Mitch Carmody: Taking Care of Yourself and Finding Hope After Loss

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Mitch Carmody works with Heartlight Studios, has his own ministry, works with The Compassionate Friends as well as TAPS. As a leader in the grief industry, his passion comes from personal experience: Carmody’s son died at just nine years old. Carmody spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley of The Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 Association of Death Education and Counseling conference about self-care after a loss. Dubbed “proactive grieving,” people often need help getting the tools and resources they need to care for themselves (and perhaps others) after the death of a loved one.

Embracing your grief includes looking at what tools are available and choosing the ones that work for you, he explains. There are a lot of options out there. However, each may (or may not) work for different people. “To know who you are as a griever also helps,” he says. You should know your personality profile so you can better know yourself and how you can navigate this journey. Knowing yourself first is paramount.

The Whole Body Grieves

Body, mind, soul and spirit all grieve, and grievers can utilize that fact to help process loss. Listening to your gut feeling, when your body feels worn down, and learning to make your whole body work together can be a great help. Fight or flight responses can lead to holding in emotions so tightly that it results in physical pain.

Stimulating the love hormone with children or pets, and combatting the negative impacts of stress is a great help. A broken heart, or anything that’s broken, must be thrown out, repaired, or repurposed. Grief can’t be “fixed” and a lot of people throw it out. Repurposing for a legacy is key.

 

Mitch Carmody

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After suffering many familial losses from a young age and ultimately with the death of his nine-year-old son of cancer in 1987, Mitch Carmody, has struggled with the grief journey and how grief is processed and perceived in this country. He published a book in 2002 called “Letters To My Son, a journey through grief." The book has now reached the bereaved in every state and 7 other countries. From the book’s success he now travels locally and around the country lecturing on the grief process and/or conducting workshops on surviving the loss of a loved one. He has also conducted a variety of workshops with The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents USA as well as a sought after speaker for many keynote presentations. As a trained hospice volunteer, he has also helped many loved ones and their families through the dying process. Mitch has published several articles in national bereavement periodicals, is a frequent contributor to TCF Atlanta On-line and currently a staff writer for Living with Loss Magazine. Through email correspondence on his website he council’s the bereaved on a daily basis. Since the death of his son 19 years ago, Mitch has dedicated his life to helping those individuals and families whom are trying to navigate in the uncharted territory of death, dying and the bereavement process. Through his compassionate insight and gentle spirit he will touch your heart and hopefully give you tools to aid you on your journey Mitch lives in rural Minnesota with my wife of thirty years, he enjoys riding my horses, gardening, writing, helping others, giving blood monthly and creating works of art. He is also a proud first time grandfather to the daughter of their surviving daughter Meagan. To learn more about Mitch and his work, go to: www.HeartlightStudios.net. Mitch appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Letters From My Son.” To hear Mitch being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley042706.mp3 Mitch appeared again on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing the Holidays, Helpful or Hurtful? To hear Mitch interviewed by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley122508.mp3

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  • Mary Stone says:

    I have battled major chronic depression for 25 years…my youngest son, Paul, died this past January of a cerebral hemmorage, he was 48.
    It is now June, and my depression is worse. I have not seen a psychiatrist since this happened, for the simple reason I can’t get myself to seek one or keep the appointment. His sister and brother both grieve… especially his sister…she counted him her best friend and the only one who truly knew her.
    I feel there is a huge boulder sitting on me. My house is a Please help.