As a child I had many pets. My mother believed it was good for children to learn about life and death through caring for pets and seeing them die. It is a lot easier grieving over the loss of a guinea pig or mouse than a grandparent.
When I was 12 my grandmother had a cardiac arrest and I tried (unsuccessfully) to revive her. I believed I had killed her.
In my family there was little conversation about her death and I was never given the opportunity to talk to anyone about my belief. It haunted me for decades until I received counselling.
When my grandfather died I was visiting my brother several hours drive away. Instead of telling the two of us when we were together and could comfort each other, my mother decided I wouldn’t be able to drive home so she waited two days until I arrived home to tell us.
I was alone, about to go to work as a nurse, and my brother was also alone. My mother rang me. There was no one to talk to and I had to go to work. It was a nightmare.
I had experienced and witnessed more death than anyone in the family. I knew how to cope with that. Also, due to my family’s inability to express emotions, I was an expert at stuffing down powerful and devastating emotions. So why delay telling me?
When my mother was dying, I was living on the other side of the world. I flew back to Australia. I had no one to support me as I came back alone.
When I returned home in Europe, my husband immediately left for a business trip and I was left to cope with 4 young children in a foreign country where no one knew my mother. I dreaded the school run and others telling me how sorry they were. But I discovered that was easier than the ones who pointedly ignored what had happened.
I couldn’t talk to anyone about my mother.
It was a time of being in free fall and I thought something was wrong with me. I got the “you should be over it by now” from other people. I didn’t know then what I learned in my counselling degree and through a grief group I attended just before starting my degree.
Children need support through grief. Not just at the time but at other times in their development. People don’t often realise that.
Care needs to be given to young adults when someone dies. They need physical support and understanding at what they are going through.
More mature adults need support too. They don’t need the pressure to “be over it”, to not talk about it.
I believe very few people know what grief actually is and how it impacts them.
I am passionate about helping you to know what I didn’t know and to get the help I didn’t get when I was grieving.
I want you to understand what is happening to you and to be empowered to be assertive in setting boundaries for yourself to allow you time and space to grieve.
I want you to be kind to yourself.
I want you to understand that grief never ends but there is a way to learn how to live with it and survive, even thrive.
I have experienced grief from different perspectives:
Each perspective has provided valuable insight into the grief experience.
I care that you get help in your time of grief.
I care that you know you are not going mad.
I care that you get the support you need from someone objective enough to focus on you.
I can’t live your life for you or grieve for you but I know that it is not possible to make it through alone. Supporting you so that you are not alone is something I can do to help you.
I listen to you, but I also have other tools I use. Art, sandplay, poetry and journaling are examples of these.
I am sincere, down to earth and a skilled therapist. I have been successfully helping people for over 10 years.
I care about people. My entire adult life has involved working with people because I care.
I take my work seriously because I want to be the best help for you that I can. This includes ensuring I am as skilled as possible in my work. I have both a bachelor and master degree in counselling, have training in grief and loss and maintain my skills through continuing training.
I want you to walk into my room and feel accepted and heard. I want to collaborate with you.
I want to you be able to communicate with me so that I can communicate back to you what I understand you are saying so you can know I am hearing you.
I want to teach you things you might not know about how common what you are experiencing is. In this way you can know you are not a freak.
I don’t want to shut you down. Instead I want to give you the space to express yourself.
We work together collaboratively. I respect you as a person and client. You are the expert in your life. We will sit together and work out how and what you want.
Grief is experienced in many areas of life and in many ways.
There are myriad ways grief can be experienced. All are valid losses to be grieved and all can be supported by counselling.