There’s nothing like grief to take us completely out of the moment. We get pulled into the past where we try to remember everything we can while also ruminating over what we wish we had said or done differently. At the same time, we leap to the future, anticipating what events will be like without the person we are grieving.
Dr. Jessica Thomas, PhD, LMFT, who focused her dissertation research on using mindful photography with anticipatory grief, now helps people in grief explore this process of creating images as a way to ground themselves in the actual moment. Dr. Thomas is the president of the board of the NW Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support. She is also a professor at Lewis & Clark College and has a private psychotherapy practice supporting clients in grief, life transitions, and other challenges.
Back before you could ask Google anything from, “What’s the best way to clean shower grout?” to “How do I grieve my parent?” when it came to answering these kinds of questions, we turned to bookstores and libraries to search for answers. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, even if you did go looking for information about grief, you’d be more likely to find a dense, clinical textbook than something that could help you understand what you were going through. Then in 1994, Hope Edelman published her groundbreaking book, Motherless Daughters. A book that spoke to thousands of women grieving their mothers. Brennan Wood, Executive Director of The Dougy Center, was one of those readers. Soon after the release of Motherless Daughters, Hope and Brennan met for the first time on the Leeza Gibbons daytime talk show. Twenty-five years later they’re together again for a conversation about being motherless daughters who grew up to be motherless mothers.
Learn more about Hope's writing and work.