Sunday, May 30, 2021
We lost our beloved Rhett Redbone. He gave us so much love from the first day with his wonderful crooked tooth smile. Rhett you are one of a kind and we are missing you. He had a good death but heartbreaking from Lymphoma.
I learned early one of the myths of loss: "replace the loss." "Next week we will get a new dog." After my grandfather died my parents got me a pony. After another loss another dog. Often after loss or hardship, my go to was to add another animal to my crew. At one point in my life I had 3 cats (Sashie, Smokey, & Pete), 2 large dogs (Max & Loki), 2 birds (Mister and Miss), 3 fish tanks, and pair of frogs. I love my animals and learning good husbandry skills.
Max and Loki were wonderful friends and companions for 17 years. Without them, I'm not sure I would have made through my grief journey after my immediate families deaths. Walking and caring for them kept me going. After losing Max and Loki, I began fostering dogs because I missed them. To date, I have fostered 11 dogs and have kept three: Tess, Rhett, and Rusty. After Rhett's death I started fostering again... as to keep from getting another dog, yet, give some of the love for Rhett to someone else's something special dog.
I've taken a break from working with grievers to take a breath and work on the tools I give to others for myself. In this time of great loss and grief, self-care should include evaluating the tools you have on board to be resilient.
Thank you to Creswell Veterinarian Hospital
for all your support, advice, and shoulder to cry on.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Megan Malone and I will be facilitating a panel on Equity and Culture...
Stop by and meet these wonderful panelists!
This is your link!
Sunday, January 3, 2021
ONE - Mixed media Collage $200
TWO - Mixed media Collage $200
THREE - Mixed media Collage $200
FOUR - Mixed media Collage $200
FIVE - Mixed media Collage $200
SIX - Mixed media Collage $200
SEVEN- Mixed media Collage $200
EIGHT- Mixed media Collage $200
NINE- Mixed media Collage $200
Or for Nine = $1350
Sunday, November 22, 2020
My biggest hope through my artwork and advocacy is to create more awareness on the process of grief and mourning in an avoidance culture. As a Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, I focus on unresolved grief from death, divorce, and other losses for better reconciliation. I don't want you to hold on to your broken heart or to do it alone like I did.
Grief and mourning are often confused or used interchangeably. Grief is the internal feelings of loss, while mourning is the outward expression of internal grief. Grief can arise from any change in a normal pattern and is the normal, natural and PAINFUL emotional reactions to loss or change of ANY kind.
Some examples include:
• Divorce or end of a relationship
• Loss of a career
• Loss of trust
• Loss of faith
• Loss of safety
• Loss of health
• Loss of a sense of self or identity
• Loss from a combination of these elements
For many people even though grief is normal & natural, the vast majority of what we learn in our society about dealing with loss is not normal, not natural or helpful. We learn more about how to mend a broken arm, then we do about how to support people grieving. Your feelings are normal and natural. The problem is that we have been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural.
How I can help to heal your broken heart:
I facilitate online one-on-one 7 -1 1/5 hour-sessions on the Grief Recovery Method® Educational Program.
• Create a safe environment in which to look at old beliefs about dealing with loss
• Discover what losses have affected your life
• Develop new tools surrounding loss
• Take new actions to move forward with unresolved losses while honoring your grief
The Grief Recovery Method® Educational Outreach Program is not an occasional, drop-in support group. For the safety and success of all participants, commitment and attendance is essential.
The fee for the online one-on-one 7 -1 1/2 hours sessions is
until the end of December - Pay what you can afford.
- Sign up for a free 30 minute Initial Consultation for grief coaching.
In this call or zoom meetup, we will be talking specifically about what you have been through, how it is impacting you, and whether we are a good fit for the Grief Recovery Method program and/or any of my art & grief workshops.
I'll be here went you are ready.
Transforming conflict and loss through creativity & collaboration
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Watching a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers, and caregivers. We are currently in an unprecedented time of grief, change, and resilience. On Oct 25th at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard, I will be presenting a one hour informational talk for adults on helping children with loss. There are tools for helping children develop a lifelong healthy response to loss.
I hope you will join me to hear more.
Email me at Beth@robinpress.com to register for your spot.
Only 10 spots available. Only 8 spots available. Only 7 spots available. Only 3 spots available.
Only 2 spots available
A detail from an 18th-century oil painting depiction of the Dance of Death.
Can one recover from loss?
Recovery means acquiring skills we should have been taught to allow us to deal with loss directly. Sadly, most of us have not been given the necessary information with which to make correct choices in response to a loss.
A year after my father, John, died my youngest brother, Jacob, died. He was a dancer, funny, handsome, and eager to start his adventure in the world. As a 24-year old dancer he was fit, strong and had grown to be fully alive in his body. As a child he tripped over his feet and now after studies in dance, he owned every part of himself. Except one.
At eighteen, he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
I’m one of five children in a tight knit family. The loss of my father was incredibly hard on each of us and our mother. Jacob was struggling with college, type 1 diabetes, and normal living before my father’s death. Yet after, in each of us there became a deep need to “seize the day” not matter what.
He struggled with his diabetes, graduated college, and then decide to move to NY city. Taking with him so many piled up losses over the last several years: loss of health, loss of community, moving, death, a fractured family structure, loss of a sense of self, graduating again, and moving again. He avoided talking about diabetes, changes in his health or how it was progressing. These losses are hard enough as a griever, and then another level as a person with diabetes, large changes in a pattern can be really hard on the body.
Not to long after moving to NY city, he was found in his apartment dead. It is suspected his blood sugar was low causing hypoglycemia. He fell and may have hit his head. My mother, my brothers, and I went to claim his body in a NY city morgue. Looking at his lifeless body, I can tell you it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I do not regret being there as I loved him. I still love and miss him. We are left with the uncertainty of the events of his death to this day.
After that, I had a significant amount of emotional grief that I stuffed deep into myself. I had to stay strong for my mom and my siblings. I kept busy taking care of "things," and stuffed the pain and loss into the depths of my being. Not even when I was alone would I take it out and work through it. Then it became worst, a fond or beautiful memory of him would turn painful as all I could remember was that day in the morgue. I made a choice in that moment that I would look for tools and actions that would help me to celebrate, love, and remember Jacob while being able to let the grief, pain, and loss go. Even writing this, I’m remembering his smile, the curls in his hair as a little boy, his ability to make me laugh, and the way he could dance. That day in the morgue has become just a fact in his death and never overrides the memory of all the good stuff anymore.
Good tools and a series of small and thoughtful choices made by a griever can support recovery from loss. I found the Grief Recovery Method and my art practice invaluable in this process. With these tools and actions, recovery becomes the ability to feel better, to find new meaning for living, enjoying fond memories while also being able to work with ones that might not be. Most importantly, recovery is acknowledging that it is perfectly all right to feel sad from time to time and to talk about those feelings no matter how those around you react. Recovering from a loss is not as easy task. Taking the actions that lead to recovery will require your attention, open-mindedness, willingness, and courage.
Do you want to go deeper?
Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct choices made by the Griever.
Schedule your free 15-minute mini session with me here.
Sign up for my newsletter here.
I’ll be here when you are ready.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Identifying short – term energy-relieving behaviors or Sterbs
Many people in our society use what is call STERBs or “Short term energy relieving behaviors” in an attempt to cover the feelings caused by unresolved emotions from grief. Some examples of Sterbs are alcohol, food, shopping, and exercise.
Being able to identify short term energy relievers is an important part of understanding how we replace grief. Grief is the change in any normal pattern and there are approximately 40 different types of specific losses. Death only being one of them. In this current season of upheaval our former normal patterns are completely gone with things like zoom fatigue, home schooling, inequities, and loneliness filling some of the voids. It is understandable that we are grieving. These losses produce an incredible amount of emotional energy that can be exhausting. And largely, we have been socialized to deal with sad, painful, and negative emotions incorrectly, leaving us to store this energy within our bodies and minds.
As a kid have you ever hurt yourself and been offered a cookie. You might have learned that feelings can be fixed with food. But really when the cookie is eaten the feelings are different, not better, and for a moment your distracted from the incident that created a sad emotional response. This distraction tactic has not created a completion of emotional pain caused by the event. The event and the feelings attached to it are now buried in your belly with a distraction cookie and are reinforced to not be revisited. “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” “Be strong.” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” I have a stomach-ache thinking about it.
Short-term relief offered through consumption is an illusion for long term relief from pain caused by the loss. The “go to” western human coping mechanism for loss becomes to cover up, hide, or bury feelings with distractions. The consuming of these distractions becomes the habitual response to the emotional energy, rather than discovering the real source of the energy or complete the relationship affected by our loss.
Food and alcohol are obvious and typical short-term energy relieving behaviors. Yet, there are many, many other behaviors that have the same life-limiting and damaging consequences. This partial list if done for the wrong reason, can have a negative impact on grieving people:
· Fantasy (movies, TV, books, gaming, social media)
· Shopping (humorously called retail therapy)
Most of these actions are not harmful in and of themselves. They become harmful when you engage in them for the wrong reason. In fact, short-term energy relievers can have the opposite effect: the shopping binge followed by remorse over the money spent. This can be further distraction from the real and original emotional event or loss.
While many short-term energy relievers are apparent, some are not. I can say I have worked with people who have come year after year to grief support groups or visit the grave site on an extremely regular basis years following a death looking for long term relief. The problem with these actions is it does not lead to a completion with the loss.
Feel free to connect with me for a 15 minute discussion to discover if you would like an opportunity to work with the Grief Recovery Method on how certain actions of your own maybe indirect ways of dealing with the feelings caused by loss.
I will be here when you are ready.
Monday, June 22, 2020
Time does not heal, action within time does. People have waited 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years to feel better.
Think about how these myths have impacted your own grief?
Write a short sentence about what you see, notice or what it evokes for you.
The Labors of Hercules are some of the most famous tales from Greek mythology. Hercules would undertake these Labors as an act of penance for the grief he carried. As a young man, Hercules assisted King Creon of Thebes in his war with the Minyans. Later, he married Creon's daughter, Megara.
Despite being a son of Zeus, Hercules was not favoured by all of the gods & goddess. Hera, Zeus’ wife had a special hatred for her husband’s son. Hera would persecute Hercules whenever she had the chance and sent the goddess Madness to Thebes. Overtaken by Madness, Heracles kills his own children and possibly his wife. For his "crimes," Hercules is banished from Thebes, and travels to Delphi to consult with the Oracle about how to atone for his actions. The proclamation from the Oracle at Delphi was that Hercules must enter into a period of servitude with King Eurystheus, and perform any task requested hence the Twelve Labors.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The black community is grieving, and they have every right to. How can you be a good support to these grievers? If you are an ally or support person, this is not about you in this moment and DO NOT turn to these grievers to make yourself feel better. Suck it up buttercup! (More resources for understanding privilege and systemic racism at the end of this post.)
After my own losses, many people wanted me or my siblings to comfort them. Just writing that just now sounds crazy! They wanted me to be strong, educate them, and be compassionate for them so they could grieve and move on. While my family and I were, well, GRIEVING. This only left us extra tired and lonely. Honestly, I was angry at people who put my mother’s grief for my father and brother behind their own.
One of the best tools any ally can understand about grief is Ring Theory. This concept was written about by psychologist Susan Silk and her friend Barry Goldman. This simple tool will help determine what part you play in the loss, conflict or crisis.
This is just the basic gest of Ring Theory:
1. Draw a circle. In this circle, write the name of the person or people at the center of the event.
2. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In this ring, put the name of the person next closest to the event.
3. In each larger ring, put the next closest people involved in the event.
The rules are as follows:
1. Anyone in the center of the ring can say anything they want to anyone, anywhere. Kvetching, moaning, complaining, whining, cursing and fist in the air like Bender from The Breakfast Club.
2. This is KEY. Everyone else can use the above list also, but only to people in a larger ring!
3. If you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours or someone closer to the center of circle your role is to HELP, LISTEN, and COMFORT ONLY. Before you open your mouth, think is this going to provide comfort and support. If the answer is no. Let it go. People in the center need comfort and support not your advice or opinion. Things of comfort sound like: “Tell me what happened?” “Can I bring you dinner?” “How can I support you?” Then you really listen, and you commit to doing what you say you will do. You sit right in that moment with them and you hold that vessel of safety so they can take a breath, feel safe and supported. Most of the time people just want to be heard and acknowledged. By doing this their grief will begin to shift.
4. Don’t change the subject to you and your feelings, advice or this is a bummer. Just don’t be that person. And if you do, then maybe you should admit you’re the wrong person to be here in this moment without more tools on board to help. Fair enough, own that. But if you are the only person there close your mouth, open your heart, and just LISTEN.
5. If you are anywhere in the circle and you want to scream, cry, complain, whine, or feel the feels, totally cool. Just DO IT with someone in the bigger ring!
The whole point of this ring is to provide comfort to those inside the circle and ripple the dumping to the outside of the circle so everyone along the way is heard and can heal while finding collaborative solutions.
This is just a start for understanding privilege and systemic racism:
White Fragility – Robin Diangelo
Good Talk – Mira Jacob
So, you want to talk about race – Ijeoma Olou
Me and white supremacy – Layla F. Saad
Friday, May 29, 2020
1499, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, Italy High Renaissance
Sunday, March 8, 2020
artist residence in France when she got the news.
I miss her smile, laugh, grace and abundant creativity.
This is a great video if you want to hang out with her for a moment.
After her loss, I felt I needed to cancel the shows and
But the studio was not quiet.
It seemed I could hear her pushing me to not be idle...