The Anniversary

The Anniversary

Emotions around the anniversary of the death of my partner
Every year as the anniversary of the death of my partner Paul approaches, my emotions are noticeably very present. In the weeks leading up to it I’m more sensitive and more emotional and tears flow easily. It just happened when a friend invited me to meditate together on that day. I’m so thankful for my empathic friends. It touches me too that my brothers and sister make a point of calling me on the 26th of May to see how I am.

This year it’s eleven years ago! And some memories come up that make it feel like yesterday. The actual chain of events on that day is always very clear. What happened after that has faded more into the background. I know that I have integrated the loss into my life and I have found happiness in life again.

Waves of sadness
I experience sadness like waves, in the beginning constant waves that overtake and overwhelmed me. Literally I hadn’t had any control over my emotions and the sadness was intense. As time passed the waves become less intense and I found myself in calmer water. Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays brings up a wave of sadness again. At these times the memories come back and the sadness is somehow present again.

Healing process
Recently during a five day therapeutic process, something inside me was touched and I cried for two hours solid about Paul. I noticed then, how angry I was that he had left me, I had buried the anger, even though I know he couldn’t help it. Nowadays I feel lighter and more free. I’ve let go of a heavy load and a change has happened.

My meaning
The way I have made sense of my loss was to follow a professional training on grief and loss, so that I could help others to make meaning of their loss.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.” says Søren Kierkegaard
Life is far too precious not to be lived fully and I can help to guide you back to finding your lust for life.
I welcome your thoughts on how you’ve dealt with such a loss? Have you been able to make your own sense of it?

If you’ve been touched by my experience, you can contact me for a consultation.

Thanks to Hush Naidoo for the beautiful photo.

Saying goodbye during a pandemic

Saying goodbye during a pandemic

This week it’s 3 years since my mother died. I look back with gratitude at our goodbye with all 5 children at her bedside. We had taken turns to watch over her for 8 days. Everyone was at her funeral; including nieces and nephews, friends and acquaintances. What a contrast to what is imposed on us now, standing at the side of the road or just paying our respects together on Facebook or zoom.

Current Situation
It is heartbreaking that we can’t visit our loved ones in a hospice or care home. Keeping a distance whilst we really want to be close. Due to government guidelines, saying goodbye has become very complicated. You can’t put an arm around your loved one, it feels difficult and painful and can leave us feeling powerless, bringing up emotions such as sadness and anger.

Saying Goodbye
In just a few weeks time our world has changed drastically. If someone in your close family is dying you can visit but you need to wear a Hasmat suit. It is unthinkable that you need to hold the hand of your father mother, brother, sister or grandparent wearing gloves.
In the Netherlands, burials and cremations went from max 100 to 30 mourners and some decide just close blood relatives as they find it difficult to decide, also you’d get a fine if you don’t obey the rules.

However due to the smaller gatherings those left behind are experiencing a lot of warmth from friends who can’t be there, letters, flowers and stories. This kind of sharing offers a different kind of comfort and they look forward to the time where they can really come together to remember their loved one.

I wish everyone strength in this situation.
If you feel the need to talk about your experience of losing a loved one, feel free to call me without obligation.