per session. Because I am not a psychotherapist or social worker, my services are not covered by any insurance plans and are paid in my Healing Studio at the end of each session.