dark to light

Grief impacts all of us in different ways. But, one of the best ways to visualize it is to see grief and the movement through grief to healing is going from darkness into light. With the dark, foreboding feeling that COVID-19 has caused everyone, including those already dealing with grief, it is important to talk about how we can deal with this sense of loss and be open to hope again.

On our Facebook Live discussion today, Heidi and I were joined by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, the founder of the MISS Foundation and the Selah Carefarm. She is a professor at Arizona State University. Experiencing the own loss of her baby daughter 25 years ago, her area of expertise is traumatic death, specifically child death, and she is an acclaimed public speaker on this topic.

Joanne also specializes in counseling those affected by traumatic death and she is a Diplomate in the American Psychotherapy Association. She will tell you that her greatest accomplishment, is being a mother to five children: “four who walk and one who soars.”

In Darkness

Joanne shared that her own experience as a bereaved mom felt like living in darkness due to the inexplicable pain and grief she felt from the loss. However, she also explained that, it was in this darkness, she found her true self and discovered a way to give meaning to her life and to the brief life of her baby daughter.

Although it was difficult to stay in that grief, Joanne noted that she did so to help her move through it and discover a bigger version of herself. It was this experience with grief that led her to go to school and complete degrees all the way up to the PhD level. That way, she could help others who also found themselves in this darkness.

Coming Into the Light

All of us have some type of darkness that we experience, including the fear many are now experiencing due to COVID-19. It is in this fear that we may become paralyzed and unable to find a way into the light.

This is when we can help each other by being there for others to validate — not fix — their grief. It’s important to stop internalizing and suppressing the grief or put it into some unhealthy habit. Instead, letting it out and truly experiencing it through expression or meaningful work is the best way to come into the light and into one’s purpose in life.

Watch the Video

Watch the Facebook video here:

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Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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