I pulled this inspirational card today and it spoke volumes to me. I’m the perfect example of perfectionism. So much so I get into perfectionism paralysis!
It was no wonder that when it came my time to grieve, I’d worry if was I doing it right!
“There is no right way, I was told. Everyone’s journey is unique and we get over our grief when we do”.
Ok, my nursing background kicked in and I thought. I cannot imagine a doctor telling a patient that. How helpful would that be to the person with cancer or heart disease?
No, indeed they wouldn’t, instead, they outline the prognosis and the journey they have evidence in seeing for patients with the same diagnosis. Then they give helpful information for what they can do to help the person heal or suggest potential cures for them. They are offering them HOPE.
This indeed is what I do, I offer, my clients Hope that they can heal their heartache and move through their grief. I offer helpful information and assist them to plan their own healing journey.
It isn’t about forgetting their loved one, or that they didn’t love them enough if they heal. It’s about showing them what is possible when they work through their grief with guidance and support.
If you are curious about what grief coaching can do for you, please connect with me.
Healing from your grief is about moving your loved one into your heart and out of your head.
Grief is universal, but individually we all have our own unique way of handling our grief. Liz Ferrara DeStefano found very quickly after the death of her father, her own way was to create poetry. The words would come to and the poems were born.
Liza wonders if she did grieve enough, she feels she did, her heart no longer broken, admits she feels sad and does miss her Dad but the poetry helped her process her loss.
These are some of the topics we covered
How soon after your Dad’s death did you discover your creativity had been awakened?
What is it about this activity that worked so well for you?
Have your poems helped your family members?
How many poems have you written?
You are now a published author
Did you publish them as a legacy to your Dad or as part of your healing journey?
Liza’s poems not only helped her with her grief but have helped others she has shared or written them for. In creating her poems she feels she is connected to her Dad and this brings her comfort
It doesn’t always have to be painful or anguish but a quieter letting go, and into acceptance. When you listen to Liza’s story, you will find that family connection, closeness and supporting each other are what helped this family navigate their loss, their Dad, a husband, and grandfather. They are all changed in many ways and these changes have brought the family closer together.
Dr. Sarah Kerr is a Death Doula and a Ritual Healing Practitioner and in the interview, she shares her work with death & loss and how she helps others in their process at a soul level. Sarah states that “life gallops forward” and she helps to bring their soul along. The body and soul can sometimes get separated especially in times of sudden death, it is a primal shock to the person. It takes ritual or psychosocial support to help the person and soul accept and let go.
Here are some of the topics discussed
1. The scope of Dr. Sarah Kerr’s services at Soul Passages
2. How to have a good funeral and why you need one
3. Why honouring your family lineage is import
4. How parents can help teach their children to be comfortable around death and dealing with grief.
Dr. Kerr speaks compassionately about her experiences with death, dying and illness. Sarah speaks softly and with such dignity when she shares stories from her clients and families experiences. Her very presence of quiet authority, you know she is a person you’d want to support you during this time of transition.
Tis the season……. Whether you are grieving or not, this time of year can be hard on the most resilient!
How many of us start off the season, with hearts full of joy and expectations that this year will be the best one ever?
The images in our heads are made up of nostalgia perhaps for Christmas long ago. Our childhood memories of how our Christmas times were filled with magic and fun. How different it can be when we become the adults? There is so much pressure we place on everything being perfect.
The Hollywood image of happy families delighting in their gifts and being together in a community. Or images of the future where we will get it right. What does “getting” it right even mean?
Looking for the Perfect Gift?
To me, it isn’t about the perfect present, although it can make the heart happy. For many, the whole event can be disappointing why because of the expectations. The expectations we put on ourselves, the day itself or it may be unmet expectation of our friends and family.
While many of us look forward to the magic of Christmas; at times we forget what it truly is about. Connection and celebrating with our loved ones.
That is why it is so difficult for those of you grieving in your year of 1st. The loss of connection to your loved one will make it more emotionally difficult to navigate.
When you add the loss and the normal pressures we put upon ourselves at Christmas time, it is no wonder most grieving a loss want to hibernate. It is all too much.
The Perfect Solution for all – Gratitude
There is a simple solution for all of us to adopt during the holidays and that is the practice of gratitude for what is in our lives. Go within to find it. It isn’t outside of us. I believe what we are looking for is not perfection, bigger or better gifts, but a sense of belonging, connection, and love. Practicing gratitude can bring to you the feeling I think we are looking for.
When you can feel that deep gratitude from within you can infuse it into your life and everything you do. It is a much different energy, it is one of kindness and love. It truly does help to release those expectations that each of us carry.
I am so grateful to you for remaining on my list so that you can receive nuggets that I sincerely hope help you. Wishing for you, peace, understanding and a heartful full of the spirit of love.
Elizabeth Miller Purdon delighted all who knew or met her. For those who knew her well could say looking back over her long life, that she had loved, she had made a difference and she mattered. She lived by simple rules and lived her life by example.
These two guided her:
“If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it”
“Put a smile on your face, no one wants your troubles for they have plenty of their own”
She rarely complained about the life she had had nor as her health slipped in her advanced years. Instead, she lifted her spirits and those around her with her cheery disposition. I believe that is why she was so loved. She was a fighter, resilient, and a warrior woman but most of all was her big heart.
Family was so important to her and she strove to give her “girls” everything she had not. Mum did have a big family until the age of 6. Her mum died, her dad unable to cope with the two youngest, mum and her brother Jimmy discovered an orphanage was to became their home. She did lose touch with her brother but he did come to find her along with his best friend. The best friend later became our Dad.
The Past Remained There
Mum never spoke about her past, preferring to keep it locked away in her own personal vault. Her past being too awful to share so she didn’t. She could have become angry and bitter instead she chose to be happy and to share her big heart and not close it down.
She lived “the law of attraction” long before it was known. If you want something you have to give it to another first. She became a children’s nurse and loved the sick unwanted children in her care, and they loved her back.
It’s Never Too Late
Mum was fiercely independent and went out to work at a time when women were considered homemakers. She would return to school, teaching us “that it is never too late”. Her new career ended after many years when the car industry collapsed in Coventry but that didn’t deter her, she found a new passion.
She turned her love of children, telling stories and crafts into a new position – it was to help single mums with young children to sew and learn to interact with their children. Mum was even featured on the BBC telling her beloved stories to children as they acted it out with the characters from the book she had lovingly made.
Another Country and New Life
Mum was selected to come to Canada as a young child but fate intervened and she never did get to go but it had stirred a longing in her heart. This longing would be passed onto me for when I came to Canada the restlessness I had always felt inside had gone. Ever courageous, mum and dad immigrated to Ottawa after dad retired.
They were always hopeful my sister and her family would join us but circumstances intervened and that didn’t happen. She never said if she regretted that decision but I know it was hard for them both to have their children in different continents.
Memory Loss Takes Over
As she advanced into older age she could be heard telling anyone that
“She had been there, done that I wrote the book.”
Mum also claimed other’s accolades as her own. Again, saying
“She taught them everything she knew.”
These two would become her social graces as she slipped more and more into Alzheimer’s. Mum was amazingly good at covering up her memory deficits and only those close to her would know. She would ask about each grandchild and we would patiently and lovingly answer her questions over and over.
“How is their love life” she would ask us. However, there were times when she would ask the person themselves and at times this didn’t always go down well.
Using Age to Her Advantage
If she forgot something or couldn’t do it, she would say “I’m nearly 90 you know”.
Mum drove us all crazy with her refusal to wear her hearing aids and missed out on many conversations. It was sad watching her world became ever smaller. She did delight us and the staff by actually agreeing to wear them and for about two weeks life was pretty good until the hearing aids went missing. Never to be found!
Holding Hand after 60’s Years
Mum and dad could be seen walking to the mall hand in hand – everyone remarked “how sweet” mum would reply, “no, not at all, it was necessary – we hold each other up”. When Dad died, mum agreed to using a walking stick. How about a walker we would suggest. “Oh, no they were for old people”.
Mum lived her life and when met with challenges she accepted them with grace and turned them around.
End of an Era
The good Lord as she called her maker came to get her on Halloween, a perfect time. A time for children, treats and fun – which is what she was all about.
She was the heart and the pull to home. This will be felt no more. No more tales to tell her grandchildren, no more “hows your love life” heard.
The little women with a big heart is now silent. We will all miss you mum and nan.
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