Why Grief, Preston?
As you may know, one of the hats I wear is as a Grief Recovery Specialist. I teach people the Grief Recovery Method to help them process their losses. This post explores Why I do this work.
Answered in one [incomplete] sentence:
Because it’s something we aren’t talking about that’s holding all of us back
Answered in a full blog post:
I’ve learned that having a strong “Why” is critical for two reasons.
So that I can stay personally tied to my passion and remind myself of the reasons I have called in an opportunity.
People are more supportive of your passion and trusting in your guidance when they know where it roots from.
So here’s a little interview between me and I about my why.
Q: Why do you care about grief so much?
A: I care about grief because it’s holding so many of us back from a place of inner peace. We have been trained to brush our emotions under the rug, tie our boot straps tight, and be strong for others. When we don’t examine and process our hurt we are more likely to hurt others and to hurt ourself further.
Grief is the emotional elephant in the room. And that elephant isn’t just in the room, she is standing on our chests making it hard to even breathe. So it’s hard to talk about. I know that. But we have to.
Q: Why do you yearn to provide this to the community?
A: I’ve had a lot of hurt in my life. That hurt has been compounded by the feeling that sharing it with others will impede on their happiness.
We’ve all been there. You’re hurting. You share that deep hurt with a close loved one. You watch their face take on that hurt and add worry and fear to the mix. You realize you need a safer place to share that feeling of loss.
I want to be your safe space to air out your losses. The process includes me sharing with you some of my losses. It’s a way we gain that sense of safety.
Q: What specific losses have brought you to this work?
A: My most impactful loss was the death of my father in 2014. My father fought a beautiful battle with cancer that worked really well with my facade of “My shit’s together.” And it looked like that and felt like that for a while. I called in big responsibilities to show myself my shit was together (full time job serving people who inject drugs; a dog; new romantic relationships; a new home). All the while I was brushing my emotions right under the rug.
I actually brushed dirt under couches in my home during this period. More on how life reflects what’s happening in my head and my heart later.
Then there’s the loss happening to all of us with the increase in opioid related deaths throughout our country. Two years ago I remember saying “If you are more than 1 degree away from someone who has died of an overdose, you are lucky.” We’re now at the point where everyone knows someone who has died of an overdose. I have lost two close childhood friends to overdose death and lost count of how many acquaintances. My hometown - like yours - has been hit hard.
It’s tragic - and while the media is talking about the “problem” - families are struggling to talk about their loss. The stigma and shame associated with losing a loved one to a heroin overdose is real and it is prevalent. I want to be a safe space for you to talk about your loved ones who were lost within this immense opioid death tragedy. I have no way of knowing how you feel, and I won’t pretend I do, but I do want to hear you tell me.
No matter the type of loss you are grieving, your heart is hurting. I want to help you turn your grief to peace.
Q: What is your vision for this work?
A: I envision a world where all people are safe and supported in talking about their losses and emotions
Q: What are your goals for this work in 2019?
To introduce the Grief Recovery Method to over 500 people in my community. ( to be measured via promotional materials)
To guide at least 25 people through the Grief Recovery Support Group Program
To guide at least 10 people through the Grief Recovery One on One Program
To strategize how to reach marginalized communities with this work
So there it is.
My “Why” outlined for you and for me.
I hugely appreciate you taking a moment to explore this with me.