When Your Abuser Dies

When Your Abuser Dies

This video was recorded on June 25, 2020, as part of the Reimagine: Life, Loss, & Love Worldwide Virtual Festival. View the video here.

With the global pandemic of COVID-19 sweeping the planet has come the loss of a world of once familiar routines, relationships and resources that previously conferred on our lives a sense of security and meaning.  This program provides carefully validated screening tools for both Coronavirus anxiety as the contagion spreads and the complicated bereavement it will leave in its wake and suggests evidence informed interventions for dealing with these disturbances constructively.  New research data point to the crucial role of meaning in buffering the effects of the pandemic, suggesting the importance of working with issues of meaning and belief in grief therapy.

The death of an abuser may leave you with complicated feelings, a confusing mix of anger, sadness, loss, guilt, relief, and even pity. You may feel these separately or all at once. The anger rolling over your relief, rolling over your sadness, forming a wave of emotion. Others may judge you or disconnect when they witness your roller-coaster of emotion. They may try to convince you that your feelings are somehow improper or unwelcome.

So what do you do when your abuser dies or is near death?

Using the power of the written word, we share stories to identify the complicated feelings of grief and explain how those feelings affect the body as well as offer strategies for coping with those manifestations of pain and grief.

Listen as Dr. Kathleen La Francis Eaton reads her essay “Living Loss; Choosing Happiness” from Grief Dialogues: The Book. In her essay, Kathleen shares her story of abuse and her own healing processes. 

Using Kathleen’s story, Peggie Dickens, MA, LMHC, discusses how the mind, body, spirit, and emotions are all related and connected to each other.


Kathleen has published essays, poetry, and a gardening column. Her life experience traverses the globe including, missionary work as a registered nurse, intensive care and home health nursing, corporate healthcare executive, healthcare and management consulting, and a Master Gardener. She holds degrees from the University of Guam, SUNY, Pepperdine, and Michigan State University. Kathleen is currently writing a mystery novel. She lives in Tucson with her husband, Dave.

Peggie is the principle of Dickens Counseling & Coaching in Seattle, WA. Peggie offers coaching and therapeutic counseling as well as intensive couples retreats and workshops. Peggie is trained in Somatic Transformation, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Professional Ethics and Discernment Counseling .

Elizabeth Coplan is a marketing and public relations specialist, a playwright, educator, and speaker, who confronts end-of-life issues. In 2016, Elizabeth created the non-profit Grief Dialogues. She uses theatre and story as artistic expressions, opening new conversations about dying, death, and grief. Follow the Grief Dialogues stories on her website Grief Dialogues and in Grief Dialogues: The Book

This session is not a substitute for therapy or other assistance. If you are currently in a domestic violence situation and want professional help, contact the National Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), available 24/7.


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