Grief Work Is Life Affirming
and Creates A Zest for New Beginnings in 1999
By Kay Walburger



Nanette MacLellan uses sacred ceremony, meditation, movement, and ritual to assist people in overcoming fears concerning morning and grief associated with all types of loss.

New Years is a time of revelry and celebration from huge parties and major sports events with parades, to quiet contemplation, a toast, a kiss, and of course the New Year's resolution. Some always make a new resolve, while others have failed to keep them so many times in the past, they refuse to set themselves up to fail again. Maybe, grieving past failures is a good beginning to celebrating the New Year with a fresh start?

Rev. Nanette MacLellan has lovingly been counseling and coaching people about how to process their feelings and to facilitate the release that comes after the loss, usually of a loved one through death. During her years of assisting individuals and families going through bereavement, she has identified many types of loss that don't receive the morning process which restores balance.

"Many of us are carrying old painful losses into the new year which may lie in our stomach like a rock causing us to feel dis-ease. Unfinished grief may show up as lack of sleep, suppressed appetite, feelings of aloneness and other various symptoms that may be difficult to define:, explains Nanette.

"So many losses accrue in our lifetime, example: loss of a beloved pet, a body part through surgery, loss of health/mobility/hearing/sight, etc., a job through downsizing, loss of a family home through moving or bankruptcy, loss of valuables because of fire, flood, or earthquake, loss of time to do artwork or family gatherings, loss of a marriage, or a significant friendship or relationship. The empty-nest-syndrome is a mixed feeling of joy and loss that many feel, especially women, and numerous other little losses. We feel overwhelmed by all the losses and some of us are afraid even to cry because we may not be able to stop:, continues Nanette, "and so we feel only the terror of loss!:

"Society has awkward feelings about grief work and often doesn't lend enough support or information for all the types of grief that comes up in our modern life:, explains Nanette, "so some of us have found great resources in ancient sacred rites, rituals, and ceremonies that give our psyche the symbolic language and tools to do the process that restores us to feeling balanced again.:

"Feeling is healing:, says Nanette, in her whispering soft voice that sounds like an angel of compassion. "There are different kinds of grief: unanticipated, unfinished, chronic, delayed and blocked grief. I listen to the grieved and discover ways to mentor them through their own individual process. One size doesn't fit all! I look for their personal style. Some are quiet and introverted; others are dramatic, etc. I encourage them to do as much as they can at one time. A thimbleful is as important as a bucketful for a different type. We collaborate on personal meaningful actions to create a ritual or ceremony that facilitates a balanced perspective about the event and a release for them. An example: One may write a line or a paragraph about this and place it in a book, light a candle and then close the book placing it in a honored place; someone else may need to burn the written page to feel release. In this way I guide individuals or groups to understand and design what benefits them. The best way we can support each other when grieving is not to judge their style, which may differ from your own, rather accept and honor the intention.:

"Grief work is life affirming and helps with closure and new opening of possibilities that add ZEST to all new beginnings! HAPPY NEW YEAR 1999!

Rev. Nanette MacLellan, Metaphysical Minister, Reiki Teacher/Master, Certified Hypnotherapist, Certificate in Bereavement & Grief Work; Resource Materials from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Ram Dass, Stephen Levine, Manly P. Hall, Z Budapest and Sun Bear. Nanette is available for wedding ceremonies, speaking engagements, group or individual counseling, workshops, and has classes beginning in January at the Learning Light Foundation in Anaheim, entitled Death, Dying & Bereavement. For more information or counseling call (714) 602-1908.

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