“It’s been five months since I’ve seen him…been held. Two more to go.”
“Seven months since it ended. Yet, I thrive on my own.”
“It’s been three years since I’ve heard her stories.”
“Sixteen years. Half my life, since he was here to celebrate the little things. To make weird words as signs of affection.”
Do any of those statements or thoughts sound familiar? These might be some of the things we say or hear when someone has experienced loss and might be grieving.
What is the experience of loss?
Loss is life’s most wild rollercoaster that no one wants to ride, yet, it’s unavoidable. Sometimes loss makes us feel powerless. Loss makes us question if we will experience love, grace, power and empathy again.
Loss is not limited to just one thing: one event, circumstance, time, or relationship. It’s a thousand different moments made in our memories, from our experiences of love and happiness. It’s the paper cuts you don’t know are even there, showing up as harmless until it’s on the knuckle of your hand. The sting is momentary, but it takes being intentional to allow it to heal. Just like our physical wounds, not caring for our emotional wounds increases the risk for them to fester and scar.
The grieving process is a million different ways in which we adjust; to the absence of sound, the loss of the physical touch, the fading smells. It’s the food that goes bad or you no longer consume because without them, it’s just not the same. It’s the items that continue to exist beyond them, the ones you keep for comfort and the others you just, don’t know what to do with, or the ones you gave away, donated or sold to try and find your way forward.
Grieving is recognizing the places you once enjoyed, you haven’t visited without them and maybe never will again. But sometimes you find yourself getting curious; casually going by, once again feeling the sting in your heart, knowing that place is not what it was.
If you’re feeling stuck, maybe even paralyzed, psychotherapy can be a great tool to help process your loss and move forward in a more productive way, with a fresh perspective.
While avoiding talking about our loss may feel like a safer option, learning to lean into our loss and properly process it in a safe environment helps us to re-orientate the way we think about our challenges and ourselves. The goal of processing our grief is to give us new ways of thinking about ourselves and our circumstances, empowering you to make informed choices.
To learn more about psychotherapy and if it works for you, visit https://alignedhealth.janeapp.com/locations/aligned-health-waterloo/book#/counselling-psychotherapy
About the author:
Heidi Argyle (she/her/hers) is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) and Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT). Heidi integrates creative expression in therapy, where the focus is on expression not words. Heidi has her Masters in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from the Martin Luther University College, and holds her Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and has her Bachelor of Art History from The University of Western Ontario. Click here to learn more about Heidi or to book an appointment.