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February 4, 2024 39 mins

My guest this week is Deborah Grassman and for 30 years, she served as a hospice nurse practitioner within the Department of Veterans Affairs. While trained as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, her focus shifted towards hospice care, where she unearthed a unique revelation about trauma's transformation at life's end, an aspect not formally identified before.

In her discussions, she shed light on the distinct challenges veterans faced during their end-of-life reflections, often linked to military service, moral injuries, and life reviews.

Veterans exhibited unique needs, and her observations prompted the Hospice Veteran Partnership, later adopted by NHPCO. Her journey accelerated into webinars, films, books, and nationwide training, emphasizing veterans' distinctive end-of-life experiences.

She founded a non-profit, Opus Peace, addressing unexplored aspects of trauma at life's end. Veterans expressed not only PTSD but also a deeper soul injury, feeling lost or disconnected. Recognizing a pattern, she termed it a "soul injury," a wound separating individuals from their authentic selves.

Stoic facades often crumbled at life's end, revealing three impediments: unwarned loss and hurt, unforgiven guilt and shame, and fear of helplessness and loss of control. Recognizing these, her mission became helping people heal their relationship with themselves.

Opus Peace, her non-profit, aimed to propagate the soul injury message, offering tools and concepts. Two books, "Peace at Last" (focused on veterans) and "The Hero Within," focused on healing one's internal hero, could be accessed on their website.

Opus Peace conducted four-day virtual training sessions, providing resources for workshops on soul injury. Online courses, titled "MasterPEACE," covered various topics and holistic tools, making education accessible. Donations were encouraged to support their pioneering work.

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