I'd like to add one more post to Grief After Suicide in 2015 -- to share with people who offer assistance to the suicide bereaved a video that inspired me to set an aspiration for the New Year.
In Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's TED Talk, "Beyond the Cliff," she touches on an idea that we who have a role in facilitating the healing of others hear a lot about -- namely, the need for caregivers to take good care of themselves to ensure that they are healthy and whole as they render assistance to others.
She identifies an object of aspiration -- to be present -- that unquestionably is an essential part of delivering compassionate care to others, emphasizing ...
... how critical it is that we continue to strive to cultivate our capacity to be present. One of the reasons we want so much to be present is we remind ourselves with everything that is out of our control every single day, one of the things that remains in our control at any given time is your ability to bring your exquisite quality of presence to what you are doing and to how you are being. That presence we know can interrupt the systematic oppression that is causing so much harm and can transform the trauma that is arising.
It is both enlightening and of great value to hear all that van Dernoot Lipsky has to say about the vital role that being truly present plays in transforming trauma in the lives of others. But the main point of her talk is how we, as caregivers, must "transform the trauma that is arising" within ourselves.
As I said, her talk inspired me to set an aspiration to be more present to whatever is unhealed within myself; and I am deeply grateful to van Dernoot Lipsky for reminding me so eloquently that it is vital for me to look anew at the age-old admonition "Physician, heal thyself."
(To hear a shorter version of her ideas on the value of presence in transforming trauma, start the video at the 16-minute mark.)