Posts Tagged ‘Grief and Loss’

Grief and Loss

Recently, I was asked to prepare a talk for an upcoming workshop on Bereavement. It’s been a long time.   Back in the 1990’s, as a perinatal nurse and grief counsellor,  my whole existence seemed to revolve around helping mothers and families suffering from the losses experienced in the period from conception to birth. It was a challenging time for the parents to learn to live with terrible unexpected losses in the perinatal period. I can tell you that no school I ever attended was able to help me understand, and no loss of my own could put me in the shoes of another’s person’s grief.

I started in that job at the same time my mother lost her battle with Alzheimer’s. My own aching heart was sympathetic to all profound loss but not as empathetic to the loss of a child or the loss of potential inherent in giving birth to the perfect child, because that was not my experience.  I was, however a good listener and sensitive to the wave of feelings which overwhelm us when unexpected and final change happens.  As I listened and gathered stories, I understood that sharing those stories was a way of helping others.  A frequent question in the grieving process was any version of  ‘am I the only one?’
While preparing for my talk, I realized that  this opportunity to share, with the participants of the workshop, is a way of putting many of those stories back out there.  My hope is that the situations are unique to each individual but not unique to life.  It will help others to know that. 

 It also helped me to realize that their stories and my own triggered the desire to write as a way of healing.  The Will to be True was started at the time of my mother’s passing and finally completed as I learned to come to terms with the loss of a dear friend.
A while ago, I picked up a book called Writing as a Sacred Path. As an Ordained Minister, the title called to me.  Even more, the idea of serving the needs of the soul through writing and teaching appealed to me immensely. To ‘be the voice of human experience’  is indeed a worthy and immense responsibility but the learning potential, both for authors and readers, is vast.

My grief and loss will not leave me ever. Losing those I love to the finality of death is painful.  No circumstance will ever mitigate that final goodbye.  Yet, like the clients, patients and friends with whom I share this intensely personal fact of life, our ability to validate and learn from each other’s grief is the cornerstone of love.  

I have always thought of my book as a love story in which the characters defy the odds to find happiness.  Defying the odds is simply putting our grief and loss on hold and allowing trust and love to override its paralyzing effects and be the great healer.


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