Having acquired degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and at Henderson State University, I have spent most of my life as an educator. However, the most meaningful work I have ever done was when I became a counselor specializing in loss—loss through divorce, death, displacement, depression, health, career…even loss of a pet companion.
People’s lives seem like jigsaw puzzles with each small piece representing incidents of significance. The challenge lies in that there is no picture on a box to help with putting one’s life puzzle together. Each of us has only the shape of the pieces to go by, the hues of color, and the notched edges as each day slightly changes the timbre of our puzzle. Imagine what happens when unexpected events occur, and lives undergo unexpected loss; one’s picture shifts when colors darken, pieces go lost, and nothing fits together the way things used to. Sometimes we feel as if we can’t go on.
As a counselor who specializes in grief and loss, I understand the frustration in not knowing where to turn when one’s life has changed to the point of losing the pieces that once fit together perfectly. There may be gaps in the puzzle where colors used to exist. There may be ragged edges now where straight lines used to serve as borders. nderstanding change is the key to healing, but no one can hurry that process. I will not deprive someone of his or her own experience of finding a new normal, but I can help find the missing pieces. A view from my side of the table may help you look at your puzzle with a different perspective. Your picture will never be exactly the same, but there is a different image waiting for your discovery as you begin to put the pieces of your life back together. You can be hopeful again after a loss or unexpected change in life circumstance.
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment