"We fight so hard to avoid our suffering, when in the end the avoidance is far more painful than the suffering itself."
I was born and raised in Billings, Montana where I learned to snow and water ski, golf, and explore the Treasure State and the adventures it offers. I earned my teaching degree and then started my career in Southern California, married my husband, Zach, and started our family with the birth of our first daughter. While pregnant with our second daughter, we relocated to Billings to be close to family and welcomed our sons to complete our family of six.
I had experienced other losses in my life prior to being referred to my Grief Recovery Method Specialist by a friend shortly after my husband of nearly 20 years died unexpectedly and I found myself faced with raising our four children, ages 12-18 at the time, alone. I had no idea how to find support for myself or my children as we faced our new reality. Thankfully I found Kira and walked through the Grief Recovery Method 1:1 program. I realized after our second session that this would be life-changing and have a lifelong impact for me and my children and all of my current and future relationships. It was while meeting with Kira that I learned the Grief Recovery Handbook defines grief as "the normal and natural reaction to change or loss of any kind" and "the conflicting feelings caused by the end of, or change in a familiar pattern of behavior." My children and I definitely found ourselves in that space. Following my initial meetings with Kira for 1:1 support, I went through Kira's 4 week group called Helping Children with Loss. I learned additional tools that equip me to guide my own children, as well as my students, more effectively when dealing with all of the changes in their lives occasioned by losses large and small, in order to enhance their ability to participate fully in their own life. Establishing a foundation for dealing effectively with loss can be one of the greatest gifts one can give a child. Shortly thereafter I decided to be trained as a Grief Recovery Specialist myself so that I may support other grievers on their journeys as they learn to do more than merely cope with their grief but work through it using the tools we need in order to heal.
There are many types of loss we can incur in our lifetime that create grief other than death including divorce, pet loss, loss of health, loss of safety or trust through violence or other events, changes in career, moving, life changes (empty nest, retirement) or even losses that occur in childhood through abuse or neglect. Loss is cumulative and our past is our present until it is healed.
It is my privilege to walk alongside others in person offering either a 1:1 or group setting and I will soon complete additional training to become an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist and will be able to offer these in an online format as well.