Are you overwhelmed with a sense of loss? We can help! We are delighted that Geraldine Mace – a leading Grief and Relationship Coach based in York – has kindly agreed to guest write for us. Here is a little introduction to Geraldine and what she does.
Please share with our readers a little about yourself and your business.
When I left school at 18, my first job was working at a GP surgery where I regularly encountered grieving people. Those who had lost a loved one and were trying to make sense out of life and those who had received life-changing news about the state of their health. From the GP surgery, I went on to work in the more acute setting of a hospital. In 2010, wanting to be able to do more for the grieving people I met and feeling that I was at a time in life when I could give something back, I become a Cruse Bereavement Support Worker. Their training course was extremely thorough, and I learnt much about grief and how to support someone through bereavement. In 2015 I became a Certified Life Coach and in 2016 left my NHS post to launch this as my own business. Late in 2016, quite by chance, I came across The Grief Recovery Method and trained to become a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, then in 2018 did their advanced training so that I became licenced to offer this service online.
Please expand a little about what you do and offer?
My services fall into three clear categories. As an Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I take clients through the Grief Recovery Method Programme. This is an evidence-based pyscho-educational programme. I also offer Relationship Coaching for those struggling within their relationships. In addition, I offer general Life Coaching.
Please give us a more in-depth insight into each of your services?
Everyone encounters loss during their lifetime. Sadly, in our society, it is an often neglected and misunderstood process that we have been left ill-prepared to deal with. Most people relate grief to being bereaved when in fact things like relationship breakdown, redundancy, loss of a pet and retirement (to name but a few) can bring about feelings of grief. Because we haven’t been taught how, we often don’t grieve in a way that brings us to a conclusion and we are left with unresolved grief around our loss. As we go through life and accumulate more losses unresolved grief can have a real impact on our ability to be happy. When clients work with me using the Grief Recovery Method, I not only provide support and a safe space to talk about their feelings but also an effective and structured programme for them to follow that will help them move beyond the pain of their loss.
The programme is delivered over 7 sessions and can be done 1:1 or in a group setting. In addition, I have specific programmes for Pet Loss and Helping Children with Loss.
Who would normally be in the group sessions designed to help children cope with loss?
A typical group will consist of parents, teachers and anyone involved with the care of a child. As adults, we all know that sinking feeling when questions are asked by children about sad and painful feelings. Often, we are left struggling for the right words, not least because we don’t know what to do either. The Helping Children with Loss programme, which is certified, teaches how to communicate with the children in your care about losses they have experienced and those they yet might face. Whether a child has been bereaved, is about to face bereavement or they have experienced other significant emotional losses following divorce, house moves, changing school, being adopted, fostered, bullied or a myriad of other losses having the correct information at your fingertips can make a significant difference to their progress and wellbeing.
Do you work with any grief-related charities?
I don’t currently work with any grief-related charity, but I regularly donate a Grief Recovery Group at the Kyra Women’s Charity in York.
When should people contact you? What tell-tale signs are there that someone may need help?
First of all, I would say that even though the pain of grief can feel overwhelming and cause a whole range of conflicting emotions, it is a normal and natural reaction to loss. Everyone grieves in their unique way and there is no right or wrong way to experience it. Grief does serve a purpose. It is the process that takes us from the initial shock, devastation and pain of losing a loved one through to a place of acceptance and adjusting to life without them.
Those with a good support network can find that they manage and cope with the process without needing help. For those that don’t have support emotionally, they may need a safe space to be able to talk about the person who has died and that may be enough. Some people struggle to cope and find that they get stuck with their grief and it becomes unresolved for them.
Possible clues that you or someone you love may need help could include some of the following.
- The pain of your loss remains intense and it becomes hard for you to remember the good memories.
- You can think of little else apart from your lost loved one.
- You have no interest in the future and sometimes you wish you could die to be with them. You avoid thinking or talking about your loss.
- You feel fear and anxiety when thinking about your loved one.
- When a relationship had been difficult you continue to replay painful past experiences in your head and are unable to find resolution.
Other signs that someone isn’t coping well with their grief is when the things they do to try and distract themselves from their grief become excessive, for example, drinking, taking drugs, constantly binge-watching TV etc.
You’ve very kindly agreed to be a guest writer for the blog – what can our readers look forward to?
I am delighted to have been asked to become a guest writer for your blog. A sample of my blog titles:
Bereavement During Coronavirus
Is Grief Just Related to Death?
The Pain of Unresolved Grief
A Child’s Grief
The Tears of Grief
Losing a ‘Less Than Loved One’
Grief in the Workplace
With the current lockdown, families are not able to say goodbye – what problems might this cause, going forwards?
The current situation with Coronavirus in relation to grief is heartbreaking. I spoke briefly in one of your earlier questions about unresolved grief. For people whose loved one has died from Covid 19 they have most likely been unable to be with their loved one before dying and have been unable to say goodbye. This can lead to feelings of guilt when they were not at all at fault. The fact that some places are having direct cremations or very few people are allowed at a funeral denies family and friends the ritual of saying goodbye. This can lead to feeling robbed of that last chance to say ‘I love you’ or ‘goodbye’. This adds another very distressing dimension to unresolved grief, and I will cover this in more detail in my first post.
Telephone: 07707 644445