Who We Are
For many years, I was post-partum doula helping women after they have given birth. Usually, I would visit them on a semi-daily basis beginning sometime around the 3rd day then visits would taper off around the 3rd month. My main goal was to help support the woman's transition by cleaning, bringing meals, and caring for the baby while the new mom slept or showered or took a break. I decided to do this work after giving birth to my 3rd child and recognizing what a widespread lack of support new parents have in our culture. Most attention is given to the birth but not very long after, that attention wanes or, if there is any, the focus is on the baby rather than the family as a whole or the mother as a person with needs as great as the child's.
This ubiquitous lack of post-partum support is paralleled by lack of support & understanding of those after a death. Our culture, by and large, does not acknowledge or recognize grief as a process. Just as we have lost our village social structure for supporting new parents, we have also lost systems of support for those who experience loss. There is an unrealistic expectation (and unspoken arbitrary time limit) for moving on/getting over it rather than honoring grieving...supporting those moving through grief in a stepwise, respectful way.
I am a movement teacher not an expert on grief. But I have had numerous experiences with the deaths of beloved family members & friends. I see the need for supporting those left behind and I am doing so in the way that I know how that will, hopefully, be of benefit.
My Papa died when I was 7 years old...not too long after this picture was taken. His sudden and unexpected death had a profound and lasting influence on my life that affects me to this day,
Papa was my maternal grandfather and now my mom is in the process of dying. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2018 and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (a terminal lung disease of unknown cause) in early 2021. Being with my mom as she navigates the end of her life was the catalyst for Move Through Grief...this is not only for others but for me as well.
Papa & me May 1979