Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What's New In Grief?




I find myself wanting to be profound and engaging and write something that will change everything.  Instead I find myself unable to find words to articulate the experience of the death of my child.  Everything I think of and start to put on paper feels puny and inadequate to capture the enormous depth and breadth of my feelings and the profound changes her death has wrought in me over time.   In the over 40 years since my daughter’s death I have learned a great deal about grief and that terrible process, but there is not much new in grief.  We have spent much time, energy and money trying not to cry, all to no avail.  

Grief is analogous to throwing up and serves the same purpose, to rid the body/psyche of toxins.  To some degree a person can control both vomiting and grieving, with similar results, control prolongs the suffering.  

 We try our hardest not to and use every possible trick, pill or drink that can, hopefully, stop it, or make it go away. And there are rather punishing consequences to that avoidance. 

The death of my child still hurts and has profoundly changed me and sets me apart from others in ways that are hard to bridge.  I have found refuge in a few wonderful people that can tolerate my grief and my strangeness.

As a therapist I have never worked with anyone that doesn’t have as a core issue some profound loss that has not been expressed.  When that issue is identified and the person can grieve, the healing starts.