We Are Silenced
On Friday, January 16, 2015, we lost an artist, a colleague, an animal lover, a writer, a therapist, a daughter, a mother, and a friend. Mary Seymour was a wonderful therapist. We greatly appreciated her perspective on life and her ability to make everyone feel comfortable in her presence.
Mary was very outspoken about her struggle with bipolar disorder. She worked tirelessly to maintain a balance between work, life, and her health. We are grief stricken because her loss reminds us that we are all fragile and even helpers need help.
If you knew Mary and wish to talk about her, please feel free to contact us at 336-288-9190 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a terrible loss for Tree of Life Counseling and the community-at-large.
Mary Seymour moved to Greensboro from New England in 2008. She earned a BA in English literature from Smith College in 1980 and spent three decades as a professional writer. Changing course midlife, she earned a master’s in counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. Mary was the Director of Recovery Initiatives at the Mental Health Association in Greensboro as well as a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and a National Certified Counselor. Mary took a recovery-oriented approach, emphasizing strengths and de-emphasizing diagnostic labels. She embraced creative approaches to healing and self-discovery, including journaling and artwork. She enjoyed working with adolescents and adults.
Mystic and Maddie by Mary Seymour
GRIEF: A COMPLEX PROCESS
Grief is a complex process that is unique to each individual, but most of us want to move away from emotions associated with grief as quickly as possible. I recently lost someone dear to me, and here are some of the things I have learned through my personal grief journey about respecting the process:
– Allow yourself to grieve. Let the emotions come, and then they will pass. Some days you may feeling longing for your loved one and sadness due to the hole they left behind, other days you may feel angry or irritable. And some days are good, where you feel happiness and joy. And you may feel many of these emotions at once. Give yourself permission to feel whatever comes up for you around your loss.
– There’s no right or wrong way to grieve. People will likely give you advice, but honor yourself by listening to your inner voice. Some days you may want to withdraw and not talk to anyone, and that is okay. Other days, you may want to look through photo albums of your loved one and just cry or smile at the memories. Sometimes you may throw yourself into a work or hobby to distract yourself. Take one day at a time, but listen to yourself along the way and do what you need to do to grieve that day.
– Reach out to your supports. The people who love you will want to help, but they may not know how, and may be hesitant to bring up your loss for fear of being intrusive. If you need to talk about the loss of your loved one, ask someone in your support system to listen. Or you may need others to help you with daily tasks in the weeks and months following your loss, so ask for this help as you need it. And you may want to seek counseling services. Grief counseling is often brief unless your grief is complicated, and it can provide you with another person companioning you along your grief journey and a space to process your loss.
– Give yourself time. It may feel like the world is moving on without you, and you just have to get over your loss to catch up. But you are creating a life now without your loved one, and it can take a long time to find your new normal. Don’t stop living your life, but don’t rush your grief process. Be kind to yourself as you grieve.
– It is normal for your grief to feel less intense over time. Sometimes we view this as losing a connection with our loved one. I will end with one of my favorite grief quotes by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, an author, educator, and grief counselor: “Sometimes we are unconsciously fearful that if we begin to move away from our grief, we will lose what contact we have with the one we miss so much… Perhaps the relinquishing of our most intense grief makes a space into which a new relationship with the loved one can move. It is the person, after all, whom we want, not the grief… May I hold grief lightly in my hand so that it can lift away from me. My connection to the one I have lost is inviolate; it cannot be broken.”