Lisa Fournier grew up in a middle class intact Christian family in a Massachusetts suburb in the ‘60s and ‘70s. She married at age 24 and earned her college degree at night while working full time. She and her husband built 2 new homes, socialized with friends, and took nice vacations. She enjoyed being an aunt to her sister’s twin girls.
Her career took some twists and turns, including a layoff which provided her an opportunity to go back to school to become a coach. She eventually ended up back in corporate, working in leadership development and executive coaching. Life was pretty good until her Dad died unexpectedly at age 70 during open heart surgery. This pivotal event was a real wake-up call because he was still working when he died.
Several other significant losses followed, including the death of her 20-year old niece, a divorce after a 32-year marriage, her mother’s death, and another unexpected job loss. She got a call to Ministry, attended an Interfaith Seminary from 2013-2015, and was certified in The Grief Recovery Method® in 2014.
After her ordination, she worked part time as a Hospice Chaplain for 2 years in addition to continuing her Grief Recovery work. The time she has spent around the dying and grieving has given her a renewed appreciation for life and what is most important.
After a bout with chronic pain in her back, hip and leg, she sold most of her possessions and relocated to Florida to make a new beginning. She works with grievers who want to transform their losses into a more purposeful life. She is known for her compassion and sense of humor, and her deep desire to help her clients move beyond the pain of grief and live lives of joy and meaning.
As we get older, it’s likely that we will experience more loss. Not only death of loved ones, but loss of relationships from divorce or romantic breakup, estrangement from family members or friends, job loss, loss of independence as we care for an aging or ill family member, our own health challenges, aging, and retirement. And we need to face the fact that some day we are going to die and take steps to prepare for that as well. All of this can create a sense of powerlessness and can make us feel isolated and alone because these issues are painful and most people don’t want to talk about them.
In my own life I have dealt with the death of family members and friends, divorce after a long-term marriage, loss of a job in my mid-50s, and 2 years of chronic pain. In addition, my work as a Hospice Chaplain and Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist® has given me an opportunity to provide spiritual support to patients and their families through the dying process and guide those who are grieving through action steps to help reduce the pain from their loss and move forward with their lives.
The first half of Bliss and Bless looks at the various types of losses we may experience and the impact they can have on our quality of life. Then the second half of the book provides strategies for how to transform those losses and create a life that is more nurturing, fulfilling, and purposeful.
Don’t stay stuck in grief! You can learn from and transform life’s losses and find joy and meaning in your life.