Grief Practitioner // Ritualist // Writer
First, you must know, my Soul is a wild one. She’s rebellious, and doesn’t do well with being told what to do. She’s very adamant about what I am here to do — my calling. And, she doesn’t tolerate bullshit.
The ground was laid a long time ago for me to work with grief, loss, death, and ritual. All of which are raw, often feral, and void of posturing — there’s just no room for pretending when you’re in the depths of transition.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences that left me cracked open, shattered, groundless. Experiences I would never choose to do again, yet I wouldn’t change if I could. They have left me fuller, deeper, more empathic, more alive, more connected to all that is.
When I was 10 years old my older brother, Brett, died of a heroin overdose. He had long, beautiful hair, wore a snakeskin belt, and played the guitar with magic fingers. He’s someone I looked up to and loved my entire life, and then one day he was gone. Everything changed in an instant.
That’s when I began my walk with grief. Though for a long time it felt less like a walk and more like a battle — a lonely battle in which I was much too small of a warrior.
When I was 21, I experienced another life-shattering event. Something that left me forever scarred, and completely blown open. Six weeks before graduating from college, I was run over by a drunk driver. I had a traumatic brain injury which left me with over 200 stitches in my head, a broken pelvis, and crushed knee. That night the doctors couldn’t tell me if I would live. Later they told me I would never finish my college degree and never go on to get a Masters or Doctorate (proved them wrong on all counts — told you my soul is rebellious).
And, of course, I’ve been through other losses and transitions including devastating breakups, an abortion, divorce, a chronically and terminally ill sister, witnessing the ongoing destruction of nature and animals, and living in an unjust and domesticated civilization. All of these have pained me and changed me. None of these are mine alone; everyone has stories of loss and sorrow, some similar, some completely different.
Now, as I find sustainable relationships with grief and gratitude, I feel more fulfilled than ever before. I feel a deep connection with my soul, the Earth, and all that’s unfolding. So, I cry often and laugh a lot. I try to speak the fuck up when needed and step back to listen when appropriate. I’m in love with nature, land, animals, and community. I’m the guardian of two dachshunds, a miniature mule, miniature donkey, and goat who are some of my primary teachers. On any given day you can find me painting rocks, reading, connecting with my friends and animals, or writing about grief, the Earth, justice, and love.
Holly Truhlar is a lawyer, grief therapist, and community builder. She’s integrated her doctorate in law with a masters in transpersonal counseling psychology to create a model for personal and collective liberation. This model, called Radical Attunement Work (RAW), moves people and groups from dominating and exploitative ways of being into attuned and transformational relationships. Her work lies at the convergence of ancestral grief, collective trauma, conscious collapse, and social justice. She’s currently practicing and researching social technologies, such as ritual and Deep Democracy work, that foster large-scale trauma resolution and collective nervous system regulation. She's been called to help hold grief in these troubled and transitional times, so she lives with her heart broken open and soul on display.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Naropa University
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Political Science, Minor Environmental Affairs, Colorado State University
Holly has mentored emerging adults since 2011 and worked with private practice therapy clients since 2012. For the past three years she has facilitated workshops with groups ranging from two to 200+. This includes facilitating difficult dialogues, community building, rituals, open forums, and group process work. She maintains her own mindfulness and somatic based practices, as well as ongoing training, supervision, and mentors.
Enter the Healing Ground
The Sacred Work of Grief, Francis Weller, Mercy Center
Certified Compassionate Bereavement Care™ Provider
The Art of Traumatic Grief Counseling, MISS Foundation, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Family Trust
Comprehensive Bereavement Skills Training
trauma dynamics training, Containment and autonomic regulation
Trauma Dynamics (previously the Love and Trauma Center)