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Mindfulness for Grief

This week, Health and Wellness author Cheryl Gordon looks at grief coping methods
Dealing with grief through Mindfulness. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

“Nothing was the same at Christmas this year. Mom was the glue that held us together.”

“Since the layoffs, we had to really cut back. I felt that I was responsible for ruining the whole family’s Christmas.”

“The pain of not having my boy here…  I can’t even finish that thought. I never want to see Christmas again.”

Do any of these sentiments ring true for you ,or a loved one? The holidays can be a minefield for those who are dealing with loss. It could be loss due to death, or loss due to changing circumstances; a natural part of life unfolding but painful, nonetheless.

A new resource is available in Thorold to assist individuals who are looking for tools to move through grief. It is called “Mindfulness for Grief” and is being offered free at Bocchinfuso Funeral Home starting in late January. Pre-registration is required and available now.

For the first few weeks, or probably months, our minds protect us from the full brunt of the blow by going into a type of shock. At this point, the individual can really only deal with day-to-day survival issues and requires compassionate support.

Everyone is different and every situation is different, but around two to three months, the shock often starts to wane. At this point, it might be appropriate to introduce some strategies to foster healing.

Mindfulness is different from traditional group support or talk therapy. There is no going over details or analyzing personal situations. The focus is on learning tools to allow the body, mind and spirit some rest. The belief is that healing is natural and will occur at its own pace when given the resources. Thus, a big focus is how to relax, especially when it's very difficult to relax. Course work includes breathing exercises, gentle movement, awareness building and meditation. It may be helpful to attend support groups or talk therapy in conjunction with the Mindfulness training.

Previous participants in the program report that they felt their eyes were opened through a better understanding of how thinking impacts quality of life. They also found the tools accessible, practical and helpful to moving through a very challenging time.

Classes will be held (for this session) on Saturday mornings from 10:45 to noon, starting Jan. 25 and running for four weeks.

This brief video explains a little more about the program and introduces the instructor, Cheryl Gordon Yoga Therapist.