Tag Archives: counseling

Living Between Life and Death: A Tribute to Uncle Hal

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Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do. -Brené Brown

Today I gave a message at the Eugene Mennonite Church and below here is the take away.

I would like each of you to consider if you only had 6 days left on Earth, like Uncle Hal had from the day he admitted on hospice – are you living the life you want to be living? Do those you love and cherish know how you define a good death -for an instance do you want to die at home, amongst family or friends? And, are you in pain? How are you sharing your pain with others? Please do not suffer alone.
I leave you with this…
Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.

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Re-entry

Yesterday I started back to work.  By midday I was conflicted because I was so enjoying the training but I was also feeling extreme fatigue from the lack of sleeping the night before.  I was starting to feel a little sick to my stomach and as the afternoon progressed I realized I had some control over what was next.  Decided to cancel my teeth cleaning, that just was not important today.  Visited one of my dearest friends and saw a couple other colleagues, got hugs and empathy.  And headed home for a much needed nap.

Woke up refreshed and ready for my first private practice session since 10/10/15, the day after I found out my Uncle was admitted on hospice.  By evening I felt strong.  I took another hour nap and then was able to write like I’d wanted to write the last couple of days.  Not to say I haven’t been writing but I’m trying to document my last hours with Uncle Hal and from that come up with a message for Sunday, titled Living Between Life and Death.  I’m happy to see my subconscious has been doing a lot of this writing and I got into the flow last night.

Today I am back at Riverbend Hospital and on the floor with my MSW student.  To think, I was a brand new MSW student in October 2010.  We also have a site visit with the field liaison today.  I also have one private practice client after work at the hospital.  This morning I must draw strength from within.  It is going to be okay.  I am going to be okay.

Heron Park in Springfield, Oregon

Heron Park in Springfield, Oregon


Networking at Holiday Bazaars

Awhile back I posted that I’d gotten into making handmade beaded jewelry including lanyards, necklaces and bracelets.  The thing about beading is that the costs add up pretty quickly.  So I got this grand idea that perhaps I would join some holiday craft bazaars to sell these beaded items meanwhile promoting my counseling private practice.  My jewelry did better at last weekend’s Campfire holiday bazaar than this weekend’s Unique Boutique but I managed to hand out brochures and business cards to at least 14 people this weekend, that’s 14 people I may have never ran into otherwise.  Even better is my friend Jenni, who is a grad student at the moment was able to bring her holiday themed items including barrettes, wreaths, ribbon Christmas trees and other crafty items.  IMGP4288 I guess our stuff presented well enough we got invited to do another sale in Creswell, Oregon at the Emerald Valley Golf Course Event Center December 8th from 9 to 3.  Looking forward to meeting more folks and perhaps some more sales as well!IMGP4289


Private Practice Office

Today I met with my colleague who I will be sharing office space with for private practice counseling. So excited to start this endeavor, now all I need are some clients!

Office entry

Office entry

We even have a small waiting room with chairs, books, and a few toys.

Waiting room

Waiting room

 

Waiting room

Waiting room

 

Counseling space

Counseling space

 

This couch is comfy, come try it out!

This couch is comfy, come try it out!

 

Desk

Desk

Now I will be offering counseling via Skype from my home office, which I’ll have to photograph too.


Life Review

Life review is an important piece of counseling that I have studied and utilized in my work as a hospice social worker and volunteer.  It’s the process of thinking back on one’s life and sharing this with another person.  As a person brings their life to a close, this process can help a person know that they have left a legacy, that their life has had meaning and is of value.

This can be done with photos, scrapbooks, audio recordings, and video recording.  It can be done entirely orally, between two people, amongst a family together, and with friends.  Creating a permanent historical record (through journals, photo albums, collages, scrapbooks, family trees…) can be very meaningful for some families.

I’ve used aspects of life review in my own life.  This past weekend I got to spend time with my Aunt Gayle, also a social worker.  Sharing childhood stories has been something I’ve loved doing with her, connecting through our histories.  Today I took the time to go to one of my childhood homes, where I lived from 6 years of age until I was 18.  So many memories of my neighborhood friends with Sabrina, Stephanie, Justin, Katie, Beckie, Rachel, Brandon, and my sister.  From learning to roller skate and riding bikes, to learning about soccer, May Day and sharing adventures in the orchards.  Even with the difficult memories that I can remember living here, I’m ever so thankful for the good times in a place I called home.  IMGP3818