Where There is Life There is Hope
by Peg Beaton
Healing shares the personal story of a family’s journey through loss and grief to help others understand the grieving process and ultimately heal.
In February 1969, I was a young nun of 24, working in a residential school in Lejac, BC. I was asked to speak at the International Women’s Day of Prayer in the community of Fraser Lake. The topic was WORLD PEACE. After prayer and meditation about my presentation, I came to the realization that there would never be peace in the world until there was peace in the hearts of each of us. This was the beginning of my mission to be a facilitator of peace to people. My intention is that each person I come in contact with will be a little more at peace from our encounter.
Later that year, I left the convent after six years of religious life to pursue my mission as a layperson. Taking my daily meditation and yoga practices with me into my new way of life, I found a man who honoured who I was. We have now been together for 52 years. This led to having a family with all its joys and sorrows, losses and grief, challenges and growth.
In 1976, my life as a busy mother of three changed forever. Our 20-month-old son was diagnosed with leukemia and given two months to live. My husband and I embarked down an unpredictable path lined with emotions we did not understand or know how to deal with. Forty-four years later, our family has decided to share our story. My mission for peace became focused on our family.
I believe it is the story of many of us. We have a family and life takes over and each day we are presented with challenges for growth, individually and as a family. As we watched children dying all around us, the hospital was a place of overwhelming grief. This is something we knew nothing about. We waited our turn. There was so much emotion in us and we did not know what to do with it. I knew I could either react or respond, but at the same time we felt completely out of control. Healing: A Family’s Journey tells the rest of the story.
Over the years, in my counselling and coaching, I realized most issues come out of a loss. When I asked, “What have you lost?” the whole situation unravelled. When we are not aware that grief is a natural process like the seasons, we think there is something wrong with us. When we lose anything and I mean absolutely anything, if we observe our behaviour, we will see ourselves go from denial, to bargaining, to anger, and into depression or sadness. Just as the seasons move automatically from winter to spring to summer and fall, grief moves automatically through us. The problem is when we get stuck there because we do not know we must get to acceptance in order to move through this process and move on with living.
To move to acceptance, it is necessary to put ourselves at choice. We can stay in the emotional roller coaster of loss, or choose to accept it has happened and there is nothing we can or could have done about it. Each one of us will do this differently, but when we are aware of it happening, we can then manage it. We can get out of the STUCK behaviours if we understand what is going on.
I believe at this time in all of our lives we are experiencing more loss and grief than ever before in my history, and I was born during WW II. If we have not processed our grief over the years, our present situation falls on top of our unresolved grief and we are feeling ready to explode. I believe the time is NOW to understand what is happening in each of us, so we can be an instrument to bring PEACE to our world.
I have used our family’s story to detail our very personal journey with the hope of helping those suffering through losses, both big and small, to first understand and process the powerful emotion of grief. Then move into an acceptance stage to embrace a new direction filled with peace and joy. Included are chapter summaries and an appendix that provide valuable insight into the process of grief and empower those suffering to move from an existence fueled by fear and negativity into a state of positivity that welcomes peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Peg Beaton is a teacher, counsellor/coach, and healer who brings a wealth of experience to her writing. For the past 30 years, she has facilitated workshops and training/coaching sessions utilizing Peg’s “Keep It Simple Silly” method, that provides participants with practical, concrete tools and techniques to come to greater peace with themselves. Contacts: email@example.com or text (306) 621-3721, Facebook: Coaching for Life. Books are available in e-book, softcover, and hardcover at Balboa Press Bookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Audio book is coming.