Gentle Season grew from a seed planted in my heart long ago, a purpose enriched by my lived experience. That seed bloomed into a private practice and residency where humans can be present with meeting themselves where they are, while be held as they explore their mortality.
Hi! I'm Victoria, MS, CMT, a multi-passionate explorer of mindful living, dying, and community care. I'm a certified death Doula in private practice, working part-time in conjunction with a hospice program in upstate New York, and currently working on becoming a certified Thanatologist. My work sits at the intersections of trauma-informed somatic mindfulness, inner child companioning, grief tending, forest bathing, and radical self-empathy. As a mindfulness meditation teacher of 10 years, I'm profoundly moved by the magic of presence in the natural world. I'm also a writer and author—"My Body, My Home: A Radical Guide to Resilience and Belonging" (Penguin) is available internationally.
*Resume upon request
I believe that creation is a dance between lived experience, the collective unconscious, and untold ancestral stories etched into our DNA. Whether it's knitting, making a zine, or finishing a dissertation on climate justice, a resident's creation is also their legacy. While self-preservational, creation is equally life-affirming—a void we fill with endless possibilities while on this earth. I created Gentle Season's Creative Residency for residents to reflect on their life through their craft, its purpose, and the mark it leaves on their work, no matter how small.
My grandmother died when I was 6, and my grandfather would visit her grave every day, rain or shine. I spent many years of my childhood visiting my grandfather in Poland, so the "cmentarz" (cemetery) became my second home. You could find me telling jokes to my grandmother, helping clean the grounds, playing with ghosts, and engaging with a community of bereaved people who also visited their loved ones daily. There were graves dating back to 1905 with family or friends from their lineage maintaining it with candles, flowers, or a sign of remembrance. I, too, have a family friend taking care of my grandparents' grave between my visits from the US. From an early age, it was instilled in me that death and grief are processed through ritual and community, which isn't always the norm cross-culturally, and something that became harder to access after moving to the states.
Later, after much childhood adversary, I learned when grief has no place to go, no way of being witnessed—it ruptures one's mind, body, and spirit. While experiencing devastating loss throughout my years, including the sudden death of several people I loved, I hungered for a place where speaking openly about death and showing up untamed in my heartbreak wouldn't be met with discomfort, platitudes, and aversion. I hosted my first Death Cafe in 2016, shortly after my father died, desperate to connect with others about the fragility of life and how to function with my heart bleeding in my hands. After spending many year grappling with my calling, I shifted my career into death care, finally aligning with my deepest purpose. Gentle Season is the nest I wished existed for me, those I love, and anyone in need of a soft ground to land on and be seen. Doing this work is the honor of my life and I'm so grateful to be in this with you.