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Learning to live with hope after loss

A year ago my father passed away. To understand the significance of this loss one would have to understand how much this man meant to me. I didn’t fully understand this until he passed. I love this definition of grief by Grief Recovery Method “Grief is the feeling of reaching out for someone who’s always been there, only to discover when I need her [or him] one more time, she’s no longer there”. My father played such an important part in my life. I can’t remember any major moment in my life that he wasn’t a part of. And now every day I remember him as I continue to experience the ups and downs of this life. How do you move on in life when you have lost someone so pivotal to you? Well I can tell you, it’s not by pretending that nothing has changed in your life. It’s not by trying to act like everything is normal because nothing will be normal again, not the normal you knew when your loved one was a part of your life. It is living in that reality that you begin to embrace life fully again.

For me I needed help to get to this place of embracing my new normal. I didn’t know how to do it. I felt like I was expected to just carry on as usual. I remember speaking to a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while and being asked how I was doing. My response “I’m adjusting” “to what my friend asked?” I explained to the loss of my father and got this confused look, as to say “what’s there to adjust to?” That’s how I feel we as society treat those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. We are sympathetic for the first week or two but then we expect them to move on with life as if nothing has changed. I tried doing that but deep down I was hurting and really hurting. I was walking around with internal wounds that weren’t healing that no one could see. On the outside I was fine.

And let me clarify, yes I was not as devastated as I thought I would be seeing how close I was to my father and all thanks be to God for that. My faith has been the saving grace that gets me out of bed every morning. But still I felt I needed to truly process this loss and figure out a way forward.

This need led me on a search for a grief coaching program that could not only teach me how to help others with their grief but to also help me deal with my own personal grief. I wanted a program that helped me take a positive approach to working through my grief. I found what I was looking for in From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program by Dora Carpenter. Dora herself had lost her father and developed this program from her personal and professional experience, having worked in the death care industry for a number of years. This program was exactly what I needed. It helped me to take a comprehensive look at the loss, view it from a place of gratitude and develop plans on how to move forward in a positive, healthy way that allowed me to honour the legacy of my father and all that we shared.

I’m happy to share that as of 23 August 2018 I am now a certified From Grief to Gratitude Coach. I am excited about sharing the same support and life changing help that I received in my own grief journey.

And now through my coaching business Hope’s Dwelling I will be offering grief coaching. This business is dedicated to my father and will be guided by the principles and values he taught me; such as helping those in need, being honest and fair to others and always doing things to the best of my ability. My father believed I could do anything and he would have been my number one cheerleader, so I move forward celebrating that kind of love and support. It is my desire to help others find ways to do the same to honour their lost loved ones. Grief however isn’t limited to the death of a loved one but grief can be experienced at the loss of anything significant. Learning to move forward no matter the cause of grief is a journey worth investing in.

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