Q. I AM IN CRISIS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A. If you are in crisis, call 1.800.273.8255. This is the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free 24-hour hotline.
If you are having a personal emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Outside of the U.S., please call your nearest hospital for local resources.
We are not qualified to offer psychological or emergency assistance. We support you in getting that assistance from trained professionals.
This website is a resource for educational and informational purposes only and should not take the place of a skilled therapist or emergency services. We are in no way responsible for the actions of those visiting this site, reading the material, receiving emails or participating in online groups.
Q. IS MY INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVATE?
A. YES! We will never sell, share or otherwise give away your information.
Q. HOW DOES THE 30-Day online course for grieving people on "Self expression" work?
A. We will send you an email confirming your registration in the 30-day session and instructions. You will be invited to a Facebook Secret Group that will act as our forum for the community aspect of the work together - we call this the TRIBE.
Each day, for 30 days, you will be emailed a SIMPLE project to encourage self-expression related to your loss(es).
You can share your work and your experience in the TRIBE. We moderate that group to ensure that the exchanges remain safe and loving. No "cross-talk" or advise is given without you asking for it, instead compassion, encouragement and witness are offered.
Participants in the TRIBE may be repeating so there will be a mix of seasoned people and new people.
Q. WHAT RESULTS SHOULD I EXPECT FROM the 30-Day Online Course for Grieving People: "Self-Expression Tribe"?
A. If we were to promise you anything we would likely be snake oil sales. Grief is a tricky opponent. Participating in a group or doing projects will never remove all the pain, solve the dilemma that death causes or "fix" anything. I am VERY sensitive to grieving people and the fact that there are a lot of people who take advantage of their very normal and understandable desire for easy or quick relief.
However. There is something that we observe that grows in such work and it might be defined as "personal power." People start to be empowered by their stories, they are empowered as their isolation is broken and we see freedom of heart unleashed for many who engage in this kind of work. This kind of work, particularly in tandem with therapy, group counseling or in-person grief support can have remarkable results.
Q. WHAT KIND OF GRIEF or losses DO YOU ALLOW IN THE GROUP?
A. Unlike other kinds of leaders, we are grief generalists. That is because we ourselves have experienced a wide range of losses and have sat with numerous grievers over the years. We want to hear from you if you have lost anyone you have been emotionally bonded to: spouses, life-partners, romantic relationships ("official" or not), mentors, parents, children, partners, friends, family members. This may be through illness, accident or suicide or be unsolved. Also, this kind of work can be extremely powerful for those experiencing fertility issues, miscarriage and still-births.
Your bonds with the departed might feel positive or negative and there is no judgement here. Grief can be a really rough go, especially if aspects or the whole of it has never been acknowledged or are complicated with other feelings. Your personal power awaits you.
People that have experienced multiple losses, particularly at the same time, are welcome. Sometimes experts call that: "complicated grief." We just see the grief of our ancestors, it is nothing that surprises us.
We prefer to be grief generalists because we observe that our ancestors did not cordon themselves into such micro-groupings as moderns do. Moderns start breaking into age groups in day-care and preschool, start breaking into socio-economic groups by geography and so on. Then, in grief, we keep groupings of age, socio-economic and circumstance. We believe that the culture is less rich for it.
If grief will ever be culturally understood... it will need to travel outside of secretive places, through smaller cohort groups and eventually be carried by powerful people who speak their truth out into the general public. We are seeding the latter.
But, you do not have to be there yet, or even have a vision or dream for that. No worries.
Q. DO I NEED TO BE SEEING A THERAPIST WHILE IN THE GROUP?
A. Not all participants will need a therapist because all people are different and all losses are different. As well, technically, there is no way for us to verify that you are under psychological oversight. We would highly recommend having qualified, in-person support appropriate to your concerns, even if it is a short-term course of therapy. We highly recommend EMDR for a short-term course of therapy for any post-traumatic aspects to your loss(es). We do not make recommendations for therapists in specific, but we are deeply in the grief community and may know of other mentors for you. We also encourage you to Google search for in-person grief support groups, though we have seen some amazing ones and some terrible ones.
Q. IS THIS GROUP ONLY ABOUT DEATH - WHAT ABOUT OTHER KINDS OF LOSSES?
A. Not all participants have the same losses but we are all working on issues around existentialism and impermanence. That is to say - yes, it is about death and humanity at it's source. That is why we have the name - Alive and Mortal.
You are welcome to translate the prompts into something relevant for you.
Q. WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE GROUP?
A. Amazing human support, It is not group therapy. It is a tribe, in the most true sense of the word, and since this has altogether fallen out of our culture we do not know how to reckon it. Try it.
Q. DO I NEED TO DO THIS PROMPT THING EVERY DAY?
A. No. That is the short answer.
The prompts will all strike you differently. Some will be in your "wheel house" and some will make you angry (perhaps). Some will confuse you.
If you show up and participate, trust the process and trust your process, the cumulative affect will likely be positive.
Q. How much time DO I NEED TO DO THIS PROMPT THING EVERY DAY?
A. Experience shows that the short answer is: 10 minutes. The long answer - is as long as you want.
Q. Is it required to eb ON FACEBOOK OR PARTICIPATE IN THE GROUP? I AM CONCERNED ABOUT IT.
A. No. That is the short answer.
The TRIBE is on Facebook and it starts as a private group and it turned into a secret group. Once the group is secret, that means that no one can find the group or see it. Some people also create an anon or alias Facebook account with the sole purpose of participating in the group.
You can also write from the prompts on your own without being part of TRIBE group.
You may ask if you can share these prompts with another group, such as another online or in-person support group. WE ASK THAT YOU NOT VIOLATE THE TERMS OF OUR CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.
Q. WHERE DID YOU GET THESE exercises AND PROMPTS?
A. Some of these exercises are direct borrows, some are mash-ups. We have gotten to work with some exceptional people - specifically have to thank Becky Jones who was trained up in the Amherst Method, Lynda Barry who is an amazing role model and mentor, Francis Weller who has tapped into the ancient gates of grief, and many expressive arts therapists along the way.
Q. Whoops! I changed my mind or i can't participate right now - can i cancel and get a refund?
A. We cannot offer refunds. We offer a lion-share of the content up-front and therefore we cannot refund money for what has already been provided to you. We run a really tight and affordable ship here. In the case of emergencies, hospitalization, etc we will take a petition letter to committee. Thank you for understanding.
Consider giving your purchase to a friend or family member who will benefit from this opportunity. Or consider giving it as a scholarship to someone who is financially challenged. We maintain a list of folks hoping for a scholarship.