By Tian Dayton, Ph.D. Senior Fellow at The Meadows
Grief is a life issue that strikes at the very heart of being human, while we live in a body, pair bond and procreate we will love and we will lose. The effect of loss can be shocking and dis-equilibrating and it needs a process of mourning or grieving to come to terms with. When loss is not accompanied with some sort of process that allows us to both feel and express our feelings of despair, vulnerability, disorientation and perhaps even relief, those emotions can go underground. But out of sight is not out of mind, they will come back to haunt us if we do not somehow find a way to accommodate and accept the loss that has taken place.
By Tian Dayton, Ph.D., Psychologist, Author, Psychodramatist, Senior Fellow at The Meadows
Grief that is out in the open, that is part of the natural cycle of life or part of one of life’s tragic circumstances has a dignity to it. The person experiencing a loss feels that they have a right to grieve and to accept caring and attention from those they love.
Lara Rosenberg is the Trauma Yoga consultant at The Meadows. In this video, she leads a brief meditation on grief:
When you’ve experienced a loss ─ the death of a loved one, the loss of your health, the loss of a relationship, the loss of an opportunity, etc.─ it can be helpful to take time out to lean into your grief. It’s often difficult, if not impossible, to initiate the healing process in this way while also managing the day-to-day obligations of your life.
That’s why we offer “Healing Heartache: A Grief and Loss Workshop.” This 5-day workshop creates a safe and sacred space for exploring losses you’ve experienced throughout your lifetime. The program will help will help you understand and normalize your feelings through teachings on the cycle of grief and the patterns of destructive behavior. You also will participate in experiential exercises which will allow you to release words and feelings that have not yet been expressed. At the end of workshop, we’ll offer you the resources you need to move continue moving forward with hope and dignity.
The next workshop is scheduled for June 29 - July 3. Spaces are limited, so call our intake coordinators at 800-244-4949 to enroll today. They are available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. MST on weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MST on weekends.
If you can’t make the June session, the Healing Heartache workshop will also be offered September 28 – October 2 and November 30 – December 4.
We look forward to seeing there, and to helping you on your journey to stronger relationships and a brighter future.
For more details, call 800-244-4949. Our Intake Coordinators are happy to assist you between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. MST on weekdays, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MST on weekends.
By Jean Collins-Stuckert, MSW, LISAC, CSAT
Director of Workshops for The Meadows
When I returned to The Meadows as Director of Workshops in 2012 Doug Dodge was facilitating the Grief Workshop. He had always facilitated that workshop and was extraordinary in the position. Doug was weathered; he had been doing grief work for more years than most of us have been alive. He was full of compassion, candid, and gave a great hug (although you may smell like cologne for the rest of the day). I knew this first hand because he had facilitated a grief workshop for me when my sister died suddenly and tragically that helped to mend my shattered heart and made a lasting impression.
Doug died last year leaving us grieving. We cancelled the workshop for a period, unable to imagine anyone else taking Doug’s place. Eventually, the demand increased because grief is universal. There are all sorts of losses and layers of grief. It can accumulate outweighing our coping skills and leave us feeling broken. So, we developed a new grief and loss workshop called “Healing Heartache” with an eclectic approach. It’s not Doug’s workshop, but I believe he would approve (I attempted to channel him when developing the workshop). It’s a blend of psycho-education, narrative, psychodrama, experiential work, nervous system regulation, art, music, ritual and heart. With the curriculum developed, all I needed was a facilitator who was a good fit.
I facilitated the Grief and Loss Workshop myself until Janie Exner joined the workshop team. Janie was the real deal, and I knew she would enrich that workshop. Janie is seasoned, genuine, warm, disarming, empathic and highly skilled. She has experienced profound loss in her life allowing her to be fully present when someone else is in agonizing pain. She embraced the idea and commenced training. I passed the torch; it was seamless. Janie doesn’t attempt to fill Doug’s shoes—she has found a pair all her own.
Our next Healing Heartache: a Grief and Loss Workshop is scheduled for March 30, 2015. You can register by calling our Workshops Coordinator at 800-244-4949.