You know grief. You know its weight, its darkness, its vastness. The way it keeps you up at night and steals your appetite. You know it is demanding and volatile. You know how it crowds the mind so that making even the smallest decision seems insurmountable. You know how it pulls on your viscera.
There’s a common belief that grief takes us away from our lives.
In truth, participating with grief brings us more fully into our living.
I’m committed to helping people actualize this.
I provide compassionate support to people living with loss and encountering life-altering transitions. The basis of my work is to give grief a safe, spacious place for dynamic expression and to offer guidance in cultivating greater capacity to carry the unbearable.
You don’t have to meet the depths of grief unaccompanied.
I’m a bereavement counselor, spiritual director, interfaith minister and massage therapist. I earned an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where my studies focused on transpersonal psychology and embodied spirituality. I completed Interfaith Studies at the Chaplaincy Institute, where I later served as Adjunct Faculty in the Spiritual Direction Training Program. For more than 15 years I’ve provided deep listening through touch, spiritual care and bereavement support in hospital, hospice and private practice settings. I currently serve the bereaved on Whidbey Island and the Quimper Peninsula.
I safely guide individuals in the expression of their most tender emotions. I invite others into the heart of their grief experience, and hold the torch as they courageously journey to the center and cross the threshold into a new reality.
With courage and curiosity, we can face our heartache, our obstacles and ourselves. This journey can deepen with the aid of a skillful guide.
My focus is to help you:
discover barriers that prevent you from relating to feelings in a way that's open, engaged and fluid
release the stories that inhibit authentic ways of responding to change
listen holistically to your grief and tend to each aspect of its expression (mental, emotional, spiritual, physical and relational)
build capacity to hold powerful, challenging experiences
catch insights, strengthen resilience and connect with love’s healing energy
I bring warmth, intuition and a clear heart to this work. With my clients I establish a collaborative approach which is dynamic and intentional. Together we find creative and meaningful ways to honor your losses.
I offer self-care practices and provide tools to integrate positive movements of self-discovery. The process can be rooted in ritual and in prayer. For some, connection to supportive allies (both human and non-human) and ancestors is vital – I help with that too.
My approach is anchored in knowing that there is a place within us that doesn’t suffer even when there is pain. My intention is to welcome this essence and its vital wisdom.
Grief’s organic healing arc is amplified through presence and intention. This journey requires endeavor and receptivity. When we inhibit participation with grief, we deny an inherent, generative process present in service of healthy adjustment. Out of this restraint may flow undesired outcomes, including feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression, a compromised immune system, loss of vitality, challenges with trust or unabated guilt and shame.
Consciously engaging grief's process reveals a multitude of benefits, including the ability to:
Relate to the self with more awareness, regard and patience
Hold a new understanding of safety and security
Awaken to flexibility and fortitude in meeting life as it is
Restore vitality and resilience
Experience greater intimacy in relationships
Gain a new sense of purpose and belonging
Losses are plentiful: loved ones, hopes, dreams, connection to community, biodiversity. The guise of social media brings the loss of authentic connection, and modern living means little time spent in open spaces. Loss is also absence – when what is longed for isn’t present, such as intimacy, approval, a child or a sense of home. Some losses may not be in full consciousness, such as connection to heritage and lineage or impending mortality. Every loss experienced provides access to deep chambers of the heart, revealing the sorrow, yearning, helplessness and fear carried from previous losses. When we lose who and what we love, the depth of longing can be humbling.
Loss is inevitable. The natural grief that follows may feel suffocating. It can create the sense of homesickness or unrelenting hunger that nothing can satiate. Grief can be insidious or chaotic, yet is there as an ally. Though it is often arduous, grief slows us down, reorients us to the present moment and aligns us with who we are becoming.
Grief is not a singular experience but rather a process; it holds an innate and powerful wisdom. Intentionally engaging this process helps us live our lives as they are. A conscious encounter with grief liberates its transformative potential and plays an integral role in our growth. Healing events that manifest only through and because of one’s participation with grief help to actualize life’s continued creative unfolding.
There is so much we learn after a loss – about ourselves and our humanness – that we could never have known beforehand. Grief may awaken us to aspects of our being that we’ve been unable or unwilling to see. Grief symptoms (and there are many) are signals, pointing us toward what we need; they are the compass, orienting us to the path forward.
Grief is transformative - it is the process of becoming what is not yet known. In essence, the path of grief participation is toward grief integration. Through grief participation, we are introduced to our new selves; grief integration is a meaning-making endeavor in which we embody these new selves. Grief integration means inviting the transformation into our lived experience, and living from and into this newly discovered place. A new form of order in our lives emerges, reorganized around new meaning, and we encounter a sense of wholeness while embracing our losses.
Listening has been the attractor in my life. My professional path began with work as a stage actress, fueled by love for storytelling, emotional connection and present moment awareness. After nearly a decade working at theaters across the U.S., I transitioned to the art of listening with my hands through massage therapy. Experiences providing gentle massage as a pediatric hospice volunteer inspired me to work in end-of-life care, and I began to spiritually companion the dying.
Through chaplaincy training and graduate studies, I developed counseling skills and a broader understanding of holistic transformative modalities. Providing 1:1 support and facilitating groups has been enriched by teaching classes in grief and loss, listening skills and ministry for the dying.
In my work, I often witnessed the harmful impact of unacknowledged loss and repressed grief, which compelled me to specialize in grief care. In recent years working as a hospice bereavement counselor, I’ve created and facilitated innovative grief support groups to encourage a participatory approach to the grief process.
I live in Port Townsend, Washington and like to find my hands in dirt or spinning wool.
To schedule an appointment or a free 15 minute phone consultation, call 310-213-3667 or email using the form below.
I look forward to accompanying you.