In this episode, Litsa Williams and Gordon discuss helping people with an issue that affects all of us at one point or another in our life, grief. Litsa and her partner, Eleanor Haley, have created an endless supply of resources for people who are in the grieving process. Plus, they have resources for professionals who help others that require grief support. Later, they discuss creative coping and the idea that re-grieving is entirely normal.
Meet Litsa Williams
Litsa Williams MA, LCSW-C is a co-founder of the grief community What’s Your Grief an international grief support and training website based in Baltimore, MD. Litsa is a clinical social worker who has worked in the field of grief and loss for 12 years. Before founding What’s Your Grief, Litsa was the director of a family care for a nonprofit that supports families in the hospital at end of life in circumstances of unexpected and traumatic death, and provides ongoing grief and bereavement caret in the years following the loss.
Feeling frustrated with the online and print materials that were available for grievers, she co-founded What’s Your Grief as a resource offering concrete, practical, creative, down-to-earth, and relatable grief support education. What’s Your Grief offers in-person support including workshops, trainings, continuing education, and support groups and online support including hundreds of articles on all topics around grief and loss, a weekly podcast, webinars and online courses.
Both Litsa and her partner, Eleanor Haley, used photography as a real tool for self-expression and coping with their grief. They started talking about this and wanted to find other people who would be interested in it. As soon as they started talking about it, people were immediately online and wanted to know more about how to connect photography with grief. They ended up creating webinars, online courses, blog posts, and podcast episodes. People are excited about getting this information in a convenient format.
Litsa and Eleanor also create print materials for funeral directors, hospitals, grief centers, and hospices. They were often given brochures and booklets to hand out to patients during grieving times. The leaflets were outdated because they have not been updated for 30 years. Litsa loves seeing how her new materials are used as the first step to the introduction of grief for so many people.
What’s Your Grief Blog
At this point, Litsa and Eleanor have nearly 600 articles. They try and cast an extensive net and still publish every week. There has long been a disconnect between academia and the regular people out there for grieving materials. Sometimes the resources for people struggling are underestimated; their blog translates their knowledge into understandable terms for everyone. Plus, they cover topics like talking to kids about suicide, miscarriage loss, and creative expression. Also, they offer hands-on ideas for professionals to help their grieving groups.
We re-grieve experiences, and that is a normal part of life. For kids, this is especially important because they re-grieve at every developmental stage. When kids get older, they revisit those losses through new lenses they now have. We as adults do that as well. When we hit life milestones, we suddenly re-grieve losses even if it happened thirty years ago. It doesn’t mean we did not grieve right; it just means it is part of our journey. When we see things in the media, we will feel empathy for other humans, and our losses will wrap into those thoughts as well.
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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook