Here’s My WHAT:
- I write. Please explore my blog entries going back to July of 2014 (see: the Archives box in the right-hand column, and Home).
- I podcast about life and loss in “Beauty In The Breakdown” (see: Podcast).
- I guide grievers through an evidence-based protocol to address unresolved grief (see: Grief Counseling).
- I coach those who have experienced traumatic loss as they re-engage with their New Normal (see: Life Coaching).
- I lead writing circles and write with others (see: Writing Circles).
- I photograph the details of my world (many photos on this website are mine).
And Here’s My WHY:
In 2010 my 20-year old son (my only child) died by suicide. His death, what led up to it, and its aftermath, launched me into a regular writing practice. The writing was important for several reasons: In naming my experience, identifying its parts, describing the unbearable, I gained a clarity at a time when nothing in my world made any sense. Plus, I needed to record all the details of my son’s much-too-short life for fear that the trauma of losing him would result in my forgetting.
People grieve in all sorts of ways. I didn’t want to hide from my pain or put it off for some other more convenient time. There wasn’t going to be a more convenient time. Plus I knew that if I didn’t confront what was happening to me in the moment, it would hide and fester and grow into a bigger monster than it already was. I identified my feelings – deep sorrow, rage, guilt, relief, abandonment and others – so that I could face them, move into them, and live them. It’s a process that worked for me.
Ultimately, there came a moment (or perhaps a series of moments) that I can only describe as radical acceptance. “Here’s the deal,” I said to myself, “Your son is dead and he’s going to stay dead. You’re still alive and even though you may want to die [which I did for a while], you’re not going to any time soon. So what do you want to do about it?” Writing helped me identify some answers.
Here’s the funny thing about that radical acceptance, also known as: being with what is: I re-familiarized myself with my surroundings, I began to pay very close attention to…well…EVERYthing. I began to notice the fine details, which allowed me to experience the world differently. It wasn’t just a place of loss and pain; it was a place of exquisite beauty too. So I began to photograph this.
I write on my own, I write with others, I photograph my world, I coach those who are ready to re-engage with life after traumatic loss, I offer a method to address unresolved grief, and most recently I started a podcast that talks about loss and grief.
This is my life now. Thank you so much for showing up here for me, and perhaps for you too. If you wish to contact me privately: firstname.lastname@example.org.