As I have found myself in a better place than I have ever been since our own loss (both emotionally and mentally). And as I embark on another year of counselling training, I have realised 3 things in my life and writings:
1. I have missed writing about grief and loss from an informative angle. And I enjoy being able to open up the channels of communication for others to more easily talk about this subject in their everyday life, through my writing.
2. I have a lot left to say on this topic – many ideas for blogs and from so many other angles!
3. Writing about things related to grief, sadness and emotions is a very fulfilling thing when you know that it helps people (not to mention it is something that hugely interests me).
Bereavement is a heavy subject, and it has been just that for me, and hard for over these last few years. But it is also an area that greatly interests me. I realise that whilst my desire to talk in depth about my own loss on a regular basis has come to the end of its chapter, my desire to talk about loss and grief in order to help others has not.
I have wondered how I can get that balance right – of being able to write and discuss it, whilst also still maintaining my own well being, and I suppose it is similar to how I do that as a therapist – for when once I thought to work with the bereaved would be too painful for me, I now see how I can help them navigate life after loss without it hindering my own grief… and that is a great prospect.
The facts are that I care about those who are bereaved and struggle in life. I care about how they are treated in their loss and despair and my goal to be a therapist stems from the desire to lift up the heavy hands of those around me. If I can, through my writing and talking, enable others to also do this for them, then to me that is a gift that is truly priceless. I still (on a weekly basis) get questions on loss and grief, and how to help others facing unimaginable pain. I get messages about how much the person is struggling in an all too familiar way, and I realise that I possess experience and useful insights and perspectives that others want to read and hear of. And whilst it’s not for everyone, I feel it is important to talk and to help.
Our society isn’t very good at talking emotions, and we as Brits are especially good at keeping a stiff upper lip (in public at least). But one thing I am very passionate about sharing is the fact that grief and loss are so normal – They are as normal as birth is to life, and yet we aren’t very good at talking about those who have died. We squirm when people want to acknowledge the dead and, instead of celebrating a life once lived (however long or brief) we instead banish people and our silent responses shame them for expressing feelings of grief or taking about their loss. We still very much take a Victorian “doom and gloom” approach to death, and “just get on with it”! Instead of looking to other cultures who celebrate life and support one another in their loss. We do not always recognise that life is forever changed after a loss and many need a rest from the sheer exhaustion of grief, and time to adjust to a new normal.
This has become very apparent in both my observations and recent learning – My studies on grief and loss have highlighted this time and time again, and these insights and desire to change it (combined with still receiving so many messages about loss and how to support others) has lead me to wonder if I should still be writing about bereavement, loss and grief in a way of supporting? I’ve wondered if, as I learn more about helping others generally if I should be sharing this with you?
And then I read something on Instagram that very much resonated with me and completely hit home – It was what spurred me in the end to write this post. It said:
“The scars we share become lighthouses to other people headed to the same rocks you hit”.
How true is that? Just think for a moment – How many people have helped you in your loss, or your trials because they have been where you are now (or at least were back then?).
Just imagine life if we were all a little more open and a little more sensitive to the struggles, losses and grief of others.
It made me realise how important it is to talk, and how important it is to reach out to others in their pain and losses.
And so with that in mind, I will periodically be talking about loss and grief (and perhaps other insights that resonate about emotional well being) because we need to speak about them. We need to acknowledge the storms of life, and help others through them. Because, in so doing our struggles and lessons learnt take on perspective, and our new strengths and confidence in embracing our losses and pains as part of who we are, shine together to become the light house to help others navigate their journey as they head to those same rocks in life.
So now that I don’t feel as emotionally weak and vulnerable as I have done, I suppose I will continue to share more insights about loss and grief … just not necessarily mine (And not at that same personal depth I shared before)!
Of course I may touch on some of my experiences – this is inevitable when writing about something I have such deep connections with. But that isn’t why I want to continue to write about these topics now; I write about them more to help others to find their way through the storms of loss, as opposed to helping me make sense of my storms and touching others in the process. I want to share these type of blogs not for me, but to offer a little glimmer of light and help. and whether that comes through my words or through others that choose to act as a result of them, I feel it is worthwhile.