A day about loss
There’s a strange thing that often happens in my working day. It’s to do with themes. The funny thing is that these themes sometimes run through a day of client work, even when I am supporting them for different issues. Today it was loss. All different kinds. Traditional loss through the death of a family member. Loss experienced by a mother whose child who cannot live a full life due to a disability. The loss of a hoped for bond between a father and his anxious son who won’t join him in the activities he so longs to share. Loss of youth. Or maybe loss of contact with loved family members…
All loss impacts us, because we have to ‘re-write’ our stories about ourselves and our lives. We have to learn to accept the absence of the person or the life we had or wanted. This can be the hardest thing to do. So many emotions accompany loss. Anger, sadness, guilt, sometimes shock and almost always an emptiness. Our grief may be all consuming. We may choose to avoid the topic or bury the pain or become ‘stuck’ and refuse to move on. Sometimes this is due to guilt, other times it’s fear and often it’s due to lack of closure.
Some loss can be even harder because others are blind to it
Sometimes called ambiguous loss, this type of loss is one of the most difficult to navigate. There may be no finality – no explanation and no opportunity to bring things to an end. Answers don’t exist for some of the most burning questions in life, but when we are left trying to put the pieces of our life back together, without a clear understanding of why, the process can be particularly hard. The grieving process is delayed. We just want to know ‘why’? Why did I lose my baby? What did I do so wrong that my wife fell out of love with me? Why did I say that before they died? Why was did they neglect/abuse/mistreat me?n
What counselling/therapy offers is a safe space for the person to process their grief, to deal with the shock and trauma and to begin the journey to a new way of being. To find the courage to accept their reality and to re-write their personal story.