In a matter of weeks I will be running a grief and loss group in my rooms in Buderim. As I prepare the material, I have had time to reflect on the passage through grief and loss and the experiences of those who have previously completed the course.
I have a collection of reflections on loss from the people who were part of the group. Today, I would like to share them with you. Maybe you will find them helpful.
J.K. wrote that grief is more than missing someone. He felt it was an unrelenting ache for reality to be different and for the impossible to come true.
So true. This really struck a chord with the rest of the group.
Suzie just said that not a day goes by without saying “I Miss You”.
Jacky wrote that of course we grieve the person we lost. But she felt there was more to it than that. She felt those who have never grieved don’t understand there is so much more that is lost. When her partner died she found that everything they had together and shared together was gone. Those things were still there, but they were not the same. All those things they had looked forward to, the marriage of their daughter, the birth of the first grandchild, retirement together and so much more. There was a future they had planned to have together. That togetherness was all lost.
Max reflected on Paul McCartney’s song “When I’m 64” and how Paul McCartney never got to experience that with Linda McCartney. He wondered how Paul McCartney felt about losing that future. He agreed with Jacky. The lost future is so hard to come to terms with. It had never occurred to him before his wife died that the future was another loss.
Paula looked at this lost future from another perspective. She considered it to be a double whammy. You lost the person you love and they are no longer in your life. You feel so alone and lonely. But she also grieved for the things her partner, Pam, was missing. It hurt to realise Pam was missing the things she had so looked forward to. She felt so guilty enjoying the things Pam was missing.
Larry wrote that he had just seen grief as a sad time following the death of this person you have loved. He had considered all you had to do was push through the grief until you reached the other side. That is certainly what our society teaches us.
Larry came to the course because he could not find the other side and he was expecting to find the other side. Now he was realising that there was no other side.
He realised you didn’t battle on and push through. There was surrender to the all-consuming grief. There was adjustment to the new reality. There was acceptance of what was now.
He wrote that he saw that grief was not something to complete. Some task on a to do list that you finished and moved on from. Grief was something he was finding he had to endure. Grief had become part of who he was. It had changed who he was and how he saw the world. He had come to realise he was a different person now, and always would be.
There was a new reality now.
Kyle’s reflection was particularly poignant. He was angry when his daughter died. He was angry at the unfairness of death. Why was something he constantly asked. He had questions, doubts and fears. He asked death and was met with silence. When he wasn’t angry he was so broken. He felt his heart would never mend. He struggled to accept the reality of losing his daughter. He found the anger had passed, but he would never be okay with his little girl’s death. He found that his love for her was tinged with the pain of grief. He wrote that the anger had passed and all he was left with was the overwhelming wish to have her here.
A vivid description of the tumultuous nature of grief.
I find these reflections so powerful and pertinent. So often I have people come to see me who are finding it really hard to deal with these things that the group participants talked about. It is such a struggle particularly to accept the things your loved one will never get to do. It can feel like a betrayal when you enjoy these new things and they can’t.
That is a really difficult thing for people to learn to live with.
The other thing that so many talk about is the loneliness. It is not a pleasant loneliness. It is a loneliness that cries of loss and pain. A loneliness that is really hard to be with. It doesn’t matter if the loved one was a partner, parent, child or friend. That loneliness. That feeling of not wanting to be alone. That is very real and very present for many people.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief journey, please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com
“Demeter’s Journey” my grief and loss group, will be running with limited numbers in May. More information will be posted in the next few weeks.
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz