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By: Dr. Mari Dias
“It takes time to figure out
Who you are and what feels right
All the mistakes they didn’t break us down
It’s good to know, you’re not alone
Doesn’t this feel like home?
You know that I know
We’ve never been here before…
Doesn’t it feel like home?” (‘Home’ reprinted by permission Dean Petrella and The Complaints)
The non-fiction book of grievers’ memoirs entitled “GriefSpeak: Stories of Loss, Volume 1” has found a permanent home (https://amzn.to/2O4K0Qu). My weekly articles have been renting space on RINewsToday.com for the past two years. I am beyond indebted to Nancy Thomas for inviting me to speak to, for, and about grief to the Rhode Island community. This book is a compilation of my first year of articles in a thematic presentation. My client’s words are like fireflies tossed among the universe to be shared with all who choose to read. To trust a stranger with your deepest pain, your most profound stories and poignant memories is a difficult task. I applaud my clients in trusting me with their stories and to share with the world.
Many of the stories included will resonate with readers, as reading them makes us feel like we have company in our loss experiences. In addition, the stories allow us a mechanism to connect with others.
I know how powerful personal narratives can be. Telling your story is referred to as “narrative therapy”. Reading others’ stories, particularly in a group, encourages dialogue and the sharing of thoughts is called “bibliotherapy.” I facilitated a bibliotherapy program in Men’s Maximum Security at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections for twelve years. I am a first hand witness to the power of this method, as it alleviates the initial anxiety of narrating our own story by responding to similar stories. Eventually our own raw, visceral responses are a potent way of dealing with grief – other’s stories normalize our own narrative.
This book is a beneficial addition to any grief group, private practice or classes in grief and loss. The stories promote and encourage conversations, which are essential as we all need to speak our grief.
As one book reviewer/author, Gabrielle Doucet, stated:
“While grieving and loss is a universal experience, it is also an extremely personal one. Through these writings, Dr. Mari Dias gives the opportunity to view grief through the eyes of others on the same difficult journey any one of us might encounter. Each discussion in the series describes, with compassion, the possibility of facing grief, and healing the body, mind and spirit at the same time. Done this way, it is an especially thoughtful application for today.”
I included the lyrics to “Home” because this book provides a home for all of us. I figured out who I am by writing this book and it certainly feels right. We have all made mistakes, experience regrets, but we are never alone. Reading this book will make you feel that although you’ve never been here before, it feels like home.
Mari Nardolillo Dias
Dr. Mari Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.
She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI. For more information, go to: http://gracepointegrief.com/