The Founder's Story
My journey begins with the end of my mother’s life. She died from cancer at age 43.
As a registered nurse, I was in close contact with death and grief daily. I thought I knew all there was to know about it. Until it visited my family and me. I wanted to and did care for my mother through her illness. I was 26 at the time. I really thought I was handling my grief, but three years later, when Dad remarried, my grief came crashing in on me. Even though I was happy for him and his new wife, his marriage brought home to me that dead was really dead. I could pretend no longer. Mom wasn’t on vacation or wandering around with amnesia like some character on a soap opera.
I had to look at myself and realize I had become a work-aholic. I had gained 80 pounds, was having difficulty concentrating, and had lost interest in everyone and everything. Not only was I not allowing myself to grieve, I was not allowing myself to recognize it. I thought I was going crazy. Co-workers couldn’t understand why I wasn’t over it. No one wanted to listen. Supervisors weren’t happy with my lack of concentration and motivation. Naturally, I turned to the medical profession. I went to see a psychiatrist who gave me medication, a psychologist who put me through a battery of personal tests, and a bereavement group run by a social worker. Still no one seemed to understand. Finally, I talked with a friend who is a funeral director. Because he worked with death every day, he surely would understand. And he did! He explained that he heard the same things from others who were grieving and assured me that my feelings were normal.
I was glad to know that I wasn’t alone. I was relieved to know I wasn’t going crazy.
As I unraveled the layers of protection I had built around me I dealt with the real issues of pain and grief. Still, I struggled with a lack of information and support. I decided to study grief and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studied for a master’s degree in social work. I began a project to set up a network of resources for grieving people while I worked with my friend the funeral director to follow up with families he had served.
Today, my company, New Leaf Resources, develops materials, community programs, seminars, and training programs. We have many new books, speakers, DVDs, CD’s, even note cards to help people on their journey through grief. We help funeral directors receive continuing education training on grief recovery so they can better help the families they serve cope with grief and train individuals to run support groups. New Leaf Resources recently introduced one of its newest products, New Leaf E-Magazine. Families looking for resources to help them cope with their grief will be able to read a wide variety of articles as we continuously add content to our E-Magazine. The articles in our magazine will be easy-to-read, informative, and in addition to helping you understand what grief is, the articles will teach ways to deal with your grief and provide examples of rituals you may want to implement into your life.
New Leaf Resources will be making many changes in the near future to provide you with valuable and up-to-date resources to better assist you. If you have any suggestions or want to provide us with feedback on how well we are serving you, please contact us by phone at 1-800-346-3087 or email us. In the meanwhile, we hope we are helping you. If you know other people who are grieving, please let them know about this website.
Hoping you will grow through your grief!
Sherry Williams White