Choices in Coping

Today is a good day. I’ve chosen to take on an old pattern in a new way and while, incredibly scary, it’s also freeing. It’s an affirmation of the work I’ve done over the years to build an effective and healthy toolbox that works for me. It brings me increasingly closer to living my day-to-day life in an emotional state I want, regardless of external circumstances. I want to share with you two brief stories contrasting how I coped with my grief and offer a powerful tool to sort out what works best for you.

Telling Your Story

The Importance of Telling Your Story

Storytelling is a time tested way humans connect with one another. Telling stories and listening to them has been an important part of the human experience for thousands of years. Unfortunately, for those of us in the Grieving Parents Club, we often find it especially hard to tell our stories.

Who I am & Why I do What I do

I live in arguably one of the best places on earth, leading a pretty satisfying life...good friends, work with a purpose, playing in the ocean several days a week, and beautiful views right out my door. But it’s only through losing absolutely everything that I eventually made room for this life. Growing up I never once thought, “I want to dedicate my career and time to growth through grief.” Instead I spent my childhood yearning for the golden era of adulthood. I foolishly thought that’s when I’d finally be in control of my own destiny. As an only child of divorced parents, all I ever hoped for was a family of my own with a handful of kids. For the twenty-two year old version of myself, marrying a man and inheriting three-step children all aged six and under, whom I loved as my own, actually seemed like a good idea. Four years later, I gave birth to my one and only biological child, Alison Belle. How’s that for a big family to call my own? This is when I knew I was finally living my dream.

Released to the Future

Now is the time to integrate memory into the present and release old stories that are no longer serving you and commiting to generative forward action. This exercise will take some time and space, but it'll be important in granting you permission to be live in the now and embrace your future.  Download the exercise … Continue reading Released to the Future

Re-Telling Your Story

You've allowed yourself to dream, to imagine a future you want. The more we follow our dreams, the more we inspire others to do the same. Are you ready to make steps towards that future? Watch a video about it here, then download the exercise pdf. After finishing with re-telling your story, take some free … Continue reading Re-Telling Your Story

Know Your Emotions

Have you ever driven on automatic pilot from home to work, when you really meant to go to the beach? Your mind can do the same thing. This week you'll use a concrete tool to assess where you are and practice being in the moment. Sometimes being the present can feel easier said than done. … Continue reading Know Your Emotions

Be Right Back

There are times when the past comes careening into your present and it isn't always when it's most convenient. It is important to live in the moment and be present for all the things going on in daily life. And in that, even though your loved one's life is in the past, your pain, grief … Continue reading Be Right Back

Forgiveness

The last few days may have brought up things you regret. Now you get to look at the things holding you back from living in the moment and enjoying life. We’ve spent the last few weeks honoring your past and all its complexity.  With this exercise we’re shifting into being present.  Part of being present … Continue reading Forgiveness

Writing a Letter

As we delve further into honoring your past, this week's letter writing will create an opportunity for you to connect your truest self with your loss and the memories you carry. The exercise is about being honest with yourself and your loss. You have permission to explore all of your emotions, feelings, and memories. Doing … Continue reading Writing a Letter

Coping with Tragedy

Coping with loss is a complex experience. Oftentimes we call on coping mechanisms we've used in the past and when those don't always work we search for new, more effective ones. Through this exercise you'll see and begin to understand the ways you've coped or not coped with your loss.  You'll also evaluate which have … Continue reading Coping with Tragedy

Telling Your Story

Ugh! We as a society in general struggle with the topic of grief.  People are fearful.  Those who are grieving are afraid they will drive others away with their own grief, and those who want to be supportive are afraid  they will say the wrong thing to those who are grieving.  Unfortunately this struggle can … Continue reading Telling Your Story

finding connection

Finding Connection

Feeling safe is the single most important aspect of mental health and safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.  After going through a trauma such as a profound loss, many people find it difficult to connect with others.  One of the ways to feel safest and most seen and heard is through connecting … Continue reading Finding Connection

Setting Your Intention

Intention: “The why you want it and what you want to do with it.” – Mandy Morris Does it really matter if you set an intention before doing something? Absolutely! Gaining clarity on the why and what of your actions makes a big difference.  Through this exercise you'll  set your individual intention for going through the course. If you … Continue reading Setting Your Intention

Loss As a Catalyst

Loss, no matter how profound, can be a catalyst for positive change. I know because I've experienced it first hand. Bringing together the tools and resources that helped me over the years, I created a seven day retreat curriculum for bereaved parents. Based on over five years of facilitating retreats with countless parents from around … Continue reading Loss As a Catalyst

reasons not to journal

Reasons Not to Journal

Besides a nine year gap, I’ve journaled from the age of ten to my current forty-seven. I had reasons for not doing it. During those years, I stopped because I was in relationship where I didn’t trust my writing would be sacrosanct. I doubted it would be for my eyes alone.  Unfortunately this gap also … Continue reading Reasons Not to Journal

Thanksgiving Hangover

Post- Holiday Hangover

We just made it through quite possibly the most stressful Thanksgiving ever! No matter how you celebrated, or didn't celebrate - can we all agree this year was different? Whether you were able to gather with friends or family or stayed isolated, the circumstances of the pandemic lent a new layer of considerations to the … Continue reading Post- Holiday Hangover

tellling your story

Telling Your Story

We as a society in general struggle with the topic of grief.  People are fearful. Those who are grieving are afraid they will drive others away with their own grief, and those who want to be supportive are afraid they will say the wrong thing to those who are grieving. But telling your story is important. … Continue reading Telling Your Story

partnership

Partnership in Grief

I often field messages from people who feel helpless as they watch a loved one bear a devastating loss. They search for tangible ways to help, or resources to give. Unfortunately, grief is hard work only the grieving can do. However creating partnership alongside in the grief - holding space, a place of loving non-judgment … Continue reading Partnership in Grief

Create a Seat for Memories, Feelings, and Honoring

When someone significant in your life is no longer here to celebrate the holidays, it’s tempting to shove thoughts and preparations surrounding celebrations to the back, with perhaps the unspoken hope they’ll quietly slip away without your attention.  Unfortunately, whether or not you ignore the holiday festivities, the feelings remain.  Every year on my deceased … Continue reading Create a Seat for Memories, Feelings, and Honoring

What’s Your Why?

You got through and maybe even enjoyed Halloween this past weekend. Yay! And in case you missed it, we also have an election coming up tomorrow. Oh and a pandemic that's changed how we do life. So much going on that's stirring up so much in ourselves and friction in families, friends, communities, and the … Continue reading What’s Your Why?

It’s a New Day

I’m baack!  It’s been awhile since writing in this arena.  Over the last fourteen months I’ve dipped my toes in a variety of community efforts – tracking and reporting on local government activity, helping a local charter school find its way through getting up and running, and navigating ‘Ohana Oasis through COVID-19. This year was … Continue reading It’s a New Day