I have had the question posed to me: “Are you sure you only want to focus on coaching grieving moms?”
Well intentioned people think that maybe I should broaden my reach and not have such a narrow focus because they know someone who is grieving the death of their child and they do not believe their friend or family member would ever go to a coach for help. And they are right – many grieving moms will not seek out help.
I know that the role I have committed myself to is not an easy one because it is difficult to gain entry into a grieving mom’s space. Grieving mom’s tend to hide out a lot. They feel so broken that it is hard for them to talk about their pain. Reaching out to someone for help takes great effort and it can feel like an enormous task to email or call.
Grieving mom’s tend to hide out a lot.
For many of us women, we are taught to be strong and to not show that we are in pain or emotional turmoil. We have families who depend on us and workplaces that expect us to perform at our best. So we bury the emotions as best we can to function day-to-day.
What I have found in my work is that burying the emotions of grief (guilt, sadness, anger, abandonment etc.) can show up years later, when a realization hits that life is not going well. Relationships may be strained or broken with loved ones, physical health has deteriorated leading to an array of medications, surgeries, chronic pain, or weight challenges. Chemical dependency, shopping, hoarding or becoming super-controlling are not uncommon with unresolved grief – unhealthy behaviors develop as a way to fill the hole that grief has created.
unhealthy behaviors develop as a way to fill the hole that grief has created
So back to why I do what I do…
When I was a little kid in 3rd grade, I did a science project that described the process of a caterpillar transforming into a Monarch butterfly. The whole idea of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly was quite fascinating and still is to this day. To think that a caterpillar creates this cocoon where it hides within to do the deep work of “becoming” something so extraordinary and so different than where it began.
I see myself as the “cocoon” for a grieving mom. My role is to meet her where she is at, creating a safe environment for her to do her work on the inside. To hold her together so she feels protected and secure as she processes and redefines how she will move forward in her life without her child.
Transformation is not an easy feat but when we are surrounded in a cocoon of love, we can emerge with beauty and grace.