Physiotherapist, Lecturer, General and Bereavement Counsellor, Author
"After years of tending people in trauma from illness and approaching death, I found myself much disturbed at the absence of real understanding and care in many of the medical professions who deal with terminal diagnoses; death sometimes being regarded as a failure, with many who care for the dying prohibited to speak about death; doctors often not confirming that someone is dying, thus fostering ignorance, and therefore fear, about what is happening, what may come next, what to expect. So I conceived the idea of The Ruby Care Foundation as a means of addressing these knotty issues and with the desire to put things right. The understandings arising from many years of study and research by the RCF Associates offer new perception, technology, training and ways and means. Alongside my companion members in many countries we are forging a new Template of care and support for people who have received a terminal diagnosis, for those nearing their time of inevitable departure, for anybody in grief and finding it hard to bear and indeed for anyone suffering any kind of trauma, loss or displacement. I am very proud to be at the forefront of the founding of this organisation and spend my time working to see its establishment across the world."
The work of The Ruby Care Foundation has evolved after some 35 years of intensive study into human life and purpose, behaviour and psychology, the evolving future of the human race, and more, with a particular focus on bringing death and dying out from behind the taboos and fears surrounding them, and into the natural arena of being alive. Out from this the RCF was conceived as a vehicle for imparting new and crucial concepts and understandings when the end of life in carnal form is at hand.
Most of the RCF Associates are professionally trained in various disciplines, which include General and Bereavement Counselling, Hospice care, Homoeopathy, General and Specific medicine, Care of the Elderly and Social work, as well as Teaching, Philosophy, Humanities and Social Science. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, mothers, fathers, grandparents, nurses, doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, artists, musicians, housewives - a very broad spectrum of people from many different countries who have become involved in understanding and dealing with end-of-life issues in one way or another.
And all are concerned with finding ever better ways of helping, supporting and counselling the terminally ill (from whatever cause) the dying and the bereaved. We are dedicated to providing the best possible mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual care for everyone involved when death and dying are near, with the intention of giving easement and settlement to all.
We embrace all beliefs, faiths and creeds and do not tend towards any specific religious affiliation. The uniqueness and individuality of human life is sacrosanct and we hold it dear that every human being forms their own relationship with what they may or may not believe in and we respect each and every personal allegiance.
These are just some of the RCF Counsellors. If you would like a more comprehensive list please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Even as a child I felt the need to help those in difficulty, so I joined the Red Cross and found myself going around to schools as a kind of spokesman. I started with advice on how to keep safe and this just naturally developed into listening to people. It grew from there and I did a counselling course to give more substance to the assistance I was being asked for.
On joining The Ruby Heart Foundation I learnt so much more about how to care for people in need and in all kinds of loss.
Grief comes in many ways - when we lose a loved one, our job, our home, our way of life.
I have been writing to, and visiting, people in prison since 1994.
I attended the 'Training the Trainers' 2 year course run by The Ruby Care Foundation and give bereavement support by telephone and in person.
I write poetry, which can give comfort, and a tape of my poems has been produced by Springlevend Foundation who promote Humanity in Care for the Elderly.
(Some of Mary's poems can be found elsewhere on the website)
In 2002 I found myself drawn to the work of bereavement counselling, co-incidentally at the same time that The Ruby Care Foundation was founded, and was fortunate to meet Judith Pocock in the September of that year.
Participating in the training of the RCF has added enormously to my depth of understanding of loss, and I now have a much greater settlement about the natural processes of death, dying and bereavement.
The work of the RCF is invaluable and has been the inspiration for me to gain a Diploma in Counselling. I now assist in training first year trainee counsellors for an agency in Nottingham, am building my own private practice plus continuing in voluntary counselling practice. I am available for face-to-face or telephone counselling for those living in the Midlands.
Angela, who holds a diploma in pet bereavement counselling, and is a Fellow of The Society of Bereavement Practitioners, is the Pet Loss Support Specialist Practitioner for the Environmental Animal Sanctuary & Education (EASE), registered charity no: 1089160 - a small charity that supports the human-animal relationship and recognises the effect of grief upon losing a beloved companion animal. Angela currently runs a local one-to-one support service in East Devon; she is also a Consultant Animal Bereavement Specialist and offers training to veterinary and charitable animal welfare organisations throughout the UK. Follow this link to the EASE website.
Angela explains: “Throughout the whole of my life I have passionately cared for animals, with an ever-strengthening longing to see a kinder and safer world for all creatures great and small. The human–animal relationship is very special as our animals offer us valuable companionship enhancing our lives with their affection and loyalty.
"Over the years I have taken in many waifs and strays and as a result faced many losses with the inevitable grief that followed. Through the Ruby Care Foundation I have gained strength and knowledge in how to journey along the pathway of grief towards settlement, and from this, my wish is to promote support and understanding for others who find themselves facing the death of a much loved companion animal."
For enquiries about the EASE Pet Bereavement Support in East Devon, or for training and Continuing Professional Development, contact Angela by Email: email@example.com
Diana Gonzalez, lived in Spain for 14 years where she brought up her three children; now grandmother of three and retired, she works as a volunteer in a Hospice and as a Bereavement Counsellor.
Graduating in Philosophy and Spanish, she was co-founder of an organisation seeking to create better awareness in education of the needs of the ‘whole child’, in particular spiritual development. When her mother became ill for several years, suffering from Dementia, Diana devoted much of her time to assisting with her care and was with her when she died. It was at this time that she realised that this was the kind of work she was most drawn to and began to work with the elderly, taking a particular interest in Care of the Whole Person in Dementia. Feeling that Care of the Elderly and particularly Care of the dying, and the whole attitude to death needed much better understanding and re-assessing, she was asked to put together a Training Programme for Carers in ‘Dementia Care’ Bereavement Support’ and ‘Care for the Dying’.
During the past two years Diana trained with the Ruby Care Foundation and now has a licence under this organisation to train others in this more advanced method of approach to care of the dying and bereavement.
I have never experienced anything more painful than losing a person who was very dear to me.
An unbearable pain, with different sensations of feeling powerless, lonely, empty, paralysed and numb – where you feel, in a way, unrecognisable to yourself or don’t feel yourself as you used to, don’t know yourself anymore – which amongst other things stems from a missing comprehension of what is going on or a lack of being understood by others.
The feeling of not being understood amplified the pain of loneliness and left me to fall even deeper into isolation. It takes courage to feel the pain and move into a state of vacuum. For a time, all is meaningless and the question "why" repeats itself like an echo.
But in desperation I felt a need for help and being understood.
Nobody has been educated to handle grief or shown how to deal with it in school. I felt helpless, almost delivered up to it, after the death of my mother, but found support and understanding with people from the Ruby Care Foundation in England. It meant so much for me, that there were some people who understood my pain, understood what was happening, listened to me with warmth and attention, thereby attaching an unseen string between us, giving a form of support and stability.
Life is one long grief process, in one way or another. Grief exists in so many forms and has so many expressions… when being let down, get angry or want revenge, experiencing loss … and much more.
To be let down causes lack of confidence, followed by a continual sought-after stability. Within this thoughts creep in: 'I’m not like others'… 'I can’t be normal'… and therefore 'I must try to change myself'. This was my constant experience as a child; these destructive thoughts grew and grew and grew…… while confidence became smaller and smaller… so that in the end, I lacked confidence always when people were around.
Mostly, we are left to our own devices to find our way around such problems, as we are not taught how things naturally work. It then becomes a relief to find someone who makes time to listen and give support along the way… for grief is a very natural process.
It is therefore one of my wishes to help bereaved children - to give them the platform of stability as they go through any process of grief..
My baby died in the womb right before her birth. The pain of it is hard to describe. It felt like someone had torn away my heart and inner parts. More than anything I wanted to follow my little girl to the grave.
During the first couple of weeks her father and I felt like we were living in another world. We were alternating between breaking into tears and being in a state of almost watching everything from outside ourselves in a strange, almost dreamlike state. We were very sensitive and aware of each other. We only had each other. The rest of the world was more or less blurred.
The overwhelming pain and grief made it difficult for me to accept what had happened. Several years later I am still amazed how much time it takes to recover from the shock.
You don't ever "get over" the death a child. My daughter will be in my heart for the rest of my life. I live with the loss. As time has passed I have found space in myself for other things too, and there are fewer days filled with grief. Her death has affected my life and relations in many ways – towards family, friends, activities and working environment.
In my experience many people in grief or crisis feel lonely and abandoned by the world around them. Through the Ruby Care Foundation I found a deep understanding and relief of grief. I found great comfort in dealing with others in a similar situation. I cannot take away the pain or replace what you have lost, however I will do my best to support and help you in this challenging time of your life.
Mary McGrane is one of The Ruby Care Foundation Associates in NE United States.
During the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 Mary participated in a group of people delivering 'Grief Tapes' (produced and donated by The Ruby Care Foundation) to firemen at approximately 80 firehouses throughout NY City. She visited with firemen, listening to their stories and acknowledging their loss. She also assists with the elderly and sick by visiting and lending an ear.
Mary is a freelance writer, a published poet and author of a book called “Healing the Home” She also writes stories from daily life that inspire others and is currently working on a collection of these stories called "Silhouettes".