Grief. What does it mean? It’s something most people don't want to acknowledge and often carry in silence. It’s as common as a cold but as isolating as leprosy. I’ve never known a person, who has lived a full life, who has not experienced grief in some way—at some level.
This deep sorrow may come quietly as a subtle disappointment or hard and heavy as a crippling disease, a childhood abuse or a sudden death. Whatever form it takes, grief is a ball and chain that can either bury us or lift us to the light of intense connection and understanding. It’s sometimes the very catalyst that creates the deepest change for self-awareness, enlightenment and ironically joy. This was the case for Darlene Gertsch—founder of Good Grief Guidance in Bend, OR.
Darlene chose to learn and thrive through her grief—to turn towards it and all it’s meaning. After the death of her son, the depth of her pain was the key that unlocked the unconscious myths of her life and what prompted her to begin to create her true story—to live her authentic self.
Sometimes the best teachers are those that have walked the path before us. Darlene today works with at-risk-youth at Bridges Academy in Bend, as well as inmates at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras Oregon, sharing her insights and guidance, as she says, “Along the treacherous landscape of grief and loss.”
Good Grief Guidance in Bend is where I met Darlene and took part in her amazing and creative 16 week grief workshop. Her beauty shines inside and out as she lovingly walks this journey beside each of her participants, helping them to see themselves not as victims, but empowered people creating for themselves a “new normal” for happiness—to truly thrive.
I am so honored to have Darlene represent Brave Collective as a true Badass Brave Woman. Her teachings have literally transformed hundreds of lives not only in our community but perhaps where it’s needed most—with our at-risk youth and prison inmates. You can learn more about Darlene and the Good Grief Guidance program at www.goodgriefguidance.com