Ishwari Sollohub, LPCC
Santa Fe and Los Alamos, New Mexico
While there are many ways of grieving the loss of someone we love, or something that has been vitally important to us, one thing is certain: our life changes. We begin a journey that can at times be difficult to navigate on our own. We might not understand our feelings or we may feel like we are on a roller coaster, not knowing how to deal with the strong emotions we are experiencing.
Maybe we aren't sure how to take care of ourselves or those around us during this time. Sometimes we just need someone to listen, to hear our story and let us express how we feel.
Grief is highly personal and I believe that each person who experiences a significant loss walks a unique path, with its own time-frame. I also believe that sometimes grief can be an opening into personal growth and transformation. It can be helpful to talk about your experience with someone who is not directly involved in the loss.
Through my own personal experience with the sudden death of a loved one, I have been inspired to work with others who find themselves facing the journey of grief. I offer caring and supportive grief counseling services in Santa Fe. I work with adults, children, couples and groups.
An Open Heart
As we find our way through grief, we are well advised to remember that a broken heart is an open heart. We only grieve what we have loved or needed, and although no one can avoid the fact of loss, we do have a choice about whether we keep our heart open and grow from the experience, or whether we close our heart tight, in an attempt to protect ourselves from the inevitable pain.
I wish you abiding love and caring support as you journey through this challenging time.
Types of Loss
There are many different types of loss:
There is no one "right" way to grieve. The territory is basically uncharted, and even when we have grieved before, each loss is unique and new.
In addition, some losses are more culturally sanctioned than others. When our loss and our subsequent grief are out of the ordinary, or disenfranchised, we may face additional challenges.
If you are interested in getting support for your process, either through one-on-one counseling or by joining others in a grief support group, please contact me. Phone sessions are available for those who are out of the area.
The following grief support groups are available in Santa Fe.
*Presbyterian Medical Services, The Hospice Center, 988-2211
*For death of spouse or partner: Meets 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Nine weekly sessions in Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Must register in advance. Call Owen Kunkle at 988-2211.
*For death of a parent or other loved one: Meets 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Nine weekly sessions in Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Must register in advance. Call Owen Kunkle at 988-2211.
* Southwestern Counseling Center grief support group: Meets 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays at 1628 St. Michael's Drive. Call 471-8575.
* Los Rios Hospice (Española) grief support group: Meets 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays at 835 Spruce St., Suite D. Call Dick Lumaghi at 747-2525.
* Support group for death of spouse or partner: Meets 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Claire Hall in Crispin Hall on the cathedral grounds, 131 Cathedral Place. Call Sr. Arlene Einwalter at 989-9974.
* AARP grief support group for widows: Meets at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in eight weekly sessions. Must register in advance. Call Lillian Alexander at 982-2736.
* Compassionate Friends support group for parents, grandparents and adult sibblings whose child has died at any age from any cause: Meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 1400 Chama Ave. Call Owen at 988-2211.
* Survivors of Suicide group for those grieving a suicide: Meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of the month at Southwestern Counseling Center, 1628 St. Michael's Drirve. Call Joan Murphy at 476-8238.
* Peri-natal Grief Support Group for those grieving miscarriage, still born, SIDS deaths. Call Dora Luceroat 471-5762 for time and location.
* Gerard's House, a safe place for grieving children, teens and families: Groups for different ages and concurrent support for adult family members. Meets at 3204-C Mercantile Court. Call 424-1800 for times and schedule.
Other grief resources are available through: