Grief, the teacher none of us wanted

Since announcing this grief workshop, I’ve heard so many grief stories – “my son died twenty years ago and I’m ready to write”…this is the anniversary of my beloved mother’s death”…”I wasn’t sad my father died, can I write about that?” Yesterday someone called me to say their child’s mental illness brought a different kind of grief – grieving the person her son used to be. We not only grieve for our loved ones, we also grieve personal losses like illness and disability,  and everything that comes with aging.

Honoring and celebrating the past has significant restorative power. Being proactive about remembering loved ones no longer with us, or no longer with us in the same way, makes us stronger. Through writing we learn nostalgia is one of grief’s best antidotes for healing.

 

Grief is not a psychological disorder,

an illness to be cured,

or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual journey.

The best antidote for grief is to write about it together.

Laura & Nancy’s workshop

 

Laura and Nancy are teaming together to bring their many years of working with writers in grief to this 3-day course, developed by both women, and taught together.

Laura’s book Freeing the Turkeys addresses grief throughout (her mother, father, best friend and love of her life at age twenty-three), and her grief essays have been reprinted in numerous publications. Her groundbreaking course – Grief through the Hero’s Journey was taught for three consecutive years with author and therapist Debbie Augenthaler. 

Nancy London’s long awaited new essay book The Ripening: Essays on Love, Loss, Marriage and Aging is a book that begins with the early loss of her father at age twelve, and continues to explore personal and ancestral grief and how opening to grief is the path to love. Nancy’s background includes more than a decade as a hospice social worker, and now as a grief therapist,

 

“All sorrow can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.


― Isak Dinesen
 

Example of topics explored in the 3-session writing exploration:

Week One: The Event (The Call)

Grief begins with a phone call, an accident, a communication or a slow, expected ending. However grief comes to you, it comes with a call that forever changes your life. There are moments of shock and disbelief or a reckoning as our lives go on forever changed. Poet Debra Marquart writes  that long moment
before the words come,
the difference between
the way it was
and the way
it will be.

Homework: What people say – and what people don’t say

Week Two: The Wake of Grief

In this class we will explore our new world of without – what has changed and what has stayed the same. What has been disrupted and what adjustments had to be made.  

Homework:  Gathering items we would like to place on the altar for writing for the third session. Nancy London will guide us through what is on her altar.

Writing homework: Good memories 

Integration and Honoring.  

We carry the wisdom of a broken heart, the kindess and compassion.  We also carry the grief of our ancestors. In this class we will honor the loss and show how we become the light in the world and compassionately sit with others who are grieving. It’s an illusion to think we get over grief – it’s never over, but we reenter the world as the holders of grief, with a profound capacity for joy.  We become in awe at the beauty of the world, while holding our grief.

Homework: Write a letter to their loved one or the person they used to be.

 

 

 

Writing through inspiration

while exploring craft  

The way we experience story is evolving with the language needed for the world we live inside. By participating in this live 6-week class series, you will have the opportunity to explore your story through the lens of love. 

LEARN IN A SMALL, LIVE GROUPS

Rick Rubin wrote “the synergy of a group is as important if not more important than the talent of the individuals.” Joining this writing community is like joining a group of beginning and published  writers who support and nurture each other’s creative process. Each week, writers take the live online (or in person on Kauai) class with the same 10 writers from all over the world,  writing together and sharing  stories in a 2 1/2 to three hour class.

What occurs weekly in each group is the most magical experience writers have had in groups anywhere.

Writers work closely together for six weeks, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s creative growth.

If anyone has to miss a week, they can audit the class with another live group on any day of the week, or opt to receive the class via Power Point.  Writers learn from the curriculum, but also from the positive  feedback received from other writers.  When we focus on what is good in writing, we develop an ear for inviting more of what is good.

CREATE CONTENT FOR A BODY OF WORK

This three-day course is helpful also if you are working on a book, blog, poetry or a series of essays.  It’s a wonderful way to explore an event and learn how step by step to be in a deeper discovery for yourself and the readers.

Every writer in this group is respected and honored, so that not just the story is honored, but the whole process of writing a story or poem.

Many of our students have gone on to publication through this process of writing every week, and many of our writers are authors writing beside writers who are new to the practice. We all learn from each other’s work each week, and this course will help every writer go deeper to gain new perspectives for the sake of creating compelling work and upleveling the craft of storytelling and poetry.

 

INSPIRATION TO WRITE BOLD

This three-day series has been developed to inspire writers to go deeper into their personal truths and philosophies, by looking at memoirs breaking literary rules and inspiring us to explore the canvas of our grief through inspiring techniques and writing prompts.

Writers receive literary inspiration from science philosophy, spirituality on a theme each week, followed by writing warmups in the form of list making. Pre-writing exercises lead us into a longer thirteen minute write.

After we write, we share our stories and deeply listen with positive feedback.  Writers become part of a private Facebook writing community with other writers taking the same curriculum, where all writers have the opportunity to post their work and receive and offer feedback throughout the six week course.

Osho says, “When you listen attentively to somebody, you forget yourself. If you cannot forget yourself, you never listen. When you listen, you become just a passage, a passivity, a receptivity, a womb.” 

 

 

Educator: Laura Lentz, author

Laura Lentz is the author of  Freeing the Turkeys and STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. Laura teaches creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for over a decade. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by list making, poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura creates the curriculum for the 6-week writing workshops also taught by Guest Teachers.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference, and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.

Educator: Nancy London, author

Friday Online

4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

. Class is 2 1/2 hours

Saturday Online 

11:30  PST / 2:30 p.m. EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –

$325.00

Sunday Online 

11:30 am PST /  2:30 p.m. EST

Class is 2 1/2 hours –