In my work I have had many clients who were suffering loss. Sometimes by bereavement, sometimes estrangement amongst other losses.. You can feel loss and grief for things other than death. If a relationship breaks down, you can feel the loss of the other person, loss of your being part of a couple. If you lose your job or position, you can feel the loss of identity. Grief comes in many guises, all deserve to be grieved for to one extent or another. In some circumstance and with some of us, the grief comes straight away, we feel bereft and begin the grieving process straight after the loss. For others, this doesn’t happen. There is no formula, no right or wrong way, the only thing I can say and do say to clients, is don’t be rushed. Grief will take as long as it takes. Do it when you feel ready, in your own time.
Time does heal but if the loss was a long time ago, when the grief begins, sometimes the reason they came to me, the pain feels as real as it was when the original loss occurred. I, with my client, would make a plan to process the grief and maybe carry out a symbolic goodbye. Unresolved grief becomes internalized, the pain becomes a physical and emotional pain, causing other issues for the person feeling the pain.
In my experience the symbolic goodbye is a valuable tool to enable the grief to come to the surface, to enable the client to let go of the pain, and eventually feel free to move on.
So. It works for my clients it should work for me.
What the past couple of years have taught me is, holding onto grief becomes so intense that there is no room for dealing with anything that happens after the loss. Dealing with today is impossible. I found my heart and mind were full of sadness, grief and pain.When other losses happened, the first one became further and further inside of me and began eating away at my very soul. That was when the depression set in. I seemed to have the space for that!
As I have said before, many times, my grief began in May 2102 with the death of beloved horse Star and was overtaken by Jade Wood and her lies and deception. I wasn’t able to grieve, to let go. I had to concentrate on being there for her whenever she needed me. I wasn’t aware that I was digging myself into a cave that I would find impossible for a long time to find my way out from.
Recently I have become aware of what was happening. I have been very unwell and focusing on the wrong things. But now I have begun to look forward. I have identified the techniques I used for clients and will use them myself and ‘make myself well again’.
The losses have been many, my wonderful horse, my best-friend, my sister and Lucy’s baby. There have been other losses during the last few years, including 2 of our beloved ponies.
One of the things I had acknowledged but not been able to make sense of was the loss of me. The loss of Cassie as I was before her betrayal because that is what it was. Betrayal of my trust in her and of the ‘friendship’ I believed we had. Jade Wood had stolen my self-confidence, my ability to trust. Another loss.
Some of the techniques I used with clients, those who had unresolved grief,like me, was to plant a tree or a plant, write a letter or a poem and place that in the ground when they plant it. Set off a balloon and watch it float away, talking about the loss as the pretty balloon ascends into the sky and let it go. I have had many letters over the years and been told many times, how liberating this feels. Free from the grief that was holding the person back.
The other thing about grief is this, when we suffer a loss, other losses in earlier life are rekindled and the grief seems even worse. That has happened to me.
I have written many poems for people who have died over the years, in their memory. I wrote poems for Jade Wood’ ‘lost babies’ both of them. From my heart full of love for her and them. I wrote a poem for my lovely fun-loving friend who died towards the end of the ‘nasties’ of 2012. For my sister who died last year and for Lucy’s baby. Whilst grieving for all of these I suffered unresolved grief for my baby boy who was born on my bathroom floor, all those years ago. I named him Mark, I never knew what happened to him so the grief was even worse. I never grieved for him , the pain was too overwhelming . All of these have their own special poem, my thoughts and feelings for them written down in verse.
I have planted trees now for them all. I am fortunate enough to live in a beautiful place with plenty of land so have the room. I have planted roses for Ellen and purple flowers for my best friend as it was her and my favourite colour. They are in full bloom now and the garden looks amazing.
Recently I have been able to feel strong enough to buy lavender helium balloons and one day soon, when I feel even stronger, I will place the poems, verses and letters for my grand baby that wasn’t to be and her scan, and a poem called The Dream That Never Was, in a beautiful silver memory box. I will also place the bootees and socks I bought with them and seal it shut. Then I will go to the top paddock where my wonderful horse and ponies are resting and lay everything down, quite close to her final resting place and cover it over with wild flower pads.I have 30 balloons, each one with a memory including all the losses I have mentioned here, the loss of a relationship with Melissa that was damaged back in 2012, the loss of my self-confidence and the loss of the little girl who became the strong woman who told her story. I will release these balloons and with them, hopefully, the pain, the grief and every single loss I feel will go. I will watch them all fly up to the heavens and hopefully then, the tears will come.
I have promised myself this time, promised little Cassie that one-day soon I will grief, cry and let it all go. I will, as always, keep that promise. Watch this space xxx