In the days after Andy died, someone from my office quickly arranged for each member of our family to start seeing a counselor. Eric and I were given an appointment together and it was, in a word, weird. We sat there on a loveseat in the office while the therapist crouched in front of us by our feet for the entire hour.
I don’t remember anything anyone said, but I do remember looking at her thinking, ‘That cannot be comfortable.’ The visit was awkward for both Eric and me. I remember him saying as we left, ‘We are not going back there again.’ Less than two weeks later, we found our home at Starlight Ministries in a grieving parent support group. It was exactly what we needed.
As time passed though, I think others realized before I did that I did really need a therapist on top of the peer support. When trying to go back to work, I cried between every patient and eventually needed to take a prolonged leave of absence. I honestly did not think I would ever work as a pediatrician again.
When the first person suggested I see my eventual grief therapist, Nancy, I really brushed it aside. I had tried therapy and thought it would not help. Then a second person gave me the same name. I again did not listen, but when a third friend of mine mentioned the same name again, I decided that maybe God was trying to tell me something.
I started seeing Nancy, and it was truly life-changing. When I said that I thought my days as a pediatrician were over, Nancy said, ‘I promise you that if you want to go back, we will get you there.’ It took almost a year of hard work, but together, I was back to doing the career I had always loved so much.
I feel somewhat similar feelings about this week’s podcast. Nine months ago in Episode 94, I interviewed Daisy’s Mom who is now helping grieving parents from Sick Kids Children’s Hospital in Toronto by leading grief yoga. Just a few weeks ago in Episode 131, I spoke with Judson’s Mom who is finishing up her trauma yoga certification so that she can lead grieving parents in grief yoga as well. Today’s guest makes number three. Dakota’s Mom, Erin, has started grief yoga via Zoom through her website, yogawitherinb.com after having working with grieing mothers in person since 2019.
This third person reaching out to introduce me to grief yoga made me pause. Perhaps again, God is trying to tell be something. In the last weeks since the interview, I have tried some sessions and have found that they do decrease my stress level and just give me a bit of peace. After completing a thirty minute session, I just feel better.
Overall, the more things that we put in our toolbox to give us a bit of comfort, the better we will all feel. Whether it is attending a support group, individual therapy, listening to a podcast or doing grief yoga, they all are ways we can help ourselves heal just a little bit at a time.