‘Tis the Season…
Posted November 14, 2016 at 5:52 am by Tim Dustrude
Deb Langhans shares this invitation with you…
‘Tis the Season… for holiday cheer, lightheartedness and joy, right? Not necessarily. These darker, unpredictable days and longer nights can resurrect and even intensify painful memories of loved ones lost. For at least half of the American electorate, a new, present sense of diminished control, safety and future well-being represent other significant forms of loss.
There’s no easier time of year than the holiday season to indulge in some of the typical coping strategies for dealing with our suffering. Holiday shopping, cooking/baking, cleaning, decorating, party planning and attending, special seasonal activities… many of these common, inevitable choices get amped into addiction, denial, suppression, conformity and nonstop busyness and achievement–all ways of “anesthetizing” ourselves from the pain of loss.
Fortunately, there is local grief support for islanders choosing another way of coping with loss during this wonderful and challenging time of year: Lenore Bayuk recently facilitated her annual “Grief and Loss: Getting Through the Holiday Season” workshop at the Library; Gary Waters will be offering a Fireside Chat on December 8th at PIMC to discuss holiday emotions; Rosa Blair will be facilitating Hospice of San Juan’s Spring Grief Support Group.
Throughout the past year, I’ve had the privilege of partnering grieving islanders through the Grief Recovery Method®, a comprehensive grief recovery program whose 35-year old curriculum provides skills and support for completing unresolved grief over loss, whether that’s loss due to death, divorce, illness, unemployment, pet loss or many other significant life changes. I’ll be offering another 8‑week Grief Recovery Support Group starting Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 & continuing through February 28th. (Please see the attached flyer for more details.) This program represents over 12 hours of instruction and includes The Grief Recovery Handbook (textbook), handouts and ongoing email support.
Robert Frost once wrote: The best way out is always through. My students and my own personal experience have taught me this is absolutely true. Recovering from grief requires the willingness to risk feeling deeply again as well as complete unfinished emotional business in relationships. The payoffs are huge. Acknowledging our vulnerability and summoning the courage to share our fear and pain with others can soften, open and heal our broken hearts.
Here’s how some islanders have experienced the Grief Recovery Support Group process:
“I found a peace within myself after this process I didn’t think could be found… Deb is a marvelous facilitator—never once did I feel judgment or surprise from her… I would encourage anyone to take this support group… the peace of issues resolved at the end is dramatic.” ~Kathie Forsyth
“ I have found a new way of thinking & feeling re: my particular grief, including a new way forward with freedom & a new, wonderful lightness of spirit & being… Deb & this method have helped me to be braver & more honest about myself & ALL of my relationships!” ~ J.T.
“It was the safe, encouraging space to do the thorough work toward recovery which was most valuable. Deb created that space with grace and compassion. She trained us as listeners for each other and shared her own work examples with us. This recovery work has been important to me; it’s allowed me to regain memories and has softened my heart. I’m anxious to continue.” ~Lutie Parks
“Deb’s facilitation played an integral role in my understanding of the process & her compassionate guidance was the key for me to open my heart to the possibility of completion of my grief issue.” ~Marion L.
If this kind of grief recovery speaks to your heart or a friend’s or loved one’s, please let me hear from you as soon as possible. Because I offer this curriculum in my studio location, space is limited to six people. The deadline for registration with payment is 12/26/16.
I’ll also be offering another Alumni Group (monthly, March-August, donation only), to provide additional guidance and support to alums continuing to work through unfinished emotional business with other losses in their lives. All who have completed the 8‑week support group are welcome!
One final thought:
Amidst all the holiday expectations, activities, memories… the highs, lows and inbetweens, I encourage you to give yourself the greatest, most therapeutic gift possible this season: the gift of self-compassion and unconditional acceptance. You deserve that, especially during difficult times. Many blessings to one and all!
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Categories: Health & Wellness