EPISODE 81: The Healing Portals That Open After Death with Elizabeth Park

Welcome to LEAP, where we sit down with people from all over the world to hear their transformational stories and perspectives on their grief and loss journeys. 

In this episode, we sit down with Elizabeth Park, who shares her journey through grief and the healing power of writing and poetry. Elizabeth recounts finding out that her mother had cancer when she was only 17 years old and how it led her to question her Christian faith. She shares the pain of losing her mother and experiencing unresolved grief until a moment sparked her journey through writing and poetry.

Elizabeth shares how she moved through her grief after her mother passed away and the importance of connecting with our loved ones who have passed. 

Elizabeth Park has a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science with a Concentration in Counseling and a Master of Theology in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Currently, she is preparing to do hospital chaplaincy work and is a Hospital Chaplain Intern at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The program grants 1 CPE unit and will be completed in late April, 2023. 

Elizabeth is a lifelong learner with innate interpersonal strengths. She feels honored to walk alongside those who are in crisis and are navigating grief. Much of that work is accomplished through compassionate listening and reflecting, but often she finds that the expressive arts are particularly helpful as somatically-based healing modalities. 

Towards the end of the episode, Elizabeth reads some of her poetry, and talks about what self-love means to her today. Tune in to this moving and insightful episode to learn more about grief, writing, and the power of self-love.

**TRIGGER WARNING** This episode covers sensitive subject matter and is not suitable for all listeners. If this topic could be a trigger for you, listen to this episode with a friend, a sibling, a loved one or a parent so you can talk about any emotions that come up for you. The contents of this episode are not intended to replace therapy and should not be taken as such. If you need immediate help, please call the crisis hotline listed below in our resources.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:00] Finding out her mom had cancer when she was only 17
  • [2:40] Questioning the Christian faith
  • [5:10] Losing her mother and experiencing ‘unresolved grief’
  • [6:30] Them moment that sparked a journey through writing and poetry
  • [9:20] How and when did Elizabeth get close to her mother?
  • [11:40] How she moved through grief after her mother died
  • [16:00] Connecting her grief to the passing of her mother
  • [18:30] When Elizabeth started writing, and was it new to her?
  • [21:40] The healing portals that poetry opened for Elizabeth
  • [24:30] The importance of how the body of our loved one is taken care of after death
  • [27:00] Why writing a letter to her mom was therapeutic 
  • [33:55] How it is to chaplain people during goodbyes  
  • [36:40] How to support people who are grieving
  • [46:00] A reading from Elizabeth’s poetry
  • [47:25] What self love means for Elizabeth today

Grief Hotline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Elizabeth here:

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