Grief Counselor (with Pascale Vermont)

Some people don’t have a support system. Some people have people around them that give them the message that they have to be strong and get over it fairly quickly. So my role is really to make it okay to have all of these emotions.

Most of us live in a world where we, above all other things, value happiness.  Some people, like Buddhists, live in a world of non-attachment to good or bad.  Today’s guest, Pascale Vermont, has devoted her life to the opposite of all of this, getting up close and personal with the whole range of human emotions that fuel grief.  Sadness, anger, guilt, and anxiety are just some of the things that are a part of her daily life.  She’ll tell us why grief doesn’t have to have be something we avoid, and how we can navigate its treacherous waters.

I was really surprised and confounded that people were not comfortable talking about death.
My role [includes] educating people about the process of grief so that they don’t feel they’re going crazy with the multitude of emotions and thoughts and behaviors that they’re having.

Interview Contents

1:30 – Why Pascale got started with grief counseling.

3:15 – Allowing people to be sad.

3:40 – Helping people cope with grief.

6:50 – Guilt, sadness, anger, anxiety.

7:20 – The different ways grief can effect people.

9:20 – Returning to normal life.

13:25 – Working with expecting parents and parents who lose children.

18:30 – Volunteering with ‘actively dying’ patients that don’t have family.

22:15 – Establishing intimacy.

24:20 – Pascale’s personal care routine.

25:40 – Having a close relationship with sadness while not being enveloped by it.

27:00 – How being a grief counselor has changed Pascale.

28:50 – Seeing patients progress and being okay with moving forward.

31:00 – Advice for people dealing with grief.

Links

No One Dies Alone - Best to just google search this in your area as many hospitals have their own program under this name.

Blake Fletcher

San Francisco, CA

Livin it up!