~ On Transformation ~
When we are no longer
able to change a situation …
we are challenged to
Transformation and Journey of Hearts™
1. a. The act or an instance of transforming.
b. The state of being transformed.
2. A marked change, as in appearance or character,
usually for the better.
Journey of Hearts™
provides a variety of resources and grief AIDEs for those on their personal
journey of grief following a loss or a significant life change. Grief AIDEs
help people understand and work through the grief process following a loss,
how to survive present and past losses and how to cope when old losses
become felt anew, or new losses occur.
It is important for those experiencing the loss
and those supporting them to recognize that life is very different following
a loss and the grieving person is forever transformed by the loss. At Journey
of Hearts™ visitors can be educated
about the "normal" grief response, including what to anticipate in the
transformational process that occurs following a loss. In addition, the
grieving person is encouraged to find healthy ways of coping with the loss
and to draw upon or discover their own internal source of strength to get
through the shock and the grief reaction.
|Somewhere in time the
truth shines through
And the spirit knows
what it has to do
Somewhere in you there's
a power with no name
It can rise to meet the
moment and burn like a flame
And you can be stronger
than anything you know
Hold on to what you see
Don't let it go
Performed by Steve Winwood
Lyrics byJames Horner,
& Barry Mann. From
the movie "Balto"
Transformation, Loss & Grief
The Journey of Grief following a loss, a crisis
or a significant life change is a very personal and often a very private
one. Each person experiences his or her own unique journey. People respond
to loss differently - some may choose to ignore it, others to suppress
it, some will become depressed by it, and still others may become outraged
by it. Many may want to talk about their experiences or remembrances of
loved ones over and over again to help the reality of the situation finally
sink in and the loss be come realized. For the grieving person, it can
be a daily challenge just to survive to wake up every morning knowing that
he/she must face the pain of the grief, yet they must learn to accept the
pain and realize that in time they will discover a new strength. Out of
the pain may come richer and more rewarding life.
Look upon each
day that comes as a challenge, as a test of courage. The pain will come
in waves, some days worse that others, for no apparent reason. Accept the
pain, Do not suppress it. Never attempt to hide grief from yourself. Little
by little, just as the dear, the blind, the handicapped develop with time
an extra sense to balance disability, so the bereaved, the widowed, will
find new strength, new vision, born of the very pain and loneliness which
seem, at first, impossible to master.
Daphne Du Maurer
With many losses, the pain never entirely
departs, rather it becomes a part of the bereaved, tucked away in a corner
somewhere in the deep recesses of the heart. There it remains at a constant
low level ache, which with time may be over ridden. At other times without
warning, a site, a smell, a location, a song, an anniversary or birthday
will trigger the old memories and the intensity of the grief and loss will
return again. These feelings can be just as painful and may make one feel
as though he/she was experiencing the loss anew.
In the grieving process, the bereaved person must
learn how to deal with the loss, crisis or significant change. This requires
learning how to cope with what may be a vast array of intense and at times
conflicting emotions. It also may require accepting the inability to change
a situation, facing the challenge of changing him or herself and choosing
the attitude to take towards the events that have occurred.
including our dignity can be taken from us,
but the one thing that
cannot be taken away is our power to choose
what attitude we will
take toward the events that have happened.
With time as the grieving person begin to
heal from the loss, the intense initial emotions lessen
to a level that allows him/her to function. The
grief is no longer a daily all-consuming emotion. (If it remains so, then
this is the time to seek professional
help) The bereaved learn how to cope with the loss, the same way
that someone learns to adapt to the loss of their hearing, the loss of
an arm or the loss of mobility. Despite the loss, life goes on, it moves
forward and begins anew, but it is a life forever changed. The bereaved
person has been transformed by the loss—like a caterpillar spinning a cocoon
to hibernate during dark times before emerging as a butterfly, a different
person in the spring.
Grieving people must recognize that they may never
"get over" their grief. Some losses never entirely fade e.g. loss of child,
loss of spouse, diagnosis with a terminal illness. Rather in time they
learn how to integrate the loss or change into their lives and keep living.
The grieving process usually ends when people realize that they will survive
and begin to focus their energy on living. Choosing the environment in
which the loss is processed and trying to maintain a positive, uplifting
outlook can aid the bereaved in getting through the grieving process and
finding wings to Soar™ again.
We become like
our environment, and our environment becomes like us.
Everything around us
molds us and shapes us.
So it is important to
choose our environment with care: one that is positive,
one that lifts us up
and gives us wings to soar.
Activism out of Adversity
Adversity often activates
a strength we did not know we had.
Loss and crisis can be a meaningful instrument
for change, activating a strength many do not know they possess. First
to get a person through the event and then to keep him/her going. Coping
with the loss may require the bereaved to accept their inability to change
a situation, face the challenge of changing themselves, choose the attitude
they will take and the "color" in which they will view events that have
In tragic situations and those where the death
may be viewed as preventable, many people find that investing their energies
to create change or form advocacy organizations can be a positive way of
channeling the intense energy experienced in grief. There are numerous
examples of various organizations, ideas and causes that had their origins
as a response to a tragedy, a personal loss, or a death. Several of the
most notable include: Parents of Murdered Children, MADD, the Polly Klaas
Foundation for Missing and abducted Children, the Million Mom March, America’s
Most Wanted, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Gilda’s Club
(For those living with Cancer), Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation,
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Montel Williams
MS Foundation (Multiple Sclerosis)and numerous charitable organizations
that have come into existence following the September 11, 2001 tragedy.Oprah’s
Angel Network and Journey of Hearts™
both originated, in part to the tragic death of Princess Diana.
Resources on Transformation
1. The American Heritage
Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company,
2000. Available at: http://www.bartleby.com/61/76/T0317600.html
and situations do color life.
you have been given the mind to choose
the color shall be.
See the Emergency
911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless,
hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.
| A Healing Place
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