Why I am doing this? What is this? This is starting my own Grief Guide business. I really wish at the beginning of my career that I had kept a journal of all the families/individuals I have met. I cannot even venture to count how many homes I have been to, how many groups I have conducted or how many people have attended an event that I have spoke at. It would be incredible number, accumulated over the last 33 years. What is even more incredible would be to have a permanent note about the imprint each has left on my life.
It did not take very long into my career for me to learn that the grief journey is so VERY HARD. It is overwhelming and it immobilizes people in a way that they are often left thinking they are going to “lose it” or they are not “strong enough” to do this grief work. The why of what I do has always been to normalize this for the mourner. No one comes to grief prepared for the task. It is something we are not taught how to do. So, my role as the helper is to listen, and to give encouragement on ways to handle this pain and then to let them know that survival is their greatest job and it is possible! Most appreciate being able to borrow the hope that I can give, based on the brave and amazing grievers I have met, that they too can make it through this. They are changed forever, but given the proper support and tools to survive, they can heal and discover who they are now that this has happened to them.
In the educating on the grief process I keep hearing the theme of “I wish I had heard this sooner”, “so and so needs to hear this” or “I wish everyone had this valuable information”. In developing a five-part grief class and presenting it to groups of about 20 individuals at a time I often heard how it was the most helpful thing they did for their grief journey. I had many people ask me if I had it online so others could hear it, etc. And therefore, I have created Your Grief Guide. It will allow this information to get to more people, in the safety of their own home, and when they are ready to receive it. As stated in the class, it is not our goal to replace grief support groups, but rather supplement and offer tools to help.
Although written records of each story were not taken, the imprint left has allowed me to gather so much richness that sharing it becomes the Why Not. Why not take and use these treasures of pain, love and hope and use them to guide and light the way for those that come after?