Dustin Lowman and Julie Blitzer met at a Westport Little League field.
There — as Dustin coached Julie’s son’s team of young boys — he and she talked about death.
We all experience loss — but we seldom know how to deal with it. Julie — who has been trained by the Grief Recovery Institute — shows us how, with insight, wisdom and compassion.
Dustin is still in his 20s. A 2011 Staples High School graduate, he’s now a freelance writer and musician. Most people his age, doing what he’s doing, don’t think about loss and grief.
But he immediately got what Julie said.
“The general perception of grief is that it’s unpleasant,” Dustin notes. “It actually gives you a chance to reflect, and go inward. If you face it head on, it doesn’t have to be negative.”
When Julie encourages people to tell stories and share memories during the grieving process, she says, it inevitably leads to lightness and laughter. It’s fulfilling, offering opportunities to share, connect, and appreciate life.
“Looking at the monster under the bed makes it less scary — especially when you do it with others,” adds Diane Lowman. She’s Dustin’s mother, and Westport’s poet laureate.
On February 2 (6:30 to 8 p.m.), Diane and Julie team up to offer a free workshop at the Westport Library.
Through writing and mindfulness exercises, “Exploring Grief, Mortality and Vitality” will help participants address the 4 aspects of the human experience –mental, physical, emotional and spiritual — in order to gain a life-affirming perspective about death.
“You don’t have to be grieving to find a benefit” from their session, Diane explains. It’s designed for anyone who wants to lead “a more vital life,” and be prepared for loss whenever it arises.
“The biggest pain point is unresolved grief,” Diane says.
“If we can be more mindful of grief during life, we can lessen that pain.”