Grief is a painful feeling. We grieve because we've loved and have lost the one we've loved. Sometimes, we grieve about other losses--of a job or dream we had for ourselves or the loss of our youth. Learning how to help people with grief can also help you deal with your emotional pain.
My work is about helping people work through their emotional pain to find joy again. We do this at our retreats and through our private counseling. This approach honors each emotion as a path to healing and awakening.
Stuck feeling of whatever kind--such as anger, fear, shame, or anxiety--offer us gifts. In working through emotional pain, we become more human: more compassionate, more fully connecting and alive in the world.
We develop depth. Our personality grows in its capacity to love and be loved. We become more able to help others with their grief because we have been there; we have experienced extreme emotional pain and survived, and we can stand in that pain for another.
We can be most effective by just skillfully listening to, supporting, and being with them.
As human beings we are here to grow, to become whole and present, to love more deeply and freely. But at times, we get stuck in our feelings, unable to move forward. This is especially true when we are stuck in grief.
Several pages on this website focus on different aspects of grief work. Some entries give suggestions to help people overwhelmed by their feelings. Others provide information about the grieving process. Almost all the pages refer to my grief and loss retreat work as a way to help people move through pain and find joy again.
In these pages and throughout this website, I often touch on the unfinished work of grieving our childhood pain. As a psychotherapist, I find that the roots of current problems and pain are found in old unfinished memories that haunt us from our childhood. While this may be difficult to recognize as a component of current loss, we often find that our present discomfort is compounded by old pain from the past.
When we step over painful feelings, they can come back full force when a new painful situation appears. Then, we are confronted with the current situation and the pile-up of past pain. This can be overwhelming and disorienting.
For those people who are unable to attend a retreat, I offer grief counseling via the telephone and Skype. It's not a substitute for the retreats, but it can provide comfort and some degree of understanding. Grief counseling can prepare clients for the retreats. At our events, people experience the healing power of a loving community, which goes beyond anything that individual work can accomplish.
Of all the emotions, grief is the slowest to heal. Often, there are other feelings, such as anger or fear, that are blocking our ability to walk through the emotional pain of grief. As these other feelings are acknowledged, we can face into our grief more directly and purely, with the added strength needed to let ourselves be healed.
When grief is related to the loss of a beloved person, our grief is never fully gone. But we can come back to live our lives in the present moment and be fully here instead of being caught in the past. Our memories live on in our hearts, and deepens our present life rather than distracting us from it. We both reclaim our lives and cherish our past memories.
Here is a look at each page so you can find what you need:
Coping With Extreme Grief has some suggestions to help with emotional pain.
Handling Grief, Loss, Sadness And Pain is a short guide to how to deal with your feelings. Sometimes we hide from feelings because we are afraid of being overwhelmed by them.
Grief Stricken has other suggestions including taking care of yourself, trusting your own unique process and getting the right help.
Working Through Prolonged Grief includes activities that can be helpful for long term grief.
10 Things I've Learned About Grief has suggestion from my experience about the grieving process.
Kubler Ross Stages Of Grief page talks about her groundbreaking work that can help you make sense of all the feelings you may be.experiencing.
Grieving A Loss has more reflections on the grief process.
Pet Loss Page I talk about the death and burial of my cat and how our retreat work can help people who have lost an animal friend.
Prolonged Grief is about meditation, stress management and some of the tools I use to help people.
Healing Divorce Grief is an interview with a participant at one of our retreats.
Grief and Loss Retreat page is all about the amazing healing journeys that we offer 5-6 times each year.
Jon Terrell also offers long distance grief counseling using the telephone or Skype...see the link below.
Go from Grief to Home Page
Go to Working With Anger and Depression
Go to Fear, Anxiety and Change
Photo Credit - Grief/Joy by Lee Hicks