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Free Mindfulness for Grief healing classes this fall

The death of a loved one, or a beloved pet. Divorce. Breakups. Job loss. A move to a new neighbourhood, or school. Watching your kids leave home ...
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Health professional Cheryl Gordon will begin leading grief healing classes. Bob Liddycoat/ThoroldNews

Anyone who’s suffered the intense pain of losing someone--or something--they cherish, knows that the word “heartbreak” can feel all too real.

When her husband passed away at age 32, Cheryl Gordon experienced that crushing grief firsthand.

“Losing a person is like losing a limb,” she told ThoroldNews; “like losing a chunk of your heart. People have had a huge shock, and no one tells you how to function from moment to moment, day to day,” following a tremendous life loss, she said. You feel the sensation of, ‘What do I do’?”

Sleeplessness and depression can set in, as grief slowly seeps into your body.

“The physical aspect is huge. It’s like you’re on autopilot. To go to a grief group is helpful, but it doesn’t address the totality of the change. It’s physical, psychological, mental, social; spiritual. Even if you have lots of supports in place, grief goes deep into our psyche. That shock to your nervous system is so profound.”

Historically, said Gordon, “Most cultures have blatantly physical expressions but here, we’re supposed to be strong. We need a way to express the verbal, emotional and physical” aspects that come with grief.

While currently teaching classes at the Yoga Centre of Niagara on Front Street, Gordon has expanded her outreach, and will be sharing her healing techniques at the Bocchinfuso Funeral Home this fall.

Called Mindfulness for Grief, the free four-week program will be held Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. at the Regent Street facility, starting Oct. 19. There is no charge to participate, but pre-registration is required.

“I’m passionate about this,” said Gordon. “I’ve seen it help people so much.”

“Mindfulness gives you a socially acceptable forum,” she continued. “Through movement, through the acknowledging of our grieving patterns, through visualization, we can allow the shock to be released slowly, and even pleasurably. The release and positivity should make you feel good,” she said; and create the mindset that, ‘I can move on’.”

But the positive feeling goes beyond that hour and a half class, according to Gordon, who will also offer “A set of specific tools to help when the waves of grief wash over you. There’s a three-minute breathing miracle so you can do it anywhere you are allowed to close your eyes. You will be trained to shift your mind. When you start adopting the process, it allows you to reorganize your brain so you start feeling better naturally. Your natural capacities for healing are activated. You can train your nervous system over time to reset itself and be more resilient from that shock so you can live your life.”

This mind shift training also helps with anxiety and mood regulation, said Gordon.

“Often, when someone experiences loss, they may have anger, which may spill over at a time of grief.”

She hastens to add that people don’t have to be grieving from a loved one’s death to participate.

“If you’re simply exhausted and over-processed, or feeling grief from the loss of a pet, don’t feel you can’t come, or that your grief is diminished in any way.”

To get the full benefit of the course, she recommends that participants “feel comfortable getting up and down from the floor. However, we can do it from wheelchairs or other chairs, if necessary.”

Gordon, who has 20 years of experience in the health profession as a yoga instructor, yoga Alliance E-ryt500 and member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists C-IAYT, has consistently updated her training through continuing education courses since she started on her path of wellness in 2000.

According to Bocchinfuso Funeral Home co-owner Kelly Liddycoat, “We understand that everyone grieves differently, and that for some, talking about it might not help. This program allows every person an opportunity to learn to manage their grief, in a way that they can use every single day.”

For more information, call 905-227-0161, or visit here.


Cathy Pelletier

About the Author: Cathy Pelletier

Cathy Pelletier is an award-winning newspaper journalist/editor who writes for ThoroldNews.com
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