8 Session Online Group:
Grief, Guts, & Gratitude in the Labyrinth of Loss
Tending the heart's ache
I've been in a long walk with loss, supporting my mother through her journey with Alzheimer's. Cognitive decline is often called "the long goodbye", as it is a prolonged, slow way to lose a loved one. Through this experience and others like it, I've learned to turn towards my heart break, and tend my heart's ache. I've cultivated an unflinching commitment to (as much as possible) feel my feelings in real time and to do so without self-judgement.
Several people in different parts of my life have shared recently that they are in a time of profound grief, and feel like they're walking alone. They want to resource themselves with space to be honest about what their situation evokes, but they have not found a support group aligned with what their spirit needs. This was my experience, too. So I'm creating the community I was longing for, and will serve as facilitator as we hold one another through the holidays.
An altar to the "long goodbye"
I remember a day a few years back. I was having a caregiver's stack attack - a sense of overwhelm, expressing as anger and resentment. My dear husband asked softly, "I wonder if it's easier to feel angry than to feel sad?" He waited a moment for that to sink in before adding, "I wonder if you could make an altar to the long goodbye as a place to hold your grief?" It was a very gentle gesture, but I heard myself reply in a child's voice, "well, I don't want to do that!" before I stormed down the hall.
It was then my turn to wonder: why was I now mad at him? Of course, I was protecting the soft spot he'd touched. While rage and resentment have their place, in that moment, that place was serving as a wall between me and my grief. Turning towards it was going to take guts.
Over the next weeks, I designated a new little place, one outside of myself on a little shelf, to hold some mementos that signified my memories, my love, and my loss. In so doing, I found the room to breathe. And from that breath, came gratitude.
Many ways of knowing
It's been said that all healing happens in relationship. While I don't think that's exclusively true, I do believe that our heart's content (what it ethereally contains) and our heart's content (what brings us peace) is often best reflected in a caring circle of community. There are many ways of knowing what our hearts truly want and need. When we gather together, sometimes we can better discern the mending move that is ours to take. We can honor ourselves while caring for others or letting them go.
A shared journey
This eight-week guided group is for people interested in co-creating a supportive container strong enough to hold the feelings that arise while we each navigate our labyrinths of loss. Weather we share or bring silence to any given moment, we will serve as reflections for one another's deep, still waters.
Community Container: This group will be limited to 12 people to allow for deep exchange. We will co-create community agreements and work in confidential space. We'll show up authentically, hold space for one another, and share within our comfort for the purpose of communion and connection.
What we put into it: Our consistent presence each week contributes to holding each other in care. This group is very light touch in terms of expectations. It's a come as you are, give as inclined, receive what's available sort of space.
What we receive from it: We will build and seek solace in community. This is a space reserved for feeling, expressing, and reaching out, or simply being together. While we will resource ourselves and one another, we may find we're better able to engage with our loved ones and the world.
About the Convener: With over twenty years' experience convening groups of many sizes and purposes, I am a seasoned guide through delicate territory. I'm a Systemic Constellation facilitator, certified professional coach, and certified equity-informed mediator. While tending to my mother's care, I've been able to utilize systemic principles to resource both of us. I am familiar with system navigation, care coordination, and resourcing oneself for a long journey. All of these experiences are woven into my facilitation approach and group design.
Group convenes on Wednesdays starting February 21, 2024
8 sessions, each 75 minutes long, time to be determined in the new year
Consider holding 90 minutes on your calendar, to build in space for to make a pivot to the rest of your day.
8 week online course alone | Choose your rate $248 - $400
Optional individual support package add on | $800
Wondering if this is right for you?
Here's one way to explore. Settle into a quiet moment. Scan your body and notice if you can feel all each part of your body, from your feet and legs, to your hips and backside, to your trunk and arms, to your neck and head. If any parts seem inaccessible, just bring some kindness and warmth there. Now soften your attention and notice the space around your heart, on both front and back of your body. What do you feel there? What is the temperature? Is there weight? What rests there? Do you feel accompanied? Would you like more support? Notice how the sensations, or lack thereof, might inform your decision.
Further questions warmly welcomed
"[Amelia] carries the wisdom of someone who has done her own soul-searching and the discernment and presence to offer the wisdom judiciously."
"I always felt supported and important to Amelia in this work, which was a very positive, nurturing experience for me."
“I think a big gift is the time we are carving out for this conversation. I feel grateful for everyone's thoughtful engagement.”
"I can trust Amelia with my fears, failures, and foibles. She listens compassionately and productively, wanting the best for me without telling me what that is."