My pain became a teacher
instead of a dragon I needed to slay.
Melinda Neal Laus

Melinda Neal Laus

Courageous Mourning was born from my own experience with traumatic loss. As I mourned my husband, I found that our American culture does not do well with grief and loss. We expect grievers to find ‘closure’ and to do so quickly. We judge their response to grief. “She is taking too long to get over this―I bet she is depressed.” Or, “If it was me, I would hire a babysitter and start getting out there and dating.” Or, “How can he get over it, when he is always talking about his mother after all this time?”

One secret every seasoned mourner knows is that we never ‘get over’ losing our loved ones. We simply find a way to fold the loss into ours lives. The missing we endure becomes a series of threads woven into our life tapestries.

As a practitioner in the field of grief, I have found that mental health specialists rarely receive formal education in the processes of grief and loss. Of course, the notion of the five stages of grief and loss gets dusted off. But those five stages merely hint at the depth and breadth of the experience of loss and recovery.

When we are denied the opportunity to authentically mourn, rushed to find closure, pushed to keep busy, and hurried to say, “Goodbye,” our healing may be compromised. In my own process, when I was encouraged to go deeper or invited to sit quietly with my intense emotions and let them rage through me, I was amazed at what happened to my pain. It transformed. It shrank. It became a teacher instead of a dragon I needed to slay. When I gave myself permission to mourn, grief released its chokehold and become a valuable guide that continues to lead me to this day.

Courageous Mourning, born from my own experience, has grown from my passion to support others who are experiencing loss. If you are grieving, I can help you transform the dragon of your own loss into the true guide of hope and healing it can be.