Loss and sorrow are universal experiences, but few of us have the opportunity to fully grieve. Grief is hard work, and we live in a culture that makes the work of grief even more difficult.
Our culture conveys the notion that grief is private, linear, and time-limited. We are encouraged to move through specific stages in a prescribed amount of time, after which we are expected to have achieved closure and be "healed" from our loss. This is not the way grief works, but such expectations can leave us feeling that we are out of synch with the so-called "normal" progression and are grieving in an unacceptable way. Feelings of shame often emerge which cut our grief short.
Our ancestors accepted grief as a life-long companion, whose intensity might change over time, but who never entirely disappears. They did not have a word for it, but our ancestors knew that grief is wholistic -- a natural process that encompasses body, mind, and spirit.
We invite you to follow lessons and stories in which your grief is welcomed. Some of the topics we will discuss in Living with Loss are:
- Obstacles to Grieving
- Making Grief a Companion
- Remembering Conversations
- Untying the Knots in Our Heart
- Writing to Connect
- Revising Our Life’s Narrative
Joanne Turnbull and Claire Willis are licensed clinical social workers and trained facilitators with decades of experience leading groups and writing workshops. Both are Sage-ing International members, certified hospice volunteers, certified life legacies facilitators, and certified in the Amherst Writers and Artists Workshop Method. They are writing The Grieving Heart: Paths to Living with Loss. Claire is also the author of Lasting Words: A Guide to Finding Meaning Toward the Close of Life, and Joanne is the author of To Do No Harm: Ensuring Patient Safety in Health Care Organizations.
During this e-course, which you can schedule at your own pace, you will receive emails containing poems, essays, personal stories, and exercises to help build resilience and increase your capacity to carry sorrow.
Grief is the price we pay for loving, a normal reaction to a ruptured relationship. And while we can’t choose what happens to us, we can choose how to respond. We can make a choice to grieve (or not), to turn toward our loss or to turn away. Turning away from grief can cause our hearts to harden; over time, loving becomes more difficult. We can turn toward our sadness by developing practices that strengthen our ability to hold our broken-heartedness with compassion so that grief can flow through us. Then we become connected to what is true within us and are able to connect with others on a deeper level.
Please join us for this welcoming, healing experience. (4 CEHs for chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)