Many people don’t begin to explore the unseen aspects of life until someone they love has died. It is the most natural thing in the world to reach ourselves into the mystery when someone we love is no longer in our physical world.
We’ve learned to trust what we can see, so we doubt ourselves when what we can’t see grabs us and makes us stop in our tracks. But that happens a lot after the death of a loved one.
The thing is, the invisible world is much bigger than the world
Is it true that nothing prepares us for losing someone who means everything to us?
What about the childhood you lost because [fill in the blank.] Or the career that made you feel like you had a real purpose, only to get cut in the quick slice of a budget?
Or the relationships that fell by the wayside for reasons known or unknown.
Or the leg that got amputated, or the hair that fell out, because of illness and treatments that your body couldn’t manage in any other way.
This is what well-meaning people say when they're at a loss to know how to help. We've all said it and we've all heard it. But when you’ve lost someone important in your life, it’s hard to think beyond needing that person to stop being dead and to come back to you. Grief is a mean and complicated beast. Others may hurt for you as you go through your loss, but even if they wanted to walk beside you and share in your grief, they may not know how. That’s one reason I created an
If you have lost a person, a pet, a job, a marriage, your health, a dream - whatever your loss - this course helps you feel the comfort and healing you need. And I'll tell you how (and why) it works. First, losses leave empty holes. But like a person whose arm has been amputated, there is still pain where the arm used to be. It works that way with other losses, too. We feel an emptiness about what we've lost, but there is pain in that emptiness. This is where the writing you'
A mother and her teenaged daughter sat next to each other in a recent workshop, writing letters to the family member who had died and left both of them heartbroken. The loss was devastating for them, but they had a hard time talking to each other about it. The mother came to the workshop hoping it would help. The daughter came because she told her mom she would. The writing prompt followed a quiet meditation. Everyone in the room poured their hearts out onto the page for near
a heavy blanket of giant grey cotton balls hangs down from the sky Writing prompt: I know how the sky feels because... This writing prompt can lead you to feelings and insights about your loss that you aren't aware of. Give it a try. I think it might help. For more writing prompts based on haikus that capture the feelings of your journey through grief and loss, I offer you this collection. Writing your way through your pain is comforting as you go, and as a result, healing fo
The flow of ink from your pen doesn't begin or end on the page. I have been asked for several years whether I would work one-on-one with people, and I am ready to say YES. As with my group and online programs, I'll use a technique that includes intuitively guided meditations, writing and art, to lead you into the healing potential of your own words and images. Through this process, you and I will become co-creators of the “medicine" you need to be able to move forward. I have
When someone we love dies, the essence of who they were becomes magnified. Every trait they had becomes the most special trait imaginable. We remember all the ways they made our lives better. Their vulnerabilities tear at our hearts, as the tender fragilities they were. But when we can finally commune with their memory as the imperfect person we knew them to be here on earth, we have found our healing. Because peace comes in the knowledge that they were always enough. And gra
Synchroncities are such an important part of the healing process when we’re grieving the loss of a loved one. When we can no longer see the person we’ve lost, our senses become heightened to another level of awareness and we perceive a whole different dimension of life. Last night, in the final session of a 4-week workshop in which participants made art to express various aspects of their journey through grief, a synchronous moment came in the form of this sunset. Just prior
When death comes for someone you can’t even imagine letting go of, it is a heartbreaking, soul-crushing experience. No one can prepare you for what you will feel. And what you feel might be so overwhelming and intense, that you do the natural thing - you put a barricade around yourself so no more pain can get in. The thing is, if pain can’t get in, neither can healing. Or love. Or the sweetness of memories. All those things that broke your heart also once gave you the greates
There is no more important time to know (or discover) what you really believe about life and death than when you’re struggling to come through the grief of losing someone important to you. The emotional loss is heartbreaking, and that is the part they refer to when they say that time heals all wounds. And they’re right - it really does. But your beliefs about life and death can either liberate you from grief or keep you stuck there. And when you don’t know what you believe, t
I believe in the power of words to heal. Whether we write them ourselves or they’re written by others; whether they come through poetry, a novel, or a memoir; they give voice to the unfolding stories of our shared human experience. They contain seeds of wisdom, new perspectives, loving guidance, a sense of hope. It is with this belief that I wrote Invisible Ink. I wrote it for myself, to help me find my way through the grief that hit me so deeply when my mom died. I didn’t kn
When the nurse told me there was a room she’d like me to visit, she said the patient was on hospice care and that her daughters were not handling it very well. A mother was dying and her daughters were falling apart. I was intimately familiar with this scene. The patient had cancer. She was nearing death. She was nearly comatose. Her hair was nearly gone and her skin was nearly perfect. This was nearly the exact scenario I had lived through 20 years ago. Big deep breath. I to
Most people are familiar with the 5 stages of grief that Elisabeth Kugler-Ross defined in her groundbreaking book, “On Death and Dying.” This information has helped countless people understand at least some of what they were experiencing in the aftermath of a difficult loss. Grief, like parenting, was sorely lacking a manual at the time she laid out these 5 concepts, and the world has been grateful ever since. I remember referring to them when my time came to experience grief
One of the many things Invisible Ink was designed to do is help people create a bridge between themselves and their loved ones who have died. I think it is working, because I hear all the time that this process has given participants a greater sense of connection with the person they have lost. That is a hard concept for some people to think about. We have been taught forever that ‘reality’ exists only in the things we can see. Those who come into my program with doubts find
People have been dying since the beginning of our time on earth. And even though we seem to finally be addressing this situation a little more openly these days, there is still a disconnect between what we’ve been taught about death and what we experience when it actually happens to someone we love. I don’t remember being taught that once someone dies there is no way to interact with them anymore, but that is definitely what I grew up believing. I think most people did. But i