Grief after loss of a child

Kathy Eldon, Parent With A Purpose, shares advice from personal experience for parents who have lost a child on how to cope with grief and turn that grief into a transformative process
Loss Of A Child - How To Turn Grief Into A Transformative Process
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Grief after loss of a child

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The most profound sense of grief that I have ever experienced lasted for a very long time after my son was killed. One day he was alive, and the next day, he was not alive. I went into the deepest state of grief that I could imagine being in. There was no hope of me ever being happy again. There was no hope of me ever being able to say his name again without crying. There was no hope of me ever seeing possibility or joy again in my life. For me, the only way out was to find my way through. Grieving is a very interesting thing. People say it's like the ocean, it comes and it goes. There is a little patch of time where you can pull yourself together, before it hits you again. The positive part of it is that it does lessen over time. For me, the only way I could really do anything, more than simply survive, was to transform it. To find or create meaning in his death. To nurture something in the same way I would nurture that child of mine. To nurture something else and to grow it. For some people, that could be a garden, a window box, a flower, or a tree. For me, it involved getting involved in the issue that killed my son; and later on, it was creating an organization that was celebrating people like my son. Everybody will find their own method, but I think it really helps to find something to pour that energy that would destroy you, or it can make you someone so amazing that you don't even recognize yourself. It's kind of a choice, eventually, to kind of implode or explode with possibility. Yes, possibility.

Kathy Eldon, Parent With A Purpose, shares advice from personal experience for parents who have lost a child on how to cope with grief and turn that grief into a transformative process

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Kathy Eldon

Parent with a Purpose and Founder & CEO, Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellesley College and has since worked as an art teacher, television presenter, magazine editor, journalist, media consultant and a television and film producer in Kenya, England and the United States. She has written seventeen books on a variety of subjects including Angel Catcher, a Journal of Loss and Remembrance; Soul Catcher: a Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are; and Love Catcher, a Journal to Invite more Love in Your Life, all published by Chronicle Books. The journals were co-authored with her daughter Amy, who is her partner in Creative Visions, a television and film production company.

Kathy was the Executive Producer of the 1999 Emmy nominated Turner Broadcasting two-hour documentary, Dying to tell the Story, about journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs, which was conceived of and presented by Amy Eldon. In l999 Kathy exec-produced a one-hour CNN documentary, Soldiers of Peace: A Children's Crusade, about the Colombian children's peace movement, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both films were distributed internationally to over 220 countries. Kathy's company also produced Lost in Africa, a family feature film distributed by Columbia Pictures internationally.

Kathy is currently producing a feature film about her son, artist and Reuters photographer Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death at the age of 22 in Somalia. In May, 2011, Kathy and Amy exec-produced, together with Julia Roberts, "Extraordinary Moms," a tribute to the power of mothers to change the world around them. Hosted by Julia Roberts, the special featured Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.

Kathy edited The Journey is the Destination, a collection of Dan's journal pages which was published by Chronicle Books. Kathy and Amy are co-founders of Creative Visions Foundation, which supports "creative activists" who use media and the arts to create positive change. Over the past 10 years the foundation has incubated more than 80 projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than 10 million people.

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