Bereaved But Still Me

Grief as a Lifelong Process

October 03, 2019 Hannah Sherebrin Season 3 Episode 10
Bereaved But Still Me
Grief as a Lifelong Process
Bereaved But Still Me
Grief as a Lifelong Process
Oct 03, 2019 Season 3 Episode 10
Hannah Sherebrin

Hannah Sherebrin returns on this episode of Heart to Heart with Michael to talk with him about how she has learned to process her grief through art. With a very traumatic event occurring in her childhood, surviving the Holocaust, she has come to realize the effects of trauma on the human psyche and how people need to process their past trauma before they can process any new grief they may experience.

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Show Notes Transcript

Hannah Sherebrin returns on this episode of Heart to Heart with Michael to talk with him about how she has learned to process her grief through art. With a very traumatic event occurring in her childhood, surviving the Holocaust, she has come to realize the effects of trauma on the human psyche and how people need to process their past trauma before they can process any new grief they may experience.

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spk_0:   0:00
it's a matter off being able to be compassionate, being able to say what you have to say, but also listen to what the other person has to say.

spk_3:   0:13
Way Welcome friends to the third Season of Heart to Heart with Michael Program for the brief community. Our purpose is to have power members of our community this'll season. We're taking a longer view of grief. Can we find healing? Can we find peace? Today's show is grief as a lifelong process. We're happy to welcome back. Our previous guest on the show, Carl will tell us about her own journey, grief and the foundation that she works with. Donna Share Bread is the retired director of the Art Craft Studio of the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She moved to Israel in 1997 where she continues to work as an art therapist in private practice, dealing mainly with trauma, frequent and depression with populations. She supervises practicum students and other art therapists and leans art therapy support groups of parents whose Children have died in terrorist activities and in the Army. Hannah has presented numerous international and national conferences in Canada, Israel and the United States. She's published articles in magazines and book chapters served on the executive committee of the Ontario are their association and is currently the immediate past vice president of God. It's really Creative Arts Therapies Association resides both in Israel and in Canada. She serves as chair of the registration Supervision, the Ontario our Therapy Association. Can I thank you for coming back to heart to heart with Michael? We're very, very happy. Restoring was so exciting, so riveting that midway through we decided to turn

spk_4:   1:43
this into two parter, a decision I will not regret.

spk_0:   1:46
Thank you. Thank you. I hope you won't.

spk_4:   1:49
As a quick recap. You came here in the 19 forties from Romania, which is in itself an incredible story. And if anybody makes that, they should go back and check out. Last month you were the youngest of four Children. You came here to Israel at a very young age. As that war ended, Israel's war for independence began and very much in the last moments of that war he lost your body. Where along the line did you realize now, between 70 years ago and now that you had not processed your grief for your brother

spk_0:   2:22
Well, um, I actually did process the grief. And you, um doesn't matter how many times you think that you did process the grief When you have something new coming up some new trauma, then somehow you need to go back. And I learned that very, very much on my own skin. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I waas 45 years old and I decided at that time already Waas ah wasn't our therapist. And I already worked at the University of Western Ontario and I decided to go to one off. My mentors was very well known, Arthur pissed in London, Ontario, and process my new ah, grief with her about about my fear with with what will happen with with, um, multiple sclerosis. And, uh, you know, I had friends that have known that have, ah, really their life as it was before ended. And so I was really scared. My husband hugged me and said that he'll never leave me, and that was that was a very nice thing. And, uh, and a you know, who's something that that I appreciated, but I really wanted to process it. So I went back to Irene dude, Me and, um, she like, um, like the wonderful therapist she was asked me to draw a picture off my family. Well, at that point, I had three Children. They were fairly, fairly well grown, and I had my own family, and I concentrated on drawing on pretty well showing her that I know how to draw. And I didn't pay attention to what I'm drawing. And when I finished drawing what I actually did waas me as a young child sitting on my mother's lap, my father sitting beside us and a decide my brother with his kit back, standing on the side the same way as I remember him from the last time I've seen him saying goodbye to him before he went back to the Army, I was shocked. Yeah, I really was shocked. And that's when Irene turned to me and said, You always have to go back to the last trauma and continue and finish processing that before you continue and process the new trauma, not

spk_4:   5:26
just for the people who didn't catch it last week. That's about 40 years after you died. You made a picture of you on your parents will happen and everything, and he's off to the side. So clearly you haven't brought him back in yet.

spk_0:   5:41
Not large is that my sister was not in the picture. And that was very, very, uh, obvious because she really never was in the picture for me. So it's all of these things that, you know, they come out, they come on the paper, they come out without us realising, and these is a power off arts. This is the power of our therapy because it bypasses our conscious thoughts off. You know, all the time when we speak, we actually unconsciously say, Oh, no, that I don't need to say yes that I do need to say maybe I shouldn't say that. And so on and so forth when we put down something on the paper, it's just is down. Ah, and and then we can look at and figure out why and how we put it down. Now every new trauma that happens does the same thing. It opens us up again. So you have to find a way off putting it back in a in a place to put yourself back together somehow so that you can actually, um live with yourself and create. It's not as if you know, people say Get over a trauma, You never get over

spk_3:   7:05
this. You could just take it with

spk_0:   7:05
you. You incorporated somehow and you put it within your life in a certain place, in a certain way. So sometimes it's a little bit in the foreground. Sometimes it's a little bit in the background. Sometimes you don't see it. Sometimes you see it. And sometimes you remember things that come to light sometimes in your regular life, day to day life.

spk_4:   7:32
Well, then I'm gonna last with something because I feel that now I'm assuming that I haven't someway processed or continuing to press us my own grief from 6.5 years. And sometimes I feel it. And sometimes I don't know. It comes in waves, but you're talking about some 40 years plus minus after your loss. Had you not done this, I mean to go back in, you must have processed something. Then in some way

spk_0:   7:57
off course, you do off course you're pro cess off course, but you'll remember what I said about the crayon box. You put the box back together. It's never going to be the same as it was before, and we're not that

spk_4:   8:12
where it comes. We're to get the need to go back and re process for years.

spk_0:   8:17
When you when you get a new 12 as a new trauma is like giving the box again a bank from the bat from the back, huh? So everything spills out again.

spk_4:   8:32
So everything you've done, you have to go through again.

spk_0:   8:35
So you have to reorganize yourself. It's not necessarily everything you've done, but you've no already, in a way howto gather it up because you've done it before. So you're not new at it, so it's perhaps more familiar. It's like riding a bicycle. You never forget how to ride a bicycle. But But, you know, if you fall off a bicycle, you get back on and

spk_4:   9:07
there's that moment of rebuilding. Sure,

spk_0:   9:09
and if you fall again, you again have to remember how you got back on the bicycle again. But maybe it's a little easier. Maybe you're basically remember, because you remember that you've done it before, so it's a life. I actually have to

spk_4:   9:28
go through this. We have to repress us this on a regular basis all the time,

spk_0:   9:33
right? Right As

spk_4:   9:35
I, you know, we tend to be more hopeful a man on this program,

spk_0:   9:39
I think I think it's very hopeful. I disagree with you. I think it's very hopeful because what it says is that now we understand. And we know that from our past experience that there is life, that we can do it, that everything is that, that we can, that we have good experiences from after and we can rely on those. And we can say I've been able to do it before I could do it again. No,

spk_4:   10:10
I love that because almost every single episode this year we always come around to post traumatic growth. Yes, it has become a theme that we didn't expect would be a theme. But here we are again, and I think that's great. I take back what I said. I think that may be one of the most helpful things we've heard here in a long time. Is that your ability to experience trauma and put yourself back together again? It becomes more natural because more part of who you are, Zephyr

spk_0:   10:42
absolutely fair and not only fair, it really makes you grow from it and become a different person in it. And perhaps, in my opinion, I mean, not everybody has to agree with me, but a better person because you learn more compassion, you learn more to listen. You learn more to realize that that people other people go through doesn't matter. If it's your trauma, you don't you don't judge somebody else's trauma. You don't remember hair. You don't compare your trauma to somebody else's trauma because everyone's trauma

spk_1:   11:29
is a very, very personal single. But it does make you more resilient every time, absolutely Forever, by the Baby Blue Sound collective. I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patient's

spk_3:   11:59
many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired. Our new album will be available on iTunes amazon dot com. Spotify.

spk_1:   12:09
I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with heart defects.

spk_3:   12:15
Enjoy music

spk_1:   12:16
Home tonight forever.

spk_2:   12:22
Hi, my name is Jaime Al Croft, and I just published my new book, The Tin Man Diaries. It's an amazing story of my sudden change of heart as I went through a heart liver transplant. I can think of no better way to read the Tin Man diaries than to cuddle up in your favorite hearts. Unite the Globe sweatshirt and your favorite hot beverage, of course, in your hearts Unite Blow mug, both of which are available. The hug podcast network, online store or visit hearts unite theglobe dot

spk_1:   12:54
You are listening to heart to heart with Michael. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on Michael's program, please email him at Michael at heart to heart with michael dot com. Now back to our program

spk_4:   13:09
kind of tell us about the foundation that does retreats and the work that you do.

spk_0:   13:14
What's the the the Kobi Mandel Foundation. It was founded by the mother off Coby Mandel, mother and father really off Coby Mandel, who was a 14 year old boy who was killed. He and his friend are where we're walking around a body, and they were caught and killed by some terrorists and and ah, the his mother wrote a book were very, very nice book. Ah, the blessing off a broken heart, which I recommend. And the foundation is dealing with Children and youth, off bereaved families from from terrorist attacks and for bereaved mothers whose Children were lost and, um, and whose husbands were killed. A swell. So some off these retreats have gone have bean going all in different places in the country. Whenever they have enough money, they take a certain number off women. Ah, usually around 25 to sometimes even more to a hotel, Um, and treat them to a nice time. That's in some cases is the first time that they were able to leave their family and and have something done and be just with themselves and treat himself. And they are. Usually it's for two days and they get all the meals and the rest, and they have. They meet each other. They learn they have a, uh, social worker. A Yum is a psychologist, a, um, art therapist, which show was myself a movement and dance therapists and massage therapist? Because some off these women have not had anybody really deal with ah you know, hugged them or or touch them or and it's it's it's a very important thing. Massage is very important and it's they They each get a treatment. And, uh, we have we have groups. Now, um, these groups are a beginning, really get together and start off something that will happen later when they have support groups that meet fairly regularly once a month or something like that in various places in the country. Uh, I think that is a wonderful, wonderful way off bringing people together and giving them time to, um, actually start processing. It usually takes people 456 months after the event and not not right off right soon after to come together and start processing. Now, these people usually get some individual support. An individual therapy, a TTE home beforehand. But but they know they don't really, um, get to know other people. And this is a very important part that they see other people that are going through something similar to what they're going through. It's never exactly the same. But if you know that there is a saying Hebrew, I don't know how you translate it. Maybe you can translate it. Surat Rabin had seen the Kama

spk_4:   17:13
means group troubles are only half of ah consolation. The truth is, you can't really know what the other people going to. The best you can do is share or maybe empathize. And it's nice to know that other people are listening. It's nice to know that other people understand you, but it also takes into account that everybody's loss is personal. And as much as we have certain lines within ourselves and with our friends and neighbors that are similar, we can relate. But we can't fully understand

spk_0:   17:44
correct, but we can. We are listened to because these people know somewhat off what we're going through. And so it cuts through these some process that if we go with friends and people, other people around, um, something, we have these feeling that people don't want to listen any more. When you were together with a group of people that their whole purpose of getting together is to actually be able to tell their story and to listen to somebody else's story. That is a very important, um, support.

spk_4:   18:29
I think just you know, we've all been there when people say, Well, get on already, you know, thanks. That's not really supporting people, but when you're going to a place where everybody is there to talk, then everybody is also their toe. Listen, that's right.

spk_0:   18:42
You also have a framework to say this is the time that we have. So let's make sure that we don't, um, take up all the time. And we are at also letting somebody else use the time. It's a matter off being able to be compassionate, being able to say what you have

spk_1:   19:07
to say, but also listen to what the other person has to say.

spk_2:   19:12
I was five hours old lying at my first surgery.

spk_1:   19:16
The only advice I could really give someone like that is to be there for your family.

spk_2:   19:21
This is life and you have to read the meter. Live it or you sit in a corner and cry.

spk_1:   19:25
I am in a Gorski and the host of Heart to Heart with Anna. Join us on Tuesdays at noon Eastern time on Speaker R Block talk radio. We'll cover topics of importance for the congenital heart defect community. Remember, my friends, you are not alone.

spk_3:   19:42
If you've enjoyed listening to this program, please visit our website hearts. Unite the globe dot or GE and make a contribution. This program is a presentation of hearts. Unite the Globe, and it's part of the Hug Podcast Network are tonight. The Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resource is to the congenital heart defect community to educate and power and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resource is pertaining to the CHD community, please visit our website at congenital Heart defects dot com for information about CHD hospitals that treat CHD survivors, summer camps for CHD families and much, much

spk_1:   20:18
more. You are listening to heart to heart with Michael. If you have a question or comment that you would like a dressed on our program, please send an email to Michael even at Michael at heart to heart with michael dot com. Now back toe heart to heart with Michael

spk_4:   20:38
How This has really been a fascinating program, and I really like the way that you talk about grief is a lifelong process. I think those of us who are on Lee six or seven years in may not have realized that, and I think it's important that we will get that perspective. So what advice would you give to any of our listeners? But how they can refocus their analysis of their grief to make more positive experience where they, too can grow stronger, become more resilient.

spk_0:   21:04
It's a very, very difficult question because each individual has their own way of their own. Resilience is. However, having said that, there are some things that we really can do. Um, we can learn to be more focused. We can learn Toby truly be in the moment on learning to look at what we have and working with what we have. A look at what we can actually give, what we can share, what we can give to others, even just to being there, even sending a note saying, You know, we're with you even something small like that gets it gets us away from just concerning ourselves with ourselves and the other thing is resilience. Each one of us has different ways, different things, off kinds of resilience, and we have to find and and see what our resilience is. Are some with some people. I know that if they are, if they're upset, they can go for a long walk and and they can get back to their rhythm. Ah, are they can they can go to the gym or they can swim. I mean, I use water a lot. I love I love water. I remember the person who was so upset and so so much in the hospital in the they thought he's going to be dying and he immersed himself in in funny films and laughter and jokes. I mean, if that's what you need, Music is something that people like, but something outside off yourself that will bring you some some joy, a swell something that a will give somebody else joy, somebody else. Um Ah, help. And something that will give you some help, some joy, something to actually soothe and improve your feeling off, being alive and being, you know, active.

spk_4:   23:36
We need to open up and be aware of a We're not alone in this world as much as we think we might be at that moment and be there is a certain existence that requires us to come out of that shell. If you laid it out perfectly, he said that you have to sort of come out of yourself and be less self centered and move into the world on. I think that's a great thing. A lot of people. That's where they have trouble. A lot of people well, tell me the first year they couldn't even get out of bed. And now suddenly,

spk_0:   24:03
yes, well, they sing. Is it that if they have somebody besides them that will tell them, let's go and do something? I really realized that you cannot get out of bed, but let's do something in your bed. Maybe let's watch together a funny movie. Um, in the beginning, maybe it might sound really terrible, but people get into it. And you, you get out of yourself reading. I know that, for example, I read all kinds off. Ah, reality things. But then, sometimes I like to read detective stories

spk_4:   24:49
right, because it's just,

spk_0:   24:50
you know, but it's just it's just it's just completely, completely takes my mind into something completely different Eyes may with something completely different.

spk_4:   25:03
I think it's the natural cycle of humans to want to be in a more positive way. They want to be happy. I mean, that's just that's why there are so many humans on the way. We want to be happy, even if we think we don't want to. We need to be and we need to bring ourselves back into a place where the world is OK, you're

spk_0:   25:21
going, you're going. You're going into a philosophical thing off. What is happiness And and, you know, I don't think that that the program is ah is the capacity of the program is to start. Ah, the philosophy of happiness. We need to connect. Yeah, we need Toby. We need we need connection. Different people connecting different ways right on. But we do all have this need for connection because we we learn from from the person that we connect for with the the mother child, or the caregiver and child, the child learns how they are connected through the person that they connect with. Yeah, I

spk_4:   26:14
think so. You will never sell him other people.

spk_0:   26:16
It's It's the connection, and we need We are built to have that kind of connections on when we are when we are in a in a totally, um, deep grieving situation. We're alone and we don't We can't wait. We get really, really sick if we're alone. So we need to be creative, really need to create because we're creatures off creation were created and we are created Toby Creative were in the image, right? So the image is creation. So we have this need for creation within ourselves and the need for contact.

spk_4:   27:08
Well, can I want to tell you that of all the conversations I've had with all the people over the last 2.5 years, this has been one of the most eye opening, uh, fascinating conversations about the meaning of life and who we are and what it means to be human in a way that I have not for a very long time. Experience. I want to thank you kind of Sherbourne for sharing your life and your passion for art and the foundation that you work with and so much more with us. It's been a terrific ride, so thank you so much for being here. Thank you. I'd like to remind everybody to please join us again at the beginning of a month for a brand new podcast. I'll talk with the soon until then, please remember, moving forward is not moving away. Thank you. We'd like to thank our patrons. Dancy Jensen, that producer of this program, and Vicky Lucas. You too can be a patron of our program just like joining Patriot on P A T R E o

spk_3:   28:03
n. Www dot patriot dot com slash heart to heart. And you, too could be a patient of heart to heart with Michael.

spk_1:   28:13
Thank you again for joining us. We hope you have gained strength from listening to our program. Heart to Heart with Michael can be heard every Thursday at noon Eastern time. We'll talk again next time when we'll share more stories.