“How do we participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world?” – Joseph Campbell

Working with Grief

Finding the Mystery that Grief Reveals when it Breaks us Wide Open

We don’t believe we can handle things, but we find moment to moment we almost can.

We don’t want to accept things as they are, but this is what we will work with, and it does get easier.
Somehow….I wish I could make the pain and agony of loss go away, but I can sit with you until it becomes something different- an awakening.

When Our Loved Ones are Gone to us:

How to go on Feeling Connected with What’s Important when loss happens
Your task is in Meaning Making;
Establishing a sense of purpose will help right now even though you are not up for it.

We don’t believe we can handle things, but we find moment to moment we actually sometimes can.

May I forgive myself for things I have done or left undone. May I accept that Much is beyond my control.

“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.”
– Rumi (written in the early 1200s)

Grief teaches us and can be an Invitation to go deeper, to discover the Resilience we long for.

Paying tribute to people we feel are integral and essential to our well being and happiness can feel right, even as the reality of loss and changing circumstances can be devastating at times.

Learning how to Accept what can feel unacceptable, even when you feel you can’t possibly bear it as your heart breaks wide open.

Surrendering to loss to Accept what is- just for the moment- just for today.

Give Me Away

When I die give what’s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.

– Written almost 2000 years ago in Aramaic, Kaddish Yatom

Call me.

Ilene Wolf, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists,  MFT

415 420 3619



I am here for you.


I see the best in you.

Ilene Wolf, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 30 years

Office conveniently located in the
San Francisco Bay Area

“Compassion and empathy…”

“Ilene is not only a skilled and seasoned therapist, but also has a huge capacity for compassion and empathy. I have been impressed with Ilene’s capacity to grasp the essential questions and essence of her clients’ needs in her unique style of therapy.”
– MG, school counselor and psychotherapist

“Made a critical difference in my life…”

“I have tried several therapists. Ilene’s sessions made a critical difference in my life. Ilene cares deeply and helped me build trust back into my relationships.
Ilene has helped my family beyond the regular measures. I recommend Ilene Wolf, MFT, RDT/BCT, I know she can help where most others fail.”
– R.A.

“Spoke directly to our hearts …”

Ilene Wolf, LMFT spoke directly to our hearts at the monthly meeting of Soroptimist International and the whole experience was a real treat! She spoke about the anxiety we all experience and feel around conflict, and how compassion, forgiveness and kindness can melt it away.
– Marla Hamilton, Co-President Soroptimist International of Marin County