Tuesday, August 31, 2021

death can do this to you.

What a long strange trip it's been. The state of affairs in the world around us has definitely had us swirling in that psychedlic vortex.

My hope is that you've been able to find places of quiet and comforting respite during what could certainly be called a tumultuous previous year. 

The vicarious trauma of witnessing death and destruction in the world at large has taken a toll on many of us. That hasn't put "the hard" of our own lives on hold either.

Throughout the past few years that I've been doing The Death Dialogues Project, there is the recurring question of how do you do this? How does one move forward in life without remaining mired in the deeper emotions that comes with death?

Previously, my go-to was that I had learned strong boundaries while working in the mental health field over the past almost 40 years. Early in that trajectory it was clear that the work would not be sustainable if every story I heard lived within my heart. Through training and supervision and self-permission, I developed ways to leave those stories at the office. 

A unique aspect of this work is that it blossomed out of my personal stories. Even though the founding raw grief of my brother and mother in 2017 can, at times, still rear, part of my coping strategy has been this project and knowing how positive they would feel that their lives and deaths created an offering that is helping others; that's what both of those humans were about.

Sparing you the list, but with more of "the hard" knocking on our family's door and deep, deep heart-breaking emotions, I have finally reached a point where living in this world of death has become a challenge. With that, awareness has been the primary tool for coping, followed by making some gentle space and time for long cleansing exhales.

Circling back to the question, who does this work? I'm linking this podcast episode where I was interviewed by Karen Wyatt, MD of End of Life University. I've been interviewed several times for other podcasts (you can find the links at https://linktr.ee/deathdialoguesproject), but wow, did I enjoy this conversation. Karen and I had a deep connection regarding how we came to our current work and I loved my time with her. 

Sending love and care to you all. Please make your primary work be to take exquisite care of yourself. We've reached the part of the flight where you need to put your oxygen mask on. Please remember to put yours on before taking care of those around you. 

All things good,

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