Podcast in Dutch: Rouwen en Vieren met Mirjam Schulpen

My passion for grief

“Mirjam gave a lot of space and warmth to get in touch with the pain that I was scared to get in touch with. She was very honest with her own struggles with grief.  I felt connected and safe throughout the entire workshop.”

If we mourn it is because we love. Grief is a door to love and vitality, to life itself. Supporting people through their mourning has been one of my passions for 20+ years.

Grief does not only happen after a dear person dies. Small and big losses happen every day. I have learned to recognize and welcome all types of grief, including the less obvious ones like my mourning about unmet needs during my childhood, or the distance I feel towards a familly member or friend, my grief about the world and about the parts in myself that I feel ashamed about. I have learned to show up and be present  with my pain without knowing upfront what will unfold.

These covid times are especially full of loss and ongoing change. Many people I know have grief and painful emotions stimulated by the current situation in the world. For me personally, the fact that I can’t hug or meet people for example is a very painful loss that I daily grieve.

The act of grieving together can feel like a wash of your system. Our mourning longs to be met with loving attention. It yearns for compassionate acknowledgment. To be accompanied when I share my pain can be a healing and tranformative experience, quite different from staying alone with it.

Grieving lightens our load and releases tension in our bodies. It is a powerful life skill and a practice that got lost in our modern society. This is why I enjoy offering sharing circles for grief and other compassioante spaces for mourning in community.

For years I did not know how to be with my grief, even though I was living with multiple loss. Simply because I had never learned how to mourn. I tried avoiding and denying it, pushing myself to move on and “function normally”. What I know now is that this does not make my grief go away. If I don’t allow myself to mourn, I can get stuck in my life: my blocked grief is actually blocking my joy, freedom and creativity. 

While living with loss and change on my path, I am always learning about grief and mourning in my own life.

I regularly offer workshops about grief and grief circles (in English, Spanish and Dutch). I also offer grief sessions to families, couples, friend groups and individuals.