Posts

Now certified at the Swedish Grief Recovery Institute

The last week of September I travelled up to Stockholm from Zurich, leaving my kids for the longest time EVER in their lives! The reason was to attend a certification course in the Grief Recovery Program™ at the Swedish Grief Recovery Institute in Stockholm.

So what is grief really and how do you know if you are stuck in unresolved grief?

There are more than 40 events that can create the range of human emotions called grief. Death of a Loved One [or Less Than Loved One], Divorce, Estrangements, Financial Changes and Health Issues head the list. Whether the loss was recent or long ago, it may still be limiting your ability to participate fully in life. The Grief Recovery Personal Workshop assists in the ultimate journey back to your heart and to the mainstream of your life.

To feel sad when you’ve experienced a loss  is normal and natural. However, most of us lack theknowledge how to actually go through a natural grieving process. Instead  we are surrounded bydifferent myths and fears about grief and sadness in our society. Lack of knowledge and insulationare the two main reasons that grief remains unresolved.

IMG_2954The Grief Recovery OUTREACH Program®

The Grief Recovery Outreach Program® is a proven action plan for people who want to process the pain that their losses have caused. The program is designed to provide you with knowledge on how to redeem your grief so that you are able to participate fully in life.

During the program you will complete your own grief processes. It is my role as an instructor to provide you with instructions, tools and support, but you will have to complete the work yourself. The program is not a therapy, but instead a way to provide you with  knowledge and offer support so that you can go through and complete your own grieving processes.

The course material we use is developed by John W. James and Russell Friedman who, during the last 30 years, personally have helped more than 25,000 mourners. For more information about the method you can read more at the Griefrecoverymethod.com or sorg.se (in Swedish).

I’m now certified to offer you  individual sessions where we meet 8 times x 1 hour or group sessions where we meet 12 times x 2 hours. I offer the sessions in Swedish, English or German.

For more information about the program, bookings and rates, please contact me at karin@hagelingriefrecovery.com.

Lots of love, Karin

My next step, a certification course at the Grief Recovery Institute in Stockholm

So I’ve had a couple of moths asking myself over and over again “How may I serve?”, and as soon as I gave in and said to myself that I can’t be doing less than offer help and support to other human beings suffering from unresolved grief things started to shift in a BIG way! People, books, videos and ideas literally started dropping at my feet as if the Universe tried to get me to understand that I had found my path.

So later this month (September 2012) I will go to Stockholm and attend a certification course on how to assist others through grieving processes. I’m so excited and happy to have taken this step, even if it’s scaring the crap out of me at the same time. This means that I have to work though my own unresolved grief before I can help others which is a daunting thought, so wish me luck!!

Much love, Karin

“I have a big sister and her name is Ingrid”

We have managed to shock quite a few people during our holiday in Sweden this year. The reason being that Elin is now big enough to share her world with people she meets (and that are not immediate family or friends), and she proudly tells everone that she has got a big sister who is called Ingrid.

Many then look at me as if asking “Is she making this up?” and I then find myself smiling a bit apologeticly for having to “shock” them with the news that it’s true and that Ingrid is in heaven. Then there is a short pause and maybe an “oh” or “I understand”and that’s it. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, hurtful or even irritating, it just is what it is.

I have to get used to my children speaking freely about the fact that they do have a big sister in heaven. And I have to make sure that I can support them with words and stories in order to help them tell others about their reality. Ingrid is so present in our lives and that is how we wanted it to be, no secrets and no hiding the fact because her younger sister and brother are too small to hear the truth.

So if anyone out there knows of a good book for children who has a sibling in heaven, and that is POSITIVE and FUN, please share, also so I can share it on to other families in similar situations!!! Thanks and have a fantastic day!

                                    Elin and Victor planting flowers for Ingrid <3

The weird wonders of vision boards!

I lerarnt about vision boards when I first med Edson Williams (leadbyexample.com) as I attended his workshop “Access to Success” in November 2010. So I decided to give it a go last year, with this result:

There was a lot about changing carreer and work on reaching my dreams, but also a picutre of Lilou Macé (liloumace.com), a web TV host who travels around the world interviewing just about any person she finds interesting! What a cool thing to do! And there are a lot of famous names on her interview list so go check her out on YouTube (liloumace).

Next week, on the 5th of July, I’m going to have lunch with Lilou in Stockholm!!!! I mean, how cool is that?! She is one of my role models right now regarding living the dream and her interviews has brought me to where I am today in a way. A lot of people she’s beein interviewing has helped me personally, and also helped me help others. I’ve bought tons of books, I’ve forwarded and posted hundreds of her interview links and I keep on following her progress.

This year’s vision board hosts a lot of head lines from a Magazine given out by Carolina Gårdheim at Kreativ Insikt in Stockholm (kreativinsikt.se), like “Find your own Life Artist”, “Creative Insight” and their Vision as it was so nicely written. I’ve now brought Lilou and Carolina togheter, Lilou will interview Carolina after our lunch together and I’m there as the glue! I just can’t believe that all of this is happening!

I’ll report back to you when that meeting has taken place 🙂  Until then I really urge you all to sit down and map your dreams, visions and goals by getting a stack of amgazines, a glue stick and a fairly big piece of paper in front of you and get creative!

Or if you feel that you don’t have space to put it somewhere, use a photo album that you can a) do smaller, themed vision boards in abd b) put away after you have looked at it for the day 🙂

Signing off and flying to Sweden on Monday!

 

When mommy breaks…

All of a sudden my back decided to give up on me! It started this Saturday, in the evening, and the pain spread down my left leg until it got so painful that I could no longer walk.

Sunday was mostly spent crying from pain and my kids were confused as to why their normally fit and very active mom was now lying on the cough crying like a baby. The doctor had to come and hit me with the strongest painkillers available in her doctors bag, Elin watched with big eyes and then ran off to get her own doctor kit, so sweet!

So now I’m stuck, can’t lift my son up to change his diapers, can’t sit by their bed side telling stories, can’t cook, clean or do the laundry. The only thing I can do is lie down and rest my back. Luckily I’ve got the best husband ever, even if I can see that it’s very stressful for him to be home from work and managing everything when I can just lie there and watch. Frustrating for me as well, as I’m normally the one getting everything done!

I just want to stress HOW IMPORTANT it is for the mother to be fit, happy and strong. I even lectured about just that for the Spoogle group at Google Zurich office on Thursday (more on that in my next post), and then I end up breaking myself! Maybe I will now understand the importance of eating well, exercise and take EXTRA SPECIAL GOOD CARE of myself from now on. It doesn’t do anyone in the family good when mommy breaks, please remember that and take care of yourself!

 

April kick off on being REAL

So April is here and I’ve committed to take care of myself even more by putting one of my wedding rings on my right hand finger (so I don’t forget the promise I’ve made myself). It’s time to move to the next level and listen inward, to be aware of the thought patterns, the reactions to situations & people, to what my body is telling me and to be REAL!

REAL means writing about what happens in my life, even if it’s tough. Right this very moment I’m sending support by SMS to another family here in Switzerland who’s first born has SMA type 1 and was just put on oxygen today. I remember our oxygen- and Morphine days with Ingrid as if it was yesterday. It reminds me of when I was pacing up and down the flat with her on my arm and an oxygen tube following our stride, talking to her about life. That it was now so tough for her to breathe that she would be much better off playing with her granddad up in heaven. That we promised to continue to be happy and positive about life and that she would get to have brothers and sisters to look after in her own little way. And finally, after being very honest with her and daring to talk with her out loud about the stuff that you don’t even talk to your teenager about (or maybe you do, I don’t know actually…), she finally let go and left her sick body behind to go and play!

It’s when I get confronted with that reality that I get reminded of how precious life is and that we are here to learn and love, not compete and collect tons of STUFF. There is no such title as the “fattest bank account wins” (as far as I know…). I just read a beautiful story on Facebook, so I’ll paste it here as well because it was so true:

Today i read a story about an anthropologist who proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?

UBUNTU in the Xhosa culture (where my husband is from:) means: “I am because we are”.

Wendy @ Raising Natural Kids

I sincerely hope that we will all get this basic lesson right before I leave this Earth plane. It’s been rubbed out of our western brains from such an early age, and I find that so sad. What a loss! But to write about something and ACT upon something is not the same thing, is it?! I sense another “challenge” creeping up for the month of May…

What could be changed in our daily, western routines in order to move closer to this basic truth? What could make us think more in favour of cooperation and gain for all instead of “me first, and I want it all to myself”? Honestly, leave a comment if you have the slightest clue, I would love to hear them! Goodnight!

 

 

We survived – how we dealt with a terminal diagnosis

This post is mostly for you that might be in the same situation that we were in 5 years ago. I just want to say, although you honestly don’t think you are going to survive – I mean, how can you when your child dies – you do survive! Somehow you do.

We decided on creating this “fairy tale” about Ingrid being a very old soul that only needed a huge boost of unconditional love to rise to the next level, and that we had to respect Ingrid’s life journey. She had chosen us as her parents because she counted on the support and unconditional love she needed to survive as long as she could. The diagnosis was what it was and we couldn’t change that, so we might as well do the very very best we could, and I’m SURE that every parent would. For us it was pointless to start asking “Why us?”, “Why her?” etc. You are never ever going to get a satisfying answer.

The hardest part was that we felt so alone, abroad without our relatives and close friends close by for support (however, a lot of new, beautiful people stepped up and helped us!!). That we just got sent home after getting the diagnosis, without a follow up plan or support system in place made me feel so lost and helpless.

We found ourselves standing outside on the pavement outside the hospital in a dark, wintery Zürich, not knowing if what just had happened was was real or not. It all felt so surreal. I just wish that there had been someone there to offer us a big hug or hold our hand for comfort, but there was no such person. So after Ingrid had passed away, I swore that no one should have to feel that lost and lonely so I volunteered as support family both with Kinderspital Zürich and Kinderspitex (home care unit for palliative care at home) in case anyone else would get the same diagnosis and asking for support. I received a phone call from Kinderspitex last week again, and although it brings back very raw memories, there is no way I’m going to step away from that responsibility.

So here is my offer: if you have just gotten the same, shitty diagnosis SMA type 1, and you are “Googling” (as we did) after what on earth just smashed your life in to tiny tiny pieces, PLEASE contact me! I’m here, I can listen, I can take it!

Lots of love, Karin

The post I’ve been scared of writing

I just watched one of the latest videos by my friend Niall at Disrupting the Rabblement (go check his site out, it rocks!!) where he is calling bullshit on on your invulnerable self. It’s basically writing/telling about the stuff that you are scared of writing about, that makes you vulnerable and that means opening up with the true story even if it makes you feel insecure. http://youtu.be/tfn23myCkqg

So here is one of the posts that I’ve been holding back with and that I now feel the need to write. Firstly because it might just help someone in some weird and wonderful way and secondly to put things in perspective for myself. Because what I do now is also scary. It’s scary to decide not to go back to the corporate world, it’s scary to start something new and see what the reactions from others will be, if any at all. But as you shall see, there is “scary” and “scary”. First I thought about doing this as a video, but it’s now after midnight and the whole family is sleeping! There will be other opportunities to talk about this in videos later on, I’m sure.

It’s about the scariest thing that has happened to me to date. The date was the 15th of December 2006 and we had been called back to the Children’s Hospital here in Zürich to get the results from the tests made on our first born daughter Ingrid, three months old. I can recall that I had even dressed more “hip” than normal as a protection I guess, because bad things don’t happen to “hip” people, right?

We were called in to see two doctors and one of them started telling us that Ingrid had been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1, a genetic disease. She went on to tell us that those children rarely live much longer than 8 months. By this time I’m sitting with Ingrid in my arms, rocking her and myself, whispering to all three of us “this is not happening, it’s not true” like a mantra, over and over and over again. They then gave us a list with phone numbers in case we wanted to get help in any way and then we were sent back home with our terminally ill baby girl.

This story changed our lives, and it has given me the strength to go out and find my life purpose. There are no coincidences in the Universe and I believe that Ingrid came to show me that I can do more with my life than hang around in a 9-5 job. What I do now, I do thanks to her and thanks to her sister and brother. I need to pull more strength from that story in order to help and inspire others, and telling it like it is is necessary in order to do that. I just can’t let what we went through, and survived, go to waste behind a desk in an investment bank.