Learn some ways to navigate the holidays if you find yourself short of joy and overwhelmed with darkness this year.
The holidays are not always joyful, particularly when we are dealing with grief or loss. Watching others celebrate can be painful if we are feeling lost and alone in our suffering. Here are some suggestions for coping with dark times and finding the way to joy.
This episode includes:
Why times of darkness are essential for life and growth
How major holidays near the winter solstice include light as part of the celebration
Why we need to embrace the darkness rather than resist it
How to bring in the light
How to redefine joy as joie de vivre (the joy of being alive)
Discovering that joy is already within you
Why stillness is essential to cultivate joy
Overcoming the obstacles to joy
The importance of giving to others even when you are going through difficult times
Dark times provide an incubator for the soul to grow in creativity, love and joy.
Learn how to navigate grief during the dying process and after the death of a beloved animal companion.
Wendy Van de Poll has felt a connection with animals since a very young age and then learned about the grief associated with the death of a pet after her own dog Marley died of cancer. She serves as an End-of-Life and Pet Grief Support Coach to help provide a safe place for people to grieve the loss of their animal companions. She shares her tips for surviving grief and also ideas for creating an end-of-life plan for our pets.
(This interview previously aired on the End-of-Life University Interview Series.)
Whether you live with an animal companion yourself or you know someone who loves a pet dearly, you need to be prepared for the day when that animal reaches the end of life. Wendy Van de Poll helps people prepare in advance for pet loss and also helps them deal with the grief that follows the death of a beloved animal friend.
The impact of the loss of a pet can be more significant than the loss of a human companion.
In this interview you will learn:
Why it’s important to create an end-of-life plan for pets
What to include in a pet’s end-of-life plan
How to make the dying process easier for a pet
Common myths surrounding grief after the death of a pet
Advice for those experiencing pet loss grief
How to support a loved one dealing with grief over the death of a pet
Suggestions for helping a child cope with pet loss grief
Wendy Van de Poll is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets.
Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer.
She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker.
She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.
Learn about the impact of grief on the body and the emotions and steps you can take to heal your grief when you are ready.
In this episode I share an interview with filmmaker and grief counselor Michelle Peticolas who talks about the 3-part film series she created, which is available for use in your community. She also shares her tips on healing from grief and thriving after loss.
A HUGE THANK YOU to my latest contributors on Patreon.com/eolu: Christina Ensminger and Jackie Yeager! I appreciate your generosity and your support so much. If you’d like to join our team go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn how to sign up for as little as $1 per month and receive special bonuses just for patrons!
If you missed last week’s webinar with Suzanne O’Brien on “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers” you can still listen to the replay. Go to www.eoluniversity.com/obrien to register and you’ll receive the link to listen in. It was fantastic and I’m sure you will enjoy it!
Michelle Peticolas begins the interview by telling us about her series of 3 films, The Secrets of Life and Death, which deal with facing death, being present with the dying, and grief. These films are now available for public showing and you can go to her website to learn more: www.secretsoflifeanddeath.com
Next we talk about grief and cover the following topics:
People in our culture struggle with grief because we have been taught to avoid it
Grief triggers both an emotional and a physical response and illness can result from grief that is not addressed
The brain needs time to rewire its circuits after the death of a loved one
The medical system usually offers drugs for grief symptoms, which don’t help grief actually heal
Grief support groups may contribute to ongoing trauma for grievers by stimulating the release of stress hormones over and over again as stories are told and retold
Michelle’s 3 tips for thriving after loss:
Allow the feelings to arise and learn how to listen to the body
Savor support and reach out for connection with others; allow your loved one to love you through others
Shift perception of loss and recognize that love and joy are still present even though the person you’ve loved is not physically present
Tune in next week for another new episode. If you enjoy this content please share with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes.
Learn about some helpful resources for talking to children about death and funerals.
In this episode I’ll share some tips from a recent panel discussion I watched about Youth and Funerals. It’s important to teach adults how to talk to children about death and how to invite them to participate in mourning rituals when a loved one dies.
Get the eBook from Funeral Services Foundationhere.
Watch the video:
On July 24th I’ll be hosting Suzanne O’Brien RN for a free webinar titled: “End-of-Life Doula Training for Caregivers and Volunteers.” Join us if you’re interested in learning more about the work of end-of-life doulas to see if further training might be of interest to you. You’ll learn valuable skills for caring for those at the end of life no matter what type of work you do. Sign up at the link below:
Thank you to my new supporter on Patreon.com/eolu: Joshua Zoppi! I’m grateful to you and all the other patrons who are helping to keep this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series on the air! If you’d like to join the team (and get special bonuses) go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and sign up (for as little as $1 per month!)
There’s no denying the importance of teaching children about death and dying from a young age to help them have a healthy attitude toward a normal part of life. Part of that teaching includes involving them in funerals for loved ones and providing appropriate support and information during the process.
In this episode I’ll talk about:
My own story of attending a funeral without understanding anything about death or knowing what to expect at a funeral
How I taught my children about death and funerals
The panel discussion from the Nation Funeral Directors’ Association Leadership Conference that inspired me to talk about this subject (speakers I watched and quote from include Joe Primo of Good Grief, Vicky Jay of National Alliance for Grieving Children, and Brad Speaks from Speaks Family Legacy Chapel)
Why children should be taught about funerals and allowed to participate
Why we need to teach parents how to include their children in funerals and support them in the process
Ways to involve children in funerals:
Create a music playlist for the funeral
Help make a poster board of photos of the loved one
Draw pictures of the loved one
Tell a story or sing a song for the funeral
Be a pallbearer or escort
Place flowers on the casket or urn or in the grave
Learn how a skeptical psychologist began receiving messages through channeled writing from his son after his tragic death.
In this episode I share an interview with psychologist Matt McKay PhD who tells how he began receiving messages after his son’s death that taught him about spirituality here in this life and in the afterlife. Matt shares his suggestions for communicating with those “on the other side.”
You can get it hereon Amazon in print, ebook and audiobook formats!
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In this presentation clinical psychologist Dr. Matthew McKay will share the story of his son Jordan and how he sought to connect with Jordan after his death. He will teach us how to communicate with our own loved ones who have died.
Dr. McKay offers these suggestions for starting your own practice of channeled writing:
Get grounded and centered
Have a physical object that connects you to your loved one
Use a candle or other visible object to focus your gaze
Become more receptive bu using mindfulness, self-hypnosis, breathing techniques
Have a special notebook handy
Write down a question for the loved one you would like to communicate with
Wait for words to form in your mind and immediately write down anything that arises, without judging or questioning it
Acknowledge your doubt but don’t be paralyzed by it
Remember there will be a new episode every Monday! If you enjoy this content please consider leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with others.