- My father completed suicide in 1980 shortly after I graduated from college.
- My brother completed suicide in 1987 after battling bipolar disorder.
- My mother was murdered in her home during a robbery in 1994.
- My daughter completed suicide in 2014.
After my father’s death, I studied social work and learned principles of art therapy. I use art to express grief after trauma. I have also worked hard in psychotherapy to put the pieces of my life back together.
Two weeks before my daughter died, I attended a weekend Art and Spirituality Retreat, led by Melanie Weidner, at Pendle Hill, a Quaker conference and retreat center in Pennsylvania. I practiced mindfulness and learned collage techniques that I used in the weeks and months after my daughter’s death. These Pendle Hill retreats are now a touchstone for me, a safe place to delve deeper into whatever challenges I am facing. I also have great appreciation for my psychotherapist. He has guided me and encouraged me in this journey of Post Traumatic Growth.
I am a writer at a nonprofit organization, not a psychotherapist or a social worker. I am lucky to live in a time when there is hope for recovery from even the most horiffic challenges. I have often had to accept the unacceptable, yet it is only by accepting all of life that I can thrive. I am available to tell my story of Post Traumatic Growth, lead art therapy workshops, and share my message of hope with your group.
Wishing you peace and joy,