Transforming Grief Blog

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So far Karen has created 74 blog entries.

Grieving: A Catalyst for Spiritual Awakening

The grieving process can be a powerful catalyst for our spiritual awakening. When we experience loss, such as the death of a loved one, we long for the connection we once had. We long for what was that isn’t anymore. In our longing, we are invited to surrender and let go of control of how we think life should have turned out. We are invited into a deeper relationship with the Divine as we let go and trust the great mystery of life.

Over the past ten years, I have desired to have a baby but have experienced one early miscarriage after another, with no medical explanation. Each month I become pregnant, I get excited and think, maybe this time! Then, my period comes and I experience grief and despair only to ride the cycle again the following month.

The more I allow myself to express my grief and anger, ALL of my feelings, the more energy I have. My vital life force is allowed to flow and move…to create new life. Thus, my journey through infertility and grief has opened me to new possibilities for living a fertile life. Not only have I birthed a greater version of myself…a stronger, […]

Celebrating the Cycle of Life and Death

The cycle of life, death and rebirth is so rich and beautiful. When someone or something dies, someone or something new is born. Life is forever expanding and expressing itself. If we remain open and awake, we are able to celebrate it in all of its forms.

Recently, I received news that my 97-year-old Grammie was on hospice and dying after a fall from her wheelchair. Even though she was old and I knew her time on earth was coming to an end, I was still heart broken. I wanted one last chance to see her.

While driving to her assisted living home, I went over and over in my mind the things I wanted to express to her…how her life had made a huge impact on so many, what an amazing person she was, how much I loved her. I felt sick to my stomach and had a lump in my throat as I didn’t know what to expect. Would she be awake and conscious? Would I be able to communicate with her? Would she be in pain?

I knocked softly on her door before entering. She was unresponsive, sleeping heavily and looked similar to my father the day he passed […]

By |August 3rd, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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Healing After Divorce

Have you experienced a divorce or relationship breakup? Do you have a broken heart? If so, this article offers six keys to help you heal.  Please click here to read.

Responding to Tragedy

I was saddened to learn about the Colorado Movie Theater shooting. It especially struck home for me since it was a theater my husband and I frequented when we lived in Parker, Colorado. I’ve written an article, 5 Tips For Responding To Tragedy On The News.  Click on this link to read the article published on YourTango.com.

By |July 20th, 2012|Grief and Loss|

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Rising out of Despair

Dark, murky, lonely, hopeless, disconnected from God/Spirit/Light, I feel heavy and helpless like I’m drowning and it takes too much effort to swim to the surface. I sink further and further, into the darkness, into despair. Perhaps I will just stay in the darkness, underwater, where it is peaceful and calm. Where I can be still and my heart can rest and heal from this recent early miscarriage.

I muster the courage and strength to do this writing. I know in my heart, I am not alone. I can reach out to a friend who is familiar with loss. I begin to feel lighter the more I write and am present with my experience. Perhaps I needed to allow myself to go into the darkness, and fully immerse myself with it, before I could begin to rise up into the light.

As I write, I see the yellow rose on my altar, the pedals fully open, extended, reaching up. I see hope in its unfolding. I hope for hope. I don’t want to remain bitter because one of my most cherished dreams continues to go unrealized.

Then I feel it…a spark in my heart, a small flame is lit. There is light! […]

Unleashing the Genius Within

John and I attended a concert at a local jazz venue in Santa Cruz, CA on Monday night. The band was Acoustic Alchemy…a couple of English men on acoustic guitar, a drummer, bass player and keyboardist. We had heard them once before in Big Bear Lake, CA at an outdoor venue and fell in love with their passion and musical genius. This venue put us up close and personal, only three rows back from the stage.

Sitting closest to the keyboard player, I witnessed his hands dance along the keyboard. Each finger found its perfect place on key and in tune with the rest of the band. His body bobbed up and down to the beat of the music. At times he appeared to be making love to the keyboard. His energy was so present and intense, as his fingers gently tapped each key. At others, he appeared to be attacking it with fierceness and passion. The drummer and bass player smiled frequently and acknowledged each other with a nod of the head. Both exuded joy and clearly loved what they were creating. The lead guitar players were brilliant musicians. The man sitting next to me suggested they were the […]

By |July 5th, 2012|Living Fully|

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Saying YES to Life after Loss

Relegated to the couch once again, bundled up in a blanket, not only was I in physical pain, but I was angry. It had been more than three weeks since I had gotten sick with the flu around the time of my father’s and brother’s anniversaries of their deaths (see previous post about anniversary reactions). Now, because of a lingering cough, I had fractured a rib. Why is this happening to me? When am I going to feel better?

I longed to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and longer spring days. All around people were celebrating life. Music played, young folks walked down the street dressed in flip flops, bathing suits and shorts, headed for the beach, while I was stuck inside feeling sorry for myself.

Prior to this illness I had been feeling really good about the progress I had made with my health and with strengthening my immune system. For several months, I had received acupuncture and hadn’t gotten sick. Further, I had been involved in a business training program and had experienced increased prosperity. Now, my business was crumbling and my doubts were growing. Would I ever be able to sustain my health and energy long enough […]

By |June 22nd, 2012|Acceptance, Grief and Loss|

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Don’t Hold Back! Re-engage in Life after the Initial Grieving Ends

By Karen Mehringer

Locked into my seat on the Double Shot ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I grabbed tightly onto the handle bars and turned my head towards my husband, John, for assurance. We were facing the beach where kids played soccer and volleyball in the sand. Umbrellas, the colors of the rainbow, were set one right next to the other. Sailboats cruised around near the wharf. It was a gorgeous sunny warm day. As the ride pulled us straight up 125 feet into the air and then quickly dropped us, leaving my stomach in the ethers, I screamed at the top of my lungs. It shot us up and down one more time before coming to a gentle stop. Laughing, I stumbled off the ride and exclaimed, “That was a blast!” I felt like a kid again.

The grieving process takes a tremendous amount of energy. Initially, it is normal to withdraw from engaging in life in order to conserve our energy so we can heal. Perhaps we no longer feel like attending social functions and prefer to spend time alone or with close friends and family. We may find ourselves going to bed earlier than normal, watching […]

Anniversary Reactions; a Part of the Grieving Process

At a distance we noticed a hawk flying. In the next moment, it headed straight towards us and circled over head. Smiling, I knew that Kyle was with us as we celebrated the 13-year anniversary of his death. We made a ritual of hiking to his tree, a small oak ling; we planted in his honor, a year after he passed. I hadn’t been there in three years, so was happy to see how the tree had filled out and was big enough to provide shade for me and my family, protecting us from the scorching sun.

The next morning, the day of his actual anniversary, I placed a picture of him as a baby along with a fresh yellow rose from my garden on my altar and meditated. Immediately, I felt his loving, spiritual presence. Tears flowed as I was overcome with intense love, gratitude and joy. I recognized how integral his life and death, his journey, had been to my own. His death helped me to awaken spiritually and sent me on my own journey of healing and transformation which led me to doing work I love, helping others to heal and transform their lives. It seems that […]

Allowing Grief; Awakening New Possibilities

Where two rivers joined, I spotted a large dead Ponderosa pine which had fallen down a steep ravine on its side, half of its trunk submerged in the water. Carefully navigating my way down the ravine, I felt excited….This was the first day of my vacation and the tree was the perfect place for me to relax and meditate. As I lay down with my back fully supported by the trunk of the tree and my body soaking up the warmth of the sun, I dangled my feet in the water. The snow melt from the mountains was fresh and the water was freezing. I promptly removed them!

Surrounded by tall pine trees, their needles glistened in the sun, the sound of rushing water soothed my soul. Taking in the beauty all around me, my heart opened and tears welled up in my eyes. I witnessed the abundance, perfection, and grace in nature. The river flowed naturally without hesitation. Even though there were boulders and tree stumps in its path, it conformed and flowed around and over them, but never stopped. It crossed each obstacle with ease. There was no efforting, trying or resisting. It was simply and naturally BEING […]