I’ve been studying Love lately. Both how it relates to me personally and to my work as a coach. I work with people who are going through a dark time in their lives – what was once their joy (a loving intimate relationship) is now their deepest despair. In exploring their loss and pain, the question inevitably comes to love: “How will I ever feel safe to love again?”Read More
I’m writing this at the end of 2016, which carried the sad news of the death of Carrie Fisher. She left us all too soon at the age of 60 – and what was tragically to follow a few days later was the death of her mother, Debbie Reynolds.
This led me to ponder the question, “Can you really die of a broken heart?” It certainly seems to be so given these events.Read More
Stories of loss and grief are part of the fabric of my work. A young woman mourns the loss of her first trimester pregnancy and the baby she will never know. A man shares about the loss of a colleague for which he secretly held a flame of unrequited love. Another woman tells about her boyfriend’s sudden illness and death on the eve of their engagement.
Most people are able to share their stories of grief openly. Some are not. When a secret relationship (or one that others don’t know about or understand) ends and you feel that there’s no one to talk to about your loss, you carry it alone. This grief becomes complicated by other issues heaped on top of your sorrow – guilt, fear, resentment, depression. Often what happens in these situations is that the person shuts down and fails to grieve.Read More
I want to say something about the shape of grief. Grief is not linear. It’s not a rectangle, either. It doesn't behave itself and stay within a neat box of “stages.” You don't go “through” it like passing through another country on your way home, never to return. I hear so many of my clients exclaim, “Oh no, I thought I was done with this,” when they are experiencing a grief trigger. This is especially daunting when it happens several years after their loss, just when they think they are emotionally in the clear and the crying is behind them.
The reality is, when you are grieving, you can feel like you are going through the same feelings over and over again. It can be so discouraging and frightening to feel like you are in an endless loop of pain and sorrow. There's another way to look at grief that I hope you will find helpful...Read More
What is a community? The definition of the word is a group of people who have a common characteristic, history, interest, location. It comes from the latin, communis or communitas. It implies unity or uniting.
There is a community that is beneath the radar in our society that we all have an opportunity to do a better job of serving. This is the community of people who are grieving a significant loss in their lives.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
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
My mom would have been 77 this week. She died 4 months ago, and I find myself at the bottom of the well of grief today – somewhat unexpectedly. But hey, as much as I anticipated that her birthday would bring forward the grief, I learned that you can’t plan for the really heart-rending days in advance.
When you experience a painful, life-changing event like losing a life partner through death or divorce, there are times when the pain is so excruciating and raw that you wonder if you will even be able to cope with it, let alone benefit from it in any way.Read More
The attitude towards grief in mainstream America is often one of impatience. Many of us are uncomfortable with acknowledging our emotions, especially the negative ones. If you think about it, grief is just downright inefficient. Grief gets in the way of “business as usual,” because it’s the reaction to our lives being turned upside down by loss.Read More