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“When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”

Loss is an inevitable part of life. We all experience it at one time or another – some more than others. Yet we live in a grief-denying society that doesn’t teach us how to grieve but instead fosters myths about the experience that do not serve our healing. We learn to replace the loss, be strong for others, just give it time and stay busy; yet none of these common solutions address our emotional needs when we are grieving.

The reason that grief is so common-place is that it consists of a cascade of conflicting emotions we feel whenever we end or change a familiar pattern of behavior. It occurs with any change in our relationship with a person, place or thing and is a normal and natural reaction to a loss of any kind. Yet it is one of the most neglected and misunderstood human experiences. Instead of honoring our true journey through grief, we try to conform to what society expects and, in the process, we bottle our feelings and never truly deal with them.

To help change this dynamic, New Leaf Center will host a four-workshop series to address healthy grieving: Overcoming Heartache: A Healthy Guide to Handling Life’s Losses. The series leads participants through the stages of grief; common responses to grief; the societal myths that block our ability to address it; and practical, healthy ways to move through loss of any kind.

The four-week workshop will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10, 2018. For details or to register for this powerful workshop series, call New Leaf Center at (407) 644-8588 or visit the Workshops and Special Programs section of our website.

Jackie MacKay, M.A., LMHC, NCC, CSAT