Someone significant to us dies and we are overcome with grief. It is one of the most profound personal experiences we all share. Despite the significance of loss and the fact that grief is an essential part of our human character, it is not uncommon for us to attempt to avoid it. All too often, fear of what we feel and lack of understanding of this universal human experience hinders our healthy process of mourning and the easing of the pain. To a great extent, grief is pain. Many would say excruciating if not unbearable pain. But, it is not meaningless pain, and it is much more than pain.
The purpose of this website is to provide accurate, helpful information about the many aspects of the experience of loss and grief. The information will help you endure the painful and disruptive experience of grief while you accommodate to the reality of the death, adapt to the absence of the deceased, and come to a time when your life is no longer defined by the loss and your grief. You can select from several topics for More Reading right here on the website, and you can purchase my booklet if you want a published paper copy of concise information. I suggest starting with Definitions, which give you a way to conceptualize your experience into what is happening to you (grief), who you are and what this time in your life is about (bereavement), and what you can do (mourning).
I will not be promoting “closure”, “moving on”, “getting over it”, and “getting on with your life”; all of which have become code words for acting as if you are not affected by the loss and imploring you to leave this all too important experience unattended as if it has no value. Instead, I promote an understanding of this complex human experience and the process of healthy mourning. An understanding and process that leads to an acceptance of the current reality and a diminishment of the pain while maintaining a lasting memory of the person who has died and the meaningfulness of the life shared with him or her. I promote integration over closure. Integration of the experience in a way that increases understanding of our essential human nature in the context of the world we live in. Ultimately, our painful grief takes on cherished meaning when we have been able to honor the importance of life shared with the deceased, and it has contributed to knowledge of self and the world in a way that enhances our experience of living.
Much of my professional life has been in service to people going through a period of hard grieving after the death of someone important to them. Contrary to being depressing or demoralizing, it has enriched my life and reinforced my faith in the human process of grieving. It is my sincere hope that you too will find that designating time and place for your grief, and developing a routine of intentional mourning will bring about a diminishment of your pain and a peaceful acceptance of the death of your family member or friend. If you have questions or concerns not addressed here, I am available for phone or in-person counseling and consultation, just use the Appointments tab above.