Lesleigh Tolin is an advanced Grief Recovery Specialist. She has twelve years of professional hospice experience and it has been a dream to help others with end-of-life challenges having experienced an inordinate amount of loss on her own. It’s now her personal mission to work with adults internationally who have been impacted by emotional loss either current or past to transform their pain into power. Her Grief Recovery Method is the only evidence and action-based program for healing from grief in our nation.
Lesleigh shares that at the start of her journey, she was dealing with her grief by seeking out different coping skills but it was after being introduced to the method that she uses today with her clients that her life was changed. She was able to process the pain. It was then that she wanted to give back and began teaching this method to others. Lesleigh now serves her community internationally!
We discuss that as women in midlife we have walked quite a journey and perhaps when first reaching out to a grief specialist, they may be coming for one instance but in the end, there may be a discovery of more underlying grief that has not yet been acknowledged. Lesleigh shares a great analogy of wearing a backpack when you are born and through the years accumulating more grief and putting it away until finally you are unable to deal with the amount of grief and need to seek help.
Lesleigh walks us through the definitions of grief:
Grief is the natural and reaction to loss.
Grief is the conflicting mass of emotions that we each feel when anything familiar changes
Grief is reaching out to someone who has always been there for us and they are no longer there for us ( either physically or emotionally )
When grieving, it doesn’t always need to be about something sad. It can also be about something good.
Lesleigh makes sure that each of her clients they feel that they feel safe, seen, and secure in their heart-to-heart discussions each week. It’s a place where they can communicate about those lost expectations, hopes, or dreams.
We discuss the six common myths in our culture surrounding grief and our conversation highlights all six of the myths. One common myth is “give it time”. Lesleigh gives a wonderful explanation as to how time does not heal grief and that action within time heals. Not just time it’s action within time.
Lesleigh goes on to share how to comfort someone when you don’t know what to say at the moment when someone you love is grieving. It’s simple but effective and will speak from your heart.
Lesleigh’s introductory program is an eight-week program in which she leads 1:1 support and a book from John James: The Greif Recovery Handbook. The client would receive the book, worksheets and then meet weekly with Lesliegh to begin walking together on this journey. This is a structured, compassionate and experiential process that has therapeutic effects. At the end of eight weeks, you have an emotional toolbox so they can process any future loss.
We discuss the importance of doing this work with a guide because it can be stressful, exciting, and challenging. Lesleigh is there for you each week and in-between sessions so if something comes up and you need support she will be there for you to process your thoughts and emotions.
Lesleigh goes on to share a client’s story and how they were able to transform their life by going through this process. It’s a beautiful story and is a testimte to her work with others.
Lesleigh found this calling at the age of seventy! She believes in youth- ing and not aging and we continue to discuss those stories that women may tell themselves in midlife that they are “too old” to try something new and find their passion and purpose in life!
It’s never too late to begin a journey that’s expressive of your heart! There is only this moment and life is short!