In 2009, I witnessed the accidental death by drowning of my partner, Matt. He was strong, fit, healthy – three months from his 40th birthday. It was a beautiful and ordinary morning: the first sunny day after three solid weeks of rain. An absolutely normal day, until it was not, and would not ever be again.
My name is Megan Devine. I’ve been a clinical mental health therapist for over 15 years. My normal old life was pretty deep: professionally and personally, I spent most of my time under the surface of things. I helped people explore their inner worlds, hear their own hearts, find truth and meaning in their lives.
When sudden death erupted into my life, all my professional experience felt meaningless. I went looking for teachers or guides to help me, to offer me something — something to help me withstand the pain I was in. Good words, true help, was hard to find.
I heard so much judgment and correction from people — both therapists and non-professionals — telling me I should be grieving differently. I was told a million times that I must have needed this in order to learn something important, or to become more useful in the world. Well-meaning people tried to cheer me up, to distract me from my grief, as though that were possible.
The shallow culture of emoticons and platitudes, irrelevant in my life before, became intensely painful – smiley faces and thoughts of the afterlife helped nothing. The more I searched, the less I found. I felt completely alone at a time I could least afford to be alone.
Grief literature is so loaded with mis-information and well-meaning but utterly wrong ideas about what it means to be in pain.
I didn’t want people coming into this world of grief after me to find the wasteland I found. I needed to make it better.
I created this site for you.
To support you in your pain, rather than try to talk you out of it. To give you validation, acknowledgement, and words to hold on to.
To help you feel less alone.
Whether you’re new on the grief-path, or have begun to tentatively explore your new life, support is powerful. I offer my support by walking with you: not fixing your grief, but helping you to bear it. Honor it.
Finding someone who sounds like you, who thinks and feels like you, is immensely powerful. With a combination of validation and practical tools, I help you live the life that’s asked of you – with as much peace, grace, and integrity as you can.
Though I wish you had no need of this place, I really am glad you’re here.
Please have a look around. There’s lots of nourishment for you here.
Did you want my professional and clinical details? I’m licensed as a professional counselor in Oregon. I’m a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the North West Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support, and the American Counseling Association. Read more here.