LOSS + GRIEF + BEREAVEMENT
Grief and loss are integral to the human experience and play a significant, universal role in personal spiritual development.
Humans experience losses (death of loved ones, relationship breakups, loss of jobs, etc.), but not everyone processes grief in a healthy way that leads to acceptance and peace. The Grief Recovery Handbook (Friedman and James) defines grief as the “conflicting feelings caused by the end of, or a change in, a familiar pattern of behavior.” Many people have difficulty navigating the complicated feelings that emerge (‘I love her so much’, and at the same time, ‘I’m glad she’s dead’). And our still-pervasive cultural denial around death and dying keeps many from addressing their grief. Sensible Spirituality Associates recognizes the transformative power of the grieving process and tailors our narrative method to address the bereavement needs of our clients.
Can you name your losses?
How does loss affect your life?
How do you move forward?
Have you experienced loss, grief, death, illness? Death of a beloved pet? Breakups, job loss, divorce, betrayal, relocation? Do you sometimes feel like you’re ‘losing it’, or ‘going crazy’? Do you feel overwhelmed? Hopeless? Experiencing a crisis of faith? Are you still unresolved more than 12-18 months after your loss?
Is it time to heal? Are you ready to attend to your grief?
The Five Stages of Grief identified by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) provide a place to begin, but people who’ve been through deep grieving acknowledge that there aren’t just 5 stages and they don’t proceed in any kind of linear fashion. Our Narrative Process provides an appropriate template to begin to address the actual loss (Founding Story), the conflicting feelings that begin to emerge (Evolving Story), and the hopeful acceptance that can develop (Sustaining Story). We recognize that there is no set timetable for this process. Our goal is to allow life lessons to be articulated and a new story to take shape.
In acute grief, we listen, assess, reflect and counsel clients as they name their losses, identify their principles, values, and practices, and come to terms with what is changing. We then move into a navigational mode, providing regular sessions to process the sometimes conflicting feelings. We also identify tools and practices helpful for spiritual development. Finally, we support the lessons learned and spiritual practices which ground the new Sustaining Story in integrity, growth, and spiritual development.
As spiritual care providers, we place spirituality at the center of our work, rather than seeing it as a component. We are not therapists, nor do we act in place of professional religious ministers. We take a holistic approach (vs. traditional pathologic approach), observing the unified system that contributes to personal health. This is Sensible Spirituality. We work to unify body (communication and boundaries), mind (values and assessment), and spirit (mission and vision) and so identify and support the soul of the individual.
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