Advance Peek At My New Book – “The Message”

letter-handwritAs many of you may know, in 2015 I published Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, presenting 7 tools for dealing with the tragic loss experienced when a loved one takes their own life. The books’ sole mission was to assist and guide the survivors of suicide loss on their difficult journey back to joy. Suicide: a topic loaded with guilt, grief, unanswered questions and the unending stigma associated with death by one’s own hand. This is a difficult journey I have traversed myself and understand firsthand.

As I spoke with many groups about recovery from suicide loss, I discovered some very important things. There are all kinds of loss that people are trying to overcome; surviving suicide loss is just one of them. Every loss is personal and tragic to the individual experiencing it. There are no measuring sticks deciding that any one loss is less or more tragic than another. Depth and impact of loss cannot be calculated; mine is not worse or more crippling than yours, and vice versa.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to speak to countless support groups about having lost a loved one to suicide. It has been an honor and a privilege to do this work. However, intensely related losses such as being an alienated grandparent who is denied the connection and interaction with their grandchildren, individuals who have lost their freedoms, people without personal self-esteem, self-image and self-worth, folks having lost loved ones from illness, accident and addictions – these are life-altering events as well. My conclusions are that Loss is Loss.

Now it appears that my pen desires to write again. As I begin this historical fiction about loss and recovery, I am choosing to utilize all of the tools that support and propel me each day in my own journey to tell the story of one women’s struggle with self-image and self-esteem. In The Message, (while a preliminary title, it feels quite close to what it will actually be), I will take you down the road within Aubrey Cole’s deeply tragic personal loss to a place of despair and despondency and back again. This will all take place through the visitation and guidance of her long-departed great-great grandmother, born four generations prior in 1868. It will touch upon the resilience of the heart and soul in us all. Follow the heroine Aubrey as she falls from the pinnacle of achievement in her young life, then forges a monumental battle between self-destruction and true life purpose.


More advanced teasers to come!

We welcome your comments.

Are your feelings of loss preventing you from having a healthy and fully satisfying life?

A Self-Assessment Tip Sheet

TipSheet_ThumbnailHow do we know when loss is taking over our ability to live a full life? Sometimes, WE don’t see it, but I am quite confident in saying that others usually do see it. Shouldn’t we know ourselves better than anyone else? Let’s turn on that little bulb and shine some light on the topic.

We have the face we project outward; then there is that persona that only we can see that generally resides beneath. In simple terms, that “inside person” brings with it a lot of non-verbal language, movement and facial expression that we may be completely unaware of. Are you surprised to hear this? How many times has someone you know well, or even not so well, said to you….”what’s wrong today? is something wrong? you don’t seem yourself”. Can we really hide our inner emotions and turmoil as cleverly as we think? And to take that a step further, what if tragic or significant loss is limiting our daily experience simply because we are not facing it’s impact. Even if the loss is affecting 1 day in our life, it is affecting that very day from being a day in full.

Loss that is at the heart of our discontent can do just that – show in our physical movements, our non-verbal language and our facial expressions. Actually, this is the body’s second line of defense. When we are in turmoil, sadness, confusion, anger, worry and fear, our outer bodies will begin to give clear messages as to what is going on inside. That means there is a first line of response somewhere else. That “somewhere else” would be inside the body; the heart, the blood, the lungs, the stomach and the brain. Sometimes long before we are showing our struggle on the surface where people can notice, our bodies have been doing their best to cope and put us in better balance from within, often without success. Humm, I don’t think I want that to happen, do you?

Loss happens to everyone. Loss of some kind is unavoidable for all of us. Life is imperfect. Sometimes, however, we are determined that the loss will minimally affect our daily life, regardless of the severity. Instead, we will bluster through whatever the tragedy is, bury the worry and the affect it is having, and simply carry on. As many of you may already know, my loss centers around the suicidal death of my son Drew 6 years ago. Other losses can be just as tragic and life-changing: loss of home, mobility, self-image, self-esteem, work, livelihood, job, relationship, mental stability, even personal freedom.

Having said all of that, allow me to provide some self-assessment tips for those who are suffering loss, and the journey toward recovery seems laden with speed-bumps. These tips are coming directly from my book Let Go and Let Love: Survival of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, a book that targets ways to address the desire to live each day toward a full life.

  1. Take a good look in your bathroom mirror. Try to look beyond the traditional definition of perfection, beauty, flawlessness blah. What you should look for is some radiance from within; the eyes, the corners of your mouth, your expression of softness. Are they there or are they missing? Do you look worried? Do you look unmotivated? Do you look exhausted?
  2. Consider what is rolling around your head for the days’ events or targets. Are you expectant or doubtful? Is there anticipation on your mind or avoidance and fatigue? Do you have a plan, however small, or are you avoiding the thought of moving forward?
  3. Do you engage with others willingly? Is there interest in what is going on around you or do you find that your thoughts perpetually stray to what is going on inside your own head? Is loss consuming a lot of what you think about; how it bothers you, how it seems to hurt or change your direction?
  4. Can you be happy for others’ success? Are you genuinely delighted when someone else has found or achieved something for themselves? Or do you resent what they have gained, what you do not have, and feel cheated for yourself?
  5. Are you often ill, feel “unwell”, and unwilling to push for activity? When you look in that mirror, do you see someone in good health or do you see something else?

If you are being targeted by inquiries from friends asking “what is wrong” and you actually are surprised by this; or, you suspect that those inquiries made early on have actually stopped after a reasonable period of time, try answering these 5 questions honestly. We can all feel down and out every once in a while, but it should not be a daily occurrence nor should it fully color the waking hours we face, day in and day out.  If you think that loss and the sadness that comes with it are stopping your journey to a full life, please seek the advice of a medical professional. Follow through with all that you need to do to be and feel healthy. Our losses should not be dictating how we live, nor should it interfere with finding happiness in each day. It is our God-given right to experience peace and joy. Let us never give it away to loss.

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available now at Amazon or purchase direct from Survivor Healing.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet

Are We Losing Sight of the Power of “law of attraction”?

joyful-quoteDoes anyone still believe that what we say and think is what we bring to ourselves? The basic philosophy of the law of attraction is just that.

If I repeatedly say and think I am a failure, will I become one?? Wow. In my world, I don’t believe in failure to begin with.  I believe in learning, and lessons and hidden opportunities behind what appears to be closed portals. So by telling myself that this action or that action will bring failure descending upon me, and I say it over and over again, I am indicating that I believe it. For me, belief brings the real things, whether I want it or not.

How does this work, you ask? Do I pull badness to myself? In Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, I installed an entire chapter to “You Manifest What You Think”, or otherwise  known as, what you think and say is what you get. But to explain it is not quite as simple as that statement, so allow me to deliver a better understanding of the law of attraction (LOA).

Much has been written in the last decades about the LOA, but actually the principle has existed for centuries, even millennia. In ancient times, often in the teachings of Eastern philosophy, there is reference to this law. The “law” referred to here is the name given to the belief that “like attracts like”, and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. If you accept that all things and thoughts have a vibration associated with them, then matching vibrations are pulled together. Within that theory is the understanding that people and their thoughts and words both come from pure energy, and that “like energy” attracts “like energy”. So if you think positively about something important to you, (and some people do this all day long), they always seem to have a positive aura around them and good things happen frequently. We all know someone with that positive, or others with a sometimes negative, atmosphere in their personal space.

Over my front door a few years ago there was this very small bird that chose to build a nest of mud up against the brick. Every day she would haul the mud up and try to connect it to the rough brick, and as it dried it would fall off. Over and over again, day after day, I watched almost in agony, as she tirelessly made her attempt only to have it land on my porch. It seems no one told her that this could not be done, because one rainy afternoon, somewhere between a miniscule piece of grout and a section of scrappy edge, it held. Within no time she had her mud nest, and it balanced out into the air as if it was weightless. It seemed magical. I looked at it with such wonder and appreciation and felt I had learned a lesson from that tiny creature — the seemingly impossible can be done simply because you believe it will and expect it to.

Our thoughts and words have such power! I live every day as if there are no truer words than the ones I use. I chose to initiate positive thoughts and then believe those thoughts; finally I select the words to express those same thoughts. I manifest what I say because I believe it will come and I say so. And if it comes with a stiffer lesson, so be it – what I want is still on it’s way to me. Nothing’s changed. Has much of society lost it’s powerful, manifesting connection with what they think and say? I listen to the words that folks use and estimate that much of it describes lack, rather than bounty. They describe themselves, (and often point to someone else as well), too old in age to get a particular job, old enough to be managing their lives better than they are, not having enough money to obtain what they want, unhappy with their body image, missing out on a promotion, on and on. Is the negativity in our world growing? Well, if it is, then we can do something about that starting now, today.

Begin with you, the most important person in the world. Shun and discard the power you give others to make you feel inadequate about yourself and your ideas. Surround yourself with people with the same positive posture and slant on their lives that you want to have or are attempting to achieve. Today, you will pay attention to the words you use, especially about yourself and what you are doing or saying. Replace “can’t, don’t-have, never, missing, lacking, won’t” with “I can!, I have!, always!, I will!, do!”. Listen to you and make all that you describe favor the positive vision. When you hear the negative rolling around in your head, express it in the positive form. If there is something you desire, describe it fully as if it were in your hands right now. The color, size, form, happiness and emotion that it brings with it. See it coming into your world in whatever manner it takes to get it there. You have nothing to loose, except the opportunity to watch it really happen.

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet


Everyone Looks for Happiness, But What Really Gets You There?

getPart-4Whenever a microphone is placed in front of someone and the question is asked, “What are you looking for in life?”, I am willing to lay down a lot of chips that the answer is usually… HAPPINESS. When you drill down, money, jobs, and things don’t seem to be the solution. These are cushions, diversions and momentary flashes, but they are not the big score. Looking at the facts, how may of the huge lottery winners in recent history have grabbed that ticket and found happiness right along with it? Often what scrambles along behind that winning is something scary, complicated and temporary. Being happy is what we all want right; so are you happy? Does your happy come in an envelope with numbers attached to it, a bank statement, a shiny vehicle, a corner office? Are you waiting for someone to appear at your front door and deliver Happy to you?

I know what makes me happy now. It is defined by and for ME only. And what a hard and terrible lesson this was, as it turns out. When my son Drew took his own life, he had a handsome bank statement, a shiny vehicle and a corner office. It clearly did not bring Happy with it or Drew would still be on earth making me laugh. Are you struggling with trying to attain happiness in the middle of wealth or sadness or fear? If so, maybe I have some thoughts that will help you on your journey toward the real thing.

In my book, Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, I introduce the first, and probably the most substantial of the tools for healing from loss. Intention. An Intention is a simple statement that captures in words what you would like to have, become, achieve or be, in any given situation or condition that you find yourself. It surrounds a positive desire that you are working on and have not yet worked out. It involves your thoughts, emotional input and mindset, not your muscles. To set your Intention, you have to ask yourself some truly serious questions and then accept the honest answers your heart provides.

If you said, “I would like to have a true life partner that desires the same environment and surroundings that I do, and loves me unconditionally”, you are basically setting a standard for your personal happiness. It doesn’t require glossing it up, making it shiny with stuff or positioning of any kind. With this simple statement, you declare what you want to have, become, achieve or be. Most crucial to Intention is this; you are making a commitment, a contract with yourself to settle for nothing less than what you desire. You put your eyes on the outcome and believe in the pure achievement of it. Believe. Unshakable belief. The Universe hears you and that brings you the Happy.

It is no different when reaching for the heights of Happy in the face of tragic loss. In my life, I had to make small positive Intentions following the loss of Drew. Because perceived guilt was my first and most difficult challenge, I set the Intention of becoming happy by being guilt-free for life, but I began with one day at a time. Often it narrowed to hours at a time, but when I achieved hours, I stretched them into days, weeks, months. Every positive score made me a winner. I only made those choices that lighted my path toward Happy. Positive Intention, Vision, Belief, Achieve, Celebrate. Then repeat.

Here are some simple steps to setting an Intention for yourself:

  1. Identify an issue that you see as a trigger and want to change for the positive. Let’s use the life-partner issue from earlier. (example: I have not met anyone who loves me unconditionally and shares my life choices. I am stuck.)
  2. Verbalize your feelings around this issue and state clearly how it relates to you.  (example: I run in the same people circles and activities without expanding my associations with people. I never seem to meet anyone new and different.)
  3. Formulate the response exactly as you would like it to be.  (example: I am going to change how I conduct my activities and explore the possibility of meeting new people in my life.)
  4. Follow through your ideas with actual change. See yourself making the change with conviction and decision-making. (example: I will make appointments and plans surrounding new and different activities and locations that only I enjoy. I will put aside worries and fears involving the unknown. I will follow my intuition.)
  5. Celebrate your success. Any success, no matter how small. (example: I met 3 new people who enjoyed being with me. We shared common ideas and philosophies. It feels different than anything I have done so far, but I feel good about my progress!)

Intention can get you through the next challenging moment or challenging year. It is your lighted pathway; small steps will always lead to bigger ones. Identifying the triggers that make you UN-happy and setting a positive goal for rising above them will inevitably bring the thing you want the most. Now that’s something you can take to the bank.

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet

Personal Loss Should Never Have A Pain Rating

lotusLast September, 2015, when my book Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook was published, I was a little unprepared for one of the prominent comments regarding Loss as it related to my book, where suicide loss was the predominant topic. Mind you, it was a positive and enlightening barrage, but surprising in that it was not something I had ever considered. It was this: Loss is loss, and no matter what the origin of the loss, the book’s tools worked for anyone who had sustained personal tragedy of any kind.

My audience had expanded exponentially right before my eyes, and I didn’t even realize it was taking place.

From that moment on, I found a whole new set of terms to be used when I spoke to people and groups about Survivors of Suicide Loss and other losses as well. What are some of these other losses?

  • loss of self-esteem,
  • loss of a friendship or partner you thought would last a lifetime,
  • loss of job or livelihood,
  • loss of health, both acute or chronic,
  • loss of domicile or home,
  • loss of stable mental health,
  • loss of a loved one through accidental death or illness,
  • loss of mobility,
  • loss of independence,
  • loss of youth,
  • loss of memory, on and on.

Who is competent or knowledgeable enough to even think about putting a measuring stick to any pain that someone experiences? My loss is worse than yours? Your tragedy is more intense than mine? I would never do it. I once met a man whose entire world consisted of his job and his two German shepherd dogs. He had no other family near him, or family who included him in their lives. When both beloved dogs died within a short period of time from each other, he was so depressed and lonely, he lost the will to live.

After digesting much of these post-publication discussions, I truly felt the connection between the loss of my son and the many forms of loss that thousands of other people traverse through. As an example, I had one member of the audience come up to me after I finished speaking and say, “I know my loss cannot compare to you losing your son to suicide, but….” I took her hands in mine, looked into her eyes and said that “every loss is personal and deeply internalized to the person experiencing it – there is no measuring stick capable of indicating whose is more painful. It is all tragic.”.  Thus; Personal loss should never have a Pain Rating.

Another measuring stick that is often imposed on the grieving person is: How long is the right amount of time that they should grieve? At my last speaking engagement, an older gentleman asked a question for the group to hear. It followed a discussion surrounding when I decided to write about my experience as a survivor of suicide loss. The question was, “how long was it before you decided to step up and use the tools that would help bring you out of the dark hole of sadness?”. This was a little tricky and my pause was a little longer than usual, but here is (paraphrasing) what I said. The timeline for sadness will probably never end. It is when sadness inhibits you from re-entering and participating in the world of your functioning life that you need to be aware and alert. Sadness is not a bad thing – we are human and we are alive with emotion. Frankly, I will experience sadness with my loss until my last breath. My personal measuring stick for each bout of sadness is that it doesn’t last any longer than it takes to have a happy memory move right up into its place. Setting a timer for how long the sadness hangs in there is something that each one of us can set for ourselves, but I do believe we should set it. The big kahuna is when sadness interferes with getting up, getting out and getting on. My actual answer to this gentleman’s question was somewhere about a year and a half. Interestingly, he and his wife were at the 1 1/2 year mark. He was ready, his wife not quite so much. There is no marker that is good for all.

Finally, please do not let anyone tell you when it is time to get on with “things”. Those that do are probably wanting to make their life more comfortable around you. The critical point to make is that if you are concerned about your mental and physical situation, you should consult your primary care provider and ask them how you are doing? Paralysis or depression in the place of daily life is not a good spot to stay in. A healthy life includes smiling, laughing, socializing, loving, sleeping, creating, adjusting, and yes, being sad. It is not so much about how many weeks and months that it takes to get there, but rather that you are indeed taking steps and making change to get there. THAT is what you measure.

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet

Who is The Most Important Person in the World?

Cape Beach SunsetWhen I am talking to a group of people having anything to do with my passion – Survivor Healing after (Suicide) Loss – I will eventually ask the question: “Who is the most important person in the world?” I just wish you could see the looks of my audience as they stare back at me, for what seems like a full minute. Perhaps they don’t really know where I am going with this question, OR, they are not sure what answer I am looking for. Honestly, it isn’t a trick inquiry. I really want to know who that person is, from their perspective. Maybe, since I am making a big deal of it here you are already guessing the answer. YOU are. YOU are the most important person in the world. But then that would mean that My answer is ME – I am the most important person in the world. I am indeed.

In the realm of rankles and irritations, following this question, this is where you will give me every reason why a hundred (or hundreds) of others outrank you when you measure your importance. I will however, stick to what I believe are the facts. If “we” are not the most important person in our world, if we are not placing ourselves first in every category of life, we are probably treading down a long and arduous path that skirts the achievement or healing of anything having to do with us. Let me tell you a true story to prove my point.

Many years ago, my husband was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) and was slowly losing the battle of muscular control over everything in his body; bladder, speech, movement of limbs, vision, swallowing and more. We took each day at its face value, but continually lost ground with the simple tasks of daily living or managing the impact of this disease. Because I was the primary caregiver, I willingly took on gigantic tasks that pushed my body to the limit. All this took place while carrying on a full-time profession and maintaining a home. This was no-one’s fault – none of us wanted or expected this – it just was. I watched My Healthy Self systematically deteriorate as the months and years went by. By virtue of the need for safety, care and nurturing of my loved one, I became last. I was not the most important person in the world – my husband was. And like him, I had a mountainous loss of my independence, health, mental stability and joy. I began to lose something even more vital to survival – my independence and my self-worth. When any friends or family called or spoke with me, the first question out of their mouth was, “How is he?” Never, “how are you?” I don’t blame them, it’s just that I became a means to an end.

On one of the evenings that the visiting nurses were preparing my husband for bed, the RN in charge took me aside to a quiet part of my house, saying, “I want to tell you a true story of one of my other patients. An elderly couple was living with disease such as the one you are familiar with. The wife, who was 70 years of age, did everything for her husband who was unable to care for himself. She moved him from bed to chair, fed him, washed and bathed him in the tub, prepared him for bed and made sure he received all of his medications. One night, they were suddenly faced with a crisis. Her husband had taken a terrible turn for the worse with high fever and decreased ability to respond. An ambulance was called and he was rushed to their local hospital emergency department. His wife followed the ambulance in her car and met them there, along with the physicians and nurses that would care for him. After a short while, it was determined that her husband would be admitted and he was taken to a room on the medical floor. As she joined him in his room, and found him to be resting comfortably, she stood next to him and took his hand in hers. At that very moment, she collapsed and died at his bedside.”

I looked at this nurse, completely perplexed, and asked her honestly – why would you tell me such a horrible story? I can see no happy ending here, anywhere. The nurse replied, “if you don’t make yourself the most important person in the world, this might be you dropping at his bedside as well. I see your needs going unmet and the estimate of your self-worth being pushed aside”.

This became my moment of truth. I wasn’t eating properly, lost sleep every night, I had physically exhausted my muscles and bones by lifting and moving objects far too heavy for me and worried about everything. My personal loss factor was at an all-time high, the future seemed bleak and yet I pushed on moment to moment without stopping to see the damage I was doing to me. I was fast becoming useless to both my husband’s care and myself as a human body with needs of its own. The losses were onerous to both of us.

Loss. There was plenty of it to go around.

He had lost his muscles, ability to walk, ability to apply his professional training, independence, self-esteem, opportunity to help his family in simple daily ways, well-being, sense of happiness and even bathroom privileges. Yet every day he woke up with a smile. I had lost my opportunity to be taken care of, evade moving 2 tons of snow by hand, have a conversation without discussing MS or physical symptoms, park my car in a convenient location, have dinner waiting for me when I came home from work, get a hug in a standing position, do an errand without a day’s planning, have someone bring me a simple glass of water, and ultimately a great chunk of my identity.

So right up until that moment that the visiting nurse took the rug out from under me, I did what many, (or most) of us who experience severe loss would do; I inadvertently embraced yet one more loss – my right to choice. Somewhere along the way I forgot that I was the most important person in the world. I pretty much give away my options, rather than clinging to them and giving them the precious, righteous   acknowledgment that they are.  However, through confrontation and examination of my current state of mind, I finally realized that choices never can be taken away; I could restore my ability to select the abundant pathway, re-discover that good health, happiness and freedom is right in front of me through choices that are right there with me all the time. This didn’t mean that I loved someone else less. It means that I loved myself enough to take care of my mind, body and spirit as it was meant to be cared for.

Restoring our use of options. How do we do that?

We awake each day and ask our glorious self the following question: “What do I need today?” Be honest about the answer. Then – set about meeting that need, whatever it may be. Ask for help, utilize whatever resources you have acquired, find new ones that get you where you need to go or be. Claim it, demand it for yourself by any means possible. You are the most important person in the world and this is your birthright. I am not suggesting your forgo your responsibilities to others, I am stating outright that you will be healthier, more at peace, and feeding the mind-body-spirit of your personal temple if you go the distance for and with YOU in the front of everything. What is good for you today? What will perfectly meet your goals today? What do you want today? Then, and only then, can you truly meet the needs of someone, anyone else!

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet

Gabrielle Doucet, April 25, 2016 Article in ConvergenceRI: After Tragic Loss

getPart-4I have been fortunate to have been contacted by ConvergenceRI to supply an article on Loss, particularly Loss After Suicide. Since May is Mental Health Month and the statistics on suicide are rising in the US, it seems to be a timely opportunity to discuss the challenges of dealing with tragic loss. ConvergenceRI is a wonderful digital newsletter, and there is much there to learn. I hope you view their website, and all of the pertinent articles they have to offer.

Click Here to Read the Article in ConvergenceRI

Can You Hear Yourself??

male-cardinalWho are you listening to? Is it everyone, but you?

I try not to watch the television very much. Yes, I need to catch up on the weather, driving conditions, traffic patterns, etc.; the rest of it I can pretty much do without – but that’s me. However, not too long ago I crossed into a channel that had a bride trying to buy her wedding dress. She had all 9 brides maids with her, her future mother-in-law and her own mom in attendance while she tried on dress after dress after dress. (You already see the outcome here, right?) This bride-to-be came home empty handed at the end of the day. Every single person had an opinion and not one of them coincided with someone else’s opinion, especially not hers.  What happened to what she wanted, I ask? It was obviously filed somewhere deep where she couldn’t get her hands on it. The bride seemed to have lost her own choices and now feels rather powerless.  How many of us are doing that every time we have a decision facing us that really truly belongs to only one person – ourselves? Don’t we consider that we have enough information about us to make the correct and perfect choice?

I am not suggesting for one moment that the thoughts and opinions of others are not needed or helpful. Often the expertise we seek can be clearly provided by someone who has the training; however, as our own best resource, we should take the data we arm ourselves with, overlay it on our own good knowledge about who we are and what we want and then go with it. Sincerely – who is the person that will be wearing the wedding dress on the most significant day of her life?

How do we hear ourselves? Do we listen with our physical ears or our heart-voice? One of the best ways I know is to find the quiet time and opportunity to listen to the heart. For those who are unfamiliar with “heart-voice or heart-knowledge” and how it can readily be available to us, clearly it begins by giving the heart knowledge highest  importance. The heart knowledge carries all of the information that matters to you as a being and a soul, and links it with what you desire. Sure, much data exists and is stored in the head, but the heart gives that information relevant to how you want or already do live your life. I, for one, am not ready to give my soul-searching decisions over to someone else’s data points. The heart separates the data from the general collection  and delivers it to you as personal and vital. What will bring you joy? Joy that resonates with you, comes squarely from the heart!

The heart speaks personally, and because it’s language can be somewhat symbolic in nature (the heart vocabulary can be quite different than everyday chit-chat), it requires that you give it time and space to deliver the message. Meditation or still-mind is a perfect opportunity to create an environment for a heart chat. Silence on your part, and the space around you is pretty important for the conversation. Take the time to set up your own space of silence – it is worth every effort. Once you have the degree of silence you need, be clear of other thoughts. Declare to yourself that you are worthy and accomplished in your decision-making skills, then list quietly what you would like to have as an outcome. This is what you Intend. Now wait in anticipation for your heart to give you the answers on how to make it happen.

Let’s briefly return to our TV bride; if she has taken the effort and time to think about her desires and decision-making, her excursion into the bridal shop may have looked very different.

  1. She wants a dress that looks beautiful on her, has all of the details she loves and imagined it would have. (Her Intention).
  2. She will know it when she sees it. It will bring her immediate joy, independent of other opinions of what JOY looks like. (Her Heart-Knowledge).
  3. The final choice will be hers, because her heart tells her what is the right choice. (Her Decision)

When we experience loss of any kind, we are faced with a clear example of who to listen to. In the throes of  loss, our mind, body and emotions can appear to be out of our control. Sadness, fear, and anger all surface in the face of what we are currently without -a person, a precious item, peace – something that seems to have disappeared from our life and perhaps our earth.  We are not helpless.  We have tools to use to get us through to the other side of fear, sadness and indecision. Our healing is just within our reach. We can quiet our environment, our mind, our body and listen to the heart-voice within.  This is not saying we can’t be sad or confused in our loss, which can be extreme in its presence. When I lost my son Drew to suicide several years ago, my loss seemed insurmountable and without end. I still experience days when my loss and sadness at not having him with me, closes around me like a shroud.  When I face the fear of life without Drew, I recognize the hole in my body, acknowledge it, then quiet my world and let my heart speak. It gives me full control of where my emotions go from that moment on, what I decide for my healing and how to return to joy. My heart knowledge will never ever steer me wrong – it has only one priority – my well-being.

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet

Workshop Engagement at Natural Living Expo 11/14-11/15

I am excited to tell you about a wonderful expo taking place in just a few days in Marlborough, MA.  This is a grand opportunity for you to visit hundreds of vendors addressing healthy living. Click here for details.

I am one of 90 presenters doing workshops on a myriad of topics – what an opportunity to learn and try new ideas and products for an entire weekend!  My presentation will be on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 10:30 am in the Southborough Room.  The topic: 7 Tools Critical For Survivors Of Suicide Loss. My book will also be available for purchase at Table #18. I would love to meet you, open a discussion about loss and how we are able to deal with tragedy in our lives. Please stop by and at least say hello!

My book; Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, is being received so well on, Kindle and elsewhere.  Surprisingly, it is not about book sales for me – it is all about getting the message to large numbers of people on how best to travel the difficult journey of surviving the loss of someone we love to suicide. We all experience loss. HOW we experience it and what we DO with that experience is what keeps us walking on the healthy side of life and going forward.

Recently I spoke to someone who had read Let Go and Let Love; she is a survivor and wanted to tell me about an verbal conversation she had with someone she barely knew.  This person asked her how many children she had. (She lost her son to suicide shortly after I did). Like me, and as I described in one of my chapters, she was painfully tongue-tied on how to answer the question. In many situations that survivors encounter, our brain does a 360 degree search area in our head about what to say when confronted with the most simple inquiries! She remembered my suggestion in the chapter and replied, “I have two children, a boy and a girl”.  End of discussion.  All is well. This is a perfect example of, Less is More. It is also using Intention, one of the best tools available to us when dealing with daily life in an imperfect world.

If you or a group you know is struggling with tremendous loss, especially suicide loss of someone close, consider contacting me about how I can help serve the needs of the group. This is my mission.

I also hope you can find your way to the Natural Living Expo, November 14 – 15 in Marlborough, MA. It will be a healthy and exciting experience!

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet


Gratitude and Tragedy: Can they co-exist?


“Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles

and they can become your blessings.”


In the face of tragedy and loss, I suspect that feeling gratitude and appreciation for many things has sort of left the building for you. Perhaps you are not expecting to really appreciate much of anything now and for some time to come. After all, the impact of intense emotion and grief often removes the ability to recognize gratitude very well. There is no blame here for this cognitive loss, it just happens that way. Coping in any form is difficult. The question is, does it need to remain lost or can it be changed by gaining a different perspective? Within a split second it seems any situation in which we find ourselves can bring to mind our loss, and instantly become painful and unbearable to think about. It can often be the simplest encounter or environmental influence. How can we possibly change our perspective when the conditions of our thoughts are repeatedly inviting anger, guilt and fear? On the other hand, a change in perspective may give you some unexpected relief. Defining gratitude is probably different for everyone. What really constitutes being grateful and to what degree? In my book, Let Go and Let Love: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, grateful is 180 degrees away from angry or negative. It doesn’t seem to me that we can be grateful for something and be pissed off at the same time. You might try to make a case here to the contrary, but I don’t see it as working.

You can however be grateful for your anger; perhaps it is telling you or teaching you something you have heretofore missed. Maybe you are not quite seeing that yet, but your anger can spark change for which you are grateful. Get it? You simply step back and look at your emotional responses and find opportunities for change that you appreciate and are willing to try.

Recently I had the chance to return to my old neighborhood where I grew up, in a state quite far from where I live now. Fifty years had transpired since I had seen it last. Talk about change! And the crazy thing is the streets were still there, with the same names, but many of the residences had altered. I tried to feel my childhood embrace me again, but the newness interfered – the grade school I walked to every day was gone, my old homestead was tiny, the gang of friends was long departed and unable to welcome me back in. A large part of me was sad and actually angry by the changes that had taken place. Nothing I saw would ever be the same again; it was lost to me and I could never go back. I will never have that world exist again for me, ever. I looked around me and said, “Hey, what the hell happened to those days and places I loved so much?” Is this starting to sound familiar?

Because of suicide and loss, we have moved away from a life we knew and were perhaps naively safe in, and are now unwillingly facing a change that we never wanted to make or see. We cannot go back there and find it just the way it was. That life is totally gone from us. Often we feel devastatingly remorseful and thoroughly, permanently pissed off. We have lost a lot.

Back in my neighborhood, I also saw something else. In the middle of the old stuff was some interesting and wonderful new stuff. The school had made way for a beautiful and green walking park and playground; the dumpy building where I bought my first illegal cigarette as a teen — don’t fret, I stopped trying smokes shortly after getting that first one — was now a sweet Mom and Pop market with fresh fruit and household needs. My original church was in the same location, had expanded its buildings and parking areas to accommodate a larger parish, but still kept the old ambiance of the original style.

What are you grateful for, right this minute? I know you want to heal your heart beginning today, so get a pad of paper and pen, or sit yourself down at your computer and initiate a list. Perhaps you can only create a short set of incidences that occurred today, and that is a fine place to start. What happened today to make you grateful even if it only lasted for a few moments? Grateful thinking and action is a learned skill, so be patient with yourself while you observe all things that occur around and toward you. When you need to apply it to the healing journey, gratefulness, abundance and appreciation will come easier to you, simply because you have been practicing.

Buried within the tragedy of our loss there will always be some elements that are 180 degrees away from sadness and negativity that we can recognize and perhaps cling to; something to appreciate and be grateful for. If we are angry and guilt-ridden it is difficult to find them. In any given moment identifying them becomes our challenge and our healing. Are you ready to do that?

Blessings, Gabrielle

Excerpt from Let GO and Let LOVE: Survivors of Suicide Loss Healing Handbook, CreateSpace Publishing, $12.87, paperback and ebook available September 2015.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Doucet