My personal journey with grief started my freshman year in college when my boyfriend was killed in an automobile accident. I regretted that I never had the chance to say goodbye. Ironically, I was taking my first Death and Dying class at the time. This provided a certain level of help but there was not a great deal of grief support on our college campus in the 1980’s. His death made me realize how unprepared I was to cope with my grief and the pain of loss. All my hopes, dreams, and expectations were gone!
My next significant loss was that of my 42-year-old sister, who was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare cancer. From this experience, I learned a lot about helping my sister prepare for her end-of-life journey. We had hospice involved which was a great resource in helping me cope with my anticipatory grief and received bereavement support. From this experience, I started my hospice career.
Not long after my sister died, in 2008 my beloved cat Gracie of fourteen years unexpectedly died. My heart was broken. It was difficult to find support groups for pet loss. So, I joined a chat room with others who had lost a pet for several months to find support and process my grief. Now with the help of the Grief Recovery Method Pet Loss program, I was able to grieve Gracie’s loss in an appropriate way.
A subsequent devastating loss was that of my mother, who passed suddenly at the age of 79. I was aware this could happen due to her health condition, but it was traumatic for me in the manner that she died. My mother was my anchor. I now found myself feeling like an “orphaned adult” since both my parents had now passed. I had to put my grief on hold until I could process it appropriately through the tools I had learned from my training.
While the deaths of those I loved caused me to grieve, I have also felt and endured other losses over the years. Shortly after my mother died, my daughter moved out and found myself experiencing” empty nest syndrome,” and my husband’s family business of 30 years closed. Lastly, my three beloved Bichon Frise died unexpectedly in one month during the covid-19 pandemic.
It is my hope that you will allow me the opportunity to teach you how to accept that loss is not a process leading to closure, but one of integration from loss. I look forward to walking with you through this journey of healing from traumatic grief & or loss.
I am located in Fishers, Indiana serving: Indianapolis, Noblesville, Westfield, Carmel, Zionsville, Ingalls, Fortville, McCordsville, Lawrence, Elwood, and Anderson.
Education and Background
- MSW Indiana University School of Social Work
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of Indiana
- Certified Advance Grief Counseling Specialist (CAGCS)
- Certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist (CGRMS)
- Fellow in Thanatology (FT)
- Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)
- Prolonged Grief Treatment trained
- EMDR trained
- National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
- Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)
- Grief Recovery Institute (GRI)
- International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATTP)