Service for Grieving Adults:
So how would we do this work?
Adults who are grieving often struggle with the feeling that they don’t have enough opportunities, enough time or the right kind of space, to grasp what their losses mean for them. This is a hard way to live.
My experience with people who are grieving is that they, most often, see-saw between feeling vulnerable and defending against feeling vulnerable. In the absence of more constructive ways to take up their losses explicitly, they can be highly functional AND really stuck at the same time.
Even people with many loving family members and friends can feel that they need to ‘hold it together’, ‘swallow hard’, ‘try not to cry’, and ‘keep on keeping on’. With so much to struggle through and with so many people counting on you to be ‘okay’, it is hard to adjust to your own losses.
The investigation offered here provides a chance to slow down, to hear your own concerns and to have someone listen to you who has no need for you to be other than you are. It is a private conversational process aimed at discovering, organizing and developing a narrative large enough for you to formulate new notions about how to move forward.
After our first Consultation, if you decide that we can work together, we will agree to meet for a limited number of sessions. Each meeting will involve specific considerations that I believe are necessary to understanding what interrupts your wish to move forward. We will, within your comfort range, use memory as a guide. Clarifying your old stories, we will explore how to meaningfully make them part of a new larger story. I believe that it is not suffering, but meaningless suffering, that defeats us. Our primary task will be to develop confidence in the fact that your story has a story you’ve yet to hear.
At the end of our sessions, we will either complete an e-book (generally reflecting a legacy story growing out of your loss) or we will create other ways to give your loss a particular and meaningful form.
My belief is that having something to hold in your hands provides a touchstone for the inevitable shifts between the wish to remember and the need to forget that are essential to ‘good grief’.
Eileen Vandergrift, PhD / Fort Collins, Colorado / Grief Therapy / Stories of Loss