Good Grief: Remembering Stephenie Jocham
Brooke Randolph, LMHC
Today, my blog needs to be therapeutic - for me. I will not take my therapist hat off entirely, but I am at least turning it around momentarily. *Written June 7, 2011*
Today, I attended memorial services for Stephenie Sutliff Jocham
, founder of Jocham Harden Dimmick and Jackson
, PC, a law firm in Carmel. She was a gifted entrepreneur that made an impact on Indianapolis. Tall, blonde, and full of life, Stephenie was hard to miss. Her compassion, a founding principle of Jocham Harden Dimmick and Jackson, PC, (JHDJ) was clear to those who were lucky enough to interact with her. Throughout her battle with cancer, true to form, Stephenie was ever hopeful, caring, and focused on the positive.
For all of those reasons, I found her to be inspiring, and I wish I had more opportunity to learn from her. Stephenie played a major role in my career by seeing my specialized training in adoption and making an effort to connect me to the other founders of MLJ Adoptions, Inc.
, with impeccable timing. Stephenie respected me enough as a young professional building a practice of counseling
and parenting coordination
, to approach me with the idea of having an office at JHDJ. Knowing a power woman like Stephenie believed in me has been extremely empowering.
Today, like many others, I have set aside time to honor Steph. My heart aches for her two sons who have lost their mother. I consider myself fairly 'good at grief' after several opportunities to practice, starting at a fairly young age. Yet, it is always a stressor
. My mind is contemplating death and cancer, and remembering Stephenie and what she meant to me more than I do normally. Thus I have less room mentally
for other thoughts or stressors.
Each loss is grieved differently. The end of a love
relationship can mean feelings of failure or rejection. The loss of an ill grandparent can mean celebration of his or her life and relief that he or she is no longer in pain, yet it can also mean the loss of a personal support or the opportunity for him or her to proudly observe your accomplishments and achievement of life goals. Steph was a part of my life less than monthly, but her influence in just the last five years has changed my life forever.
Mourning Stephenie, for me, is more of a celebration of all that has been than grief over the loss of future interactions, although I will miss her smile and kindness at both professional and social events. Her sons, family, and close friends will be grieving all those things that will not be in the future as a result of her death.
No matter your relationship with Stephenie Jocham or no matter what other loss you may be grieving, it is important to respect your need to process and mourn the loss. Allow yourself temporal and mental space to grieve. Do not expect yourself to be as efficient as you are normally. Surround yourself with the people and things of life that fill you with joy. Prioritize your physical energy
by scheduling time for extra rest and ensuring you are providing your body with quality fuel - That means avoiding junk food
, and opting for plenty of water and the foods that make you feel healthier
. If you are struggling with a loss, need to talk through your thoughts and feelings, or cannot find anyone who seems to understand, I will always take your grief seriously and help you process it in a way that can honor the person who or the thing that you have lost.
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