Stuff. Things. Possessions. Here you are living with it. It was his/her stuff. Clothes, papers, toiletries, books, etc. In the midst of everything you’ve dealt with in grieving the loss of your partner, it’s another everyday reminder that they are gone. The books they will not be finishing, shoes they won’t wear anymore, the subscription to the magazine related to their hobby or career, woodworking tools they will never hold again. You trip over it every time you walk through the garage to take out the garbage, paw around it to find what you need when you open the closet. It sits there, sometimes comforting you, sometimes chastising you, often overwhelming you. You close the door, turn a blind eye to it. “I’ll deal with this stuff when I’m ready,” you tell yourself.Read More
I want to talk about endings today. This is a topic that either nobody wants to talk about or that people just can’t shut up about. We’ve all experienced them. Your relationship ends in separation, the job you quit (or got fired from), your daughter moves out to go to college (or move in with her boyfriend, or both), the move cross-country to a place you’d never been – you know what I’m talking about because you’ve been there.
In this world, all things come to an end. Endings are usually seen as unpleasant, as bad, and we’re generally very upset about them. What I see a lot of in my coaching practice are the most devastating types of endings – the ones we don’t choose ourselves – the death of a spouse or child, the divorce we didn’t see coming, getting fired/laid off, the debilitating illness that threatens to take everything away.Read More
It’s been reported that it takes people 5-8 years, on average, to recover from a devastating loss.
Dealing with loss leaves you vulnerable to developing depression or anxiety disorders, or increasing dependency on drugs or alcohol as a means to cope. These more serious conditions often lead people to seek treatment from a therapist or counselor, and there are many, many excellent, dedicated professionals to which you can turn to get the help you need if that is what you are going through.
However, most of the people I speak with about their loss are experiencing the normal, natural responses to loss – and that is grief.Read More
The ability of music, sound, and harmony to heal the body, mind, and emotions has been recognized as far back as ancient civilizations of Greece. The field of Music Therapy is a widely recognized field and has applications in hospitals, hospices, and institutional settings.
I have been involved with music for almost all of my life. My mother had a small collection of classical music records that, even as a young child, I listened to, over and over. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but it was the day that my band instructor placed a French horn in my hands that the love affair with music really took hold.Read More
It’s well known that human beings get very angry and upset when they are deeply hurt. Anger, resentment, bitterness, regret – these are emotional reactions that are very common. You may be feeling angry at others – your partner for leaving you, family, friends, institutions like hospitals or insurance companies, even at God. You also may be dealing with anger at yourself for things you did, or things you didn’t do. At the root of the anger is the belief that things happened that “should” not have happened.Read More
I often hear people saying that they “have to” do something. What do you think that means in terms of the energy level that is being expressed? They are probably viewing the situation from the perspective of low energy or even apathy. “I have to go to work,” means that you think you have no other choice but to go to work. This is self-oppression at a very subtle yet insidious form.
We all have our emotional ups and downs – highs and lows, peaks and valleys. And, when you are dealing with loss and grief, it seems like you get to spend a lot of time in the valleys. Not everyone experiences anger as part of their grieving processes, but many do, and part of what is distressing is that your anger can come out of nowhere when you least expect it. It can be upsetting to feel anger towards yourself, the person who left, the doctors, the courts, at God even. Know that anger is a normal and understandable emotion at this time, because of the extreme stress you are dealing with.
Underneath it all is pain and a sense of a loss of control. Nothing is as it should be. It’s as though a typhoon has blown through your consciousness and you know your life will never be the same again. You didn’t ask for this.Read More
These are the days of tweeting, blogging, posting, instagraming, you name it. Everyone seems to be doing it. Some people seem very comfortable expressing every morsel of their living and breathing and eating into the world. Not that this isn’t totally fascinating to the one sharing, but most people (including me) don’t care about what you ate for breakfast, who you ate it with, and what you were wearing. However, when someone writes with a raw vulnerability, expressing with exquisite clarity a thought or feeling that I recognize in myself, I tend to sit up and take notice. Truth has a way of getting your attention.Read More
To be honest, writing about the subject of compassion seemed a little daunting to me. What ran through my head was the thought, “What could I possibly have to say about this that hasn’t been said before? I’m no Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa.” Then, today as I was searching though some papers, I came upon a prayer that I wrote when I was in my early 20’s.Read More
Loneliness can be dealt with in many ways, and the attitude you have towards yourself and the vulnerability that this feeling produces has a lot to do with how much suffering you will assign to it. What do I mean by that?Read More