Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 26, 2013: Tag... You're It!

View of Camelback mountain during my morning walk on the retreat grounds today...


Well, another week, another couple of business trips for Ang and me.

I just got home tonight from working on the Grief and Loss Retreat in Phoenix, and Ang leaves for Philly at 5 am.  She gets back on Halloween in the Afternoon, then heads back out next week for Minneapolis.  Then, later in the month, I travel back to Jacksonville for the annual American Music Therapy Association conference to teach, reconnect, and serve as regional President-Elect (read: meetings meetings meetings! hahaha)  That same week, Ang has to travel back to Minneapolis again.

Thank God for Grandmas!

The grief retreat was WONDERFUL.  20 participants, and FOUR of them were men!  That's almost a record percentage... usually we have between 0 and 2 men.  And... the four men all did GREAT work. It was great to watch as the men were all in their 60's and 70's, and men of that generation are traditionally and generally conditioned not to get in touch with their tender emotions, or share/show them publicly.  There were so many great quotes and slides shared... I wanted to come back slingin' quotes for y'all!

The biggest theme of the weekend was that grief is so subjective and personal.  Even two people grieving the same person will grieve differently because their style plus their relationship to the loved one is unique.  I heard a lot of participants having trouble with siblings or adult children wanting them to do grief according to the sibling or child's preference, not the participants.  Further, it was amazing how many people were getting really inappropriate "professional advice" from family members regarding the need to go on medication because it had 'been too long' for them to still be upset.

It was a relief for the participants to hear from each other the crazy things that well-meaning friends and family were heaping on them.  We joked that we're going to make a book compiled from all the retreats called "The Stupid Things People Say..."

Man, do we do grief poorly in our culture!

Why do you think that is?

God night.

Enjoy some scenes from our local pumpkin patch!


  1. We do grief poorly.....I dunno. When relatives die who I don't see often, I barely takes a couple years before I realize they are gone for reals.

    As for grief of close family members, I haven't had anyone go except over 90 and knowing they were going after a full life made it easier.

    Dealing with the permanence of death is not easy but dealing with what might have been.....that is the hardest part to me.

    It's actually an easy answer, we do grieving poorly because it's so damn painful! Going through the pain....well... YOU know better than I is painful. Denial is easier.

  2. Several people I know have gone through tragic losses in recent years and observing their situations and how they have gone through them has taught me that there is not a "right" way to grieve. Grief takes time. Grief is not steady - it ebbs and flows. Grief is deeply, deeply personal and in our "get over it" society we often forget that.

  3. Yesterday I was blessed by the universe to read your daughter's story. Beautiful, old-soul, Bella. My life will not ever be the same--I am so grateful for you and your family.

    This morning my yoga practice was in Bella's honor. It was a privilege to practice my discipline with her in mind. Thank you for sharing her story.

    Nothing fails. Nothing is lost.


    -- Susanna