Here's a wonderful pearl from Janet Childs, who recently conducted a workshop on burnout prevention for mental health professionals:
I am a grandmother who works in the Grief counseling and Critical Incident Stress fields. I have, over the past 35 years, had the honor of working with many people facing serious illness, grief, and loss. One of my incredible clients, also a grandmother, shared this concept of loss and grief with me. It is called the Heart Hotel. She was a homeless woman who had sustained multiple losses of family members and friends, including 2 sons and a husband.
Her quote: My heart is like a hotel. Everyone that I love has a room in my heart hotel. When someone dies or goes away, no one can replace their room in my heart hotel. I am like Mrs. Winchester, of the Winchester Mystery House, in that I can add rooms to my heart as I meet new people to love. This is what I do with the empty rooms: I fill them up with the love, memories, and good times, that even death or loss cannot take away. It becomes a treasure forever, reminding me that love never dies.
And that is the work of grief and stress – Gently releasing the pain, trauma and loss, and claiming the love, joy, and memories. For those are yours to keep forever in the Heart Hotel.