Essential Ingredients For
Healing from Loss
1. Establish a safety zone (a safe place to grieve)
2. Remember and mourn ( doing the emotional work)
3. Reconnect with ordinary life, and make meaning of the loss (incorporating your loss leads to the next chapter of your life)
My husband was killed in the Vietnam War in 1968. I was 22 years old and 7 months pregnant. After his death, I stayed very busy, moved away from Illinois, and devoted myself to creating a new life for my daughter (born 6 weeks after his funeral) . Little did I know that “being busy” was my coping mechanism to avoid the denied feelings that were buried inside of me.
The years following Howard’s death were punctuated with one loss after another. Grief was chasing me, but I always outran it. It finally caught me in 1990 at the age of 45, when I suffered one loss too many and fell into a severe depression. My daughter did not recognize me. My choices were: to do the grief work or end my life. I chose to do the grief work because I could not destroy the only parent my daughter had despite the emotional pain I was experiencing at the time.
In December 1999 when I held my published book in my hand, I had completed the second aspect of recovering from trauma, “remembering, and mourning.”
Having lived over half of my life in the first stage of grief, “Shock & Denial”, is it any wonder I’m committed to supporting others in grieving sooner rather than later?
In the last 16 years I’ve reconnected with ordinary life and “made meaning of my loss.” by sharing my story through public speaking, leading workshops and coaching others in reconciling their losses. Feel free to contact me by calling 707-578-4226 or 707-332-1406 or email me at email@example.com to discuss how I may be of service to you.
Denied grief doesn’t go away, it just goes underground.
Grief Denied: A Vietnam Widow’s Story, is
available in soft cover for $14.95 , plus shipping/handling.
“My initial coaching session with Pauline was helping me with the grief of losing my dear cat. The next step was to transition from working full-time into an early retirement. I learned a lot about myself and it’s pretty shocking to see how much ground we have covered. Pauline helped me choose different perspectives regarding many situations in my life that made it easier to make the changes I wanted to make. It’s frightening, sad and scary to end our work together, however, after only one year, I feel I have developed a strong inner nurturing mother. I’ve also become a risk taker. Thank you, Pauline, for helping me escape from the “cage of fear” I’ve lived in for most of my life. I’m now happily retired, have a better relationship with my boyfriend, have started writing, taking music lessons, and doing yoga regularly – all as a result of my work with Pauline as my life coach. I’m grateful and excited about my future.
–Diane K., R.N.
“Pauline is a wise-woman possessing a refreshing combination of compassion, humor and no-nonsense frankness. When she told me that I needed to be witnessed in my grief, it resonated deeply. She showed me how to “turn around and face the grief” of losing my father at 23. She helped me to touch this ancient pain, examine it, express it and release it. She has helped me to acknowledge the multiple losses from that time in my life and to see the effects of those losses on my adult experience. As I step into a life of greater confidence, trust and abundance, I know that I am forever changed by my summer of grieving with Pauline.”
Thank you for this year. I could not be where I am without you. My internal world-view is different. You have taught me self compassion, to cut myself some slack, and quiet the voice of my “inner critic”. I have become someone who can live by myself, be there for others but not at my own expense. You have the ability to press issues without berating. You have a good combo of tough and gentle; yet, you can’t be ignored. You helped me see a lot about myself and I didn’t get defensive. I am surprised by how much I have grown and changed in the past year.
Co-Active Life Coach
Life does not accommodate you; It shatters you.
Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition.
– – Florida Scott-Maxwell