Friday, July 10, 2015

Grief Triggers: By Stephanie Phillips

Two years ago today, her world shifted unalterably. Now, Stephanie Shuman Phillips gives you a glimpse into the "triggers" of grief and how to combat their onslaught. Don't miss this; you will need it someday.

Trigger: Anything, as an act or event, that initiates or precipitates a reaction.
A psychological term.
One I used to toss out frequently with great clinical emphasis.

To truly experience a trigger in the very sense of the word,
one must experience a moment or an event that leads to an emotional response.
For me these last 6 weeks & 5 days...that has been memory.

It can be innocent
hearing the words, "My Mom and I..."
hearing a song that was played at her funeral.
going back into a hospital for the first time since then.

Sometimes the triggers are happier things...
like seeing a beautiful sunrise and wondering if she helped paint the pink hues in the sky.
Or smelling her perfume, oddly enough, right in the middle of doing housework.

Triggers can happen in an instant.
In the blink of an eye.
And're back there.
It's waking up...thinking that life is sweet...and then remembering.
And tasting ashes.

It's things like starting school and knowing she's not going to call.
Or thinking I need to ask Mom about that recipe...and then remembering that I can't.
It's trying to wear that jacket you wore to the visitation, but putting it back in your closet.

I recently read in a Max Lucado's Facing Your Giants devotional, these words,

"Face your grief with tears, time and one more...truth.
God has the last word on death.
Your loved one has been dismissed from this hospital called Earth.
You and I still roam the halls, smell the medicines.
They, meanwhile, inhale springtime.
You miss them like crazy, but can you deny the truth?
They have no pain, doubt or struggle.
They really are happier in heaven.
Reunion is a splinter of an eternal moment away."

Take that, triggers.
Take that.

(All these beautiful pictures have been taken on recent runs...during very contemplative times.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stephanie's Additional Articles and Suggested Resources for Grief

When Your Parent Dies by Daniel Fitzpatrick

("It's a little cutesy, but I love the quotes!" - Stephanie)

("Can't say that I have LOVED the book, but it has great prayers and Scripture in it." - Stephanie)

Article: 15 Things I Wish I'd Known About Grief by Teryn O'brien


Stephanie Phillips is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who currently works in Juvenile Justice Substance Use Disorders. She is a Christ-follower and Pastor's wife, residing in Emmett, Idaho, with her amazing teammate husband of 16-years, Jonathon, and 2 adorable, high-energy children, Madeline & Grant. Stephanie completed her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati and her M.Ed. from Xavier University. Stephanie is a thrift-store guru, a wannabe Chef and Fashionista, and an admirer of grace and courage. She can be found early in the morning running her miles along the banks of the Black Canyon canal. Stephanie is the middle daughter of the beloved Gloria Jean Shuman, who went home to be with Jesus on July 10, 2013. Stephanie blogs occasionally at and can be found on instagram at seesjoyrun.

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