The Birth Ease Podcast
009 Exploring the Concept of Healing After Loss with Amy Wright Glenn
In this special episode for the month of October honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Michelle has a profound conversation with her mentor, Amy Wright Glenn. Because birth and death are intertwined, their conversation not only benefits bereaved parents, but provides powerful insights to birth professionals as well.
Amy reflects upon what healing means as it relates to loss and how the managed medical care model can do a disservice to the bereaved. Healing does not mean a return to what was, a fixing, or making it look like it never happened. Healing is an ongoing journey of keeping our heart open, and being compassionate and present to what is. It is an approach to learning how to walk in a world where we do reconcile with things we didn't want to occur. And yet, these things happened.
Mourning is our personal expression of grief. Our inner experience of loss is the grief. That grief needs to be expressed through mourning. That can be public, it can be private, it can be a combination of both. That expression is unique to each person. Ritual can be a powerful tool at anytime after a loss. It is never too late to utilize ritual to create meaning and process the loss.
Amy and Michelle touch upon the importance of planning and preparing for the death of a loved one when circumstances allow so that decisions are made when the brain isn't in emergency mode and feeling rushed and overwhelmed. And at the same time, the emotional pain of the loss is difficult, intense, and raw; no matter how prepared we may be. Creating space to slow down and be gentle with ourselves is vital.
"Loss is a deep, deep [life] transition to integrate… We, over time, learn to reconcile with the losses we have known. But this may take many, many years." – Amy Wright Glenn
About Amy Wright Glenn:
As the author of Birth, Breath, and Death– Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula and Holding Space– On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go, Amy Wright Glenn weaves together scholarly research with the heartfelt telling of stories in her work. She founded the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death in 2015 drawing upon her interest in exploring pregnancy loss, the work of facing fear, cultural attitudes about birthing, and what it means to be a doula for the birthing and dying. Amy offers innovative and inspiring professional development opportunities focusing on the self-care of teachers, doulas, midwives, chaplains, and all drawn to holding space for mindful birthing, living, and dying.
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