I had a friend come to visit and stay the night. She was very dear and close to my wife, we all studied together, worked together, spent many gin afternoons together. This friend is currently studying to become an acupuncturist, as part of her studies she is being taught how to actively listen and read body language to assist in diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Recently her and her husband had been on holiday with some of their friends, 2 of these friends had recently experienced loss and grief, the death of a partner, the suicide of a brother. Her friends talked of how they found it difficult as no one would talk about grief and loss, and lamented the constricts of culture and society. And then they stopped talking about it. My friend was really concerned by this, that they had brought this subject out into the open then shut it down. Her friends identified a problem they had but had no further way of exploring that and expressing themselves.
My friend then asked if I would be willing to sit with her and talk about grief and how it had effected me. We sat for hours as I let loose with all that we all talk of on here, the guilt, confusion, physical pain, isolation and on and on. It was a really illuminating conversation, my wife flitted in and out of it as things arose but mainly it was about the actual mechanics of grief. How it feels to grieve for a partner. The most interesting part for her was around the universals of grief, the shock we experience, the physical attributes, the loss of self etc. My friend had an established view that grief was unique to the individual and was surprised that people experienced common events, that they could relate to these events with other people in a similar situation. I explained about all the people I had met on here, all of us, and how reading and chatting, trying to help had given me a much deeper understanding of what I was going through and where I found myself.
Thinking about it now, I’ve just realised that the last time she came to visit we had a similar night talking directly of my wife and that was the spur that got me chatting on here. I note this as the next day she remarked on how much I seemed to have gotten on top of things in the last few weeks, that I seemed to have started accepting and growing, taking what I needed with me, leaving other things behind. After our night she felt as if she had a better understanding of grief and felt that there were now ways that she hoped she could help her two friends to start coming out of themselves and talk about the things they aren’t able to.
And so a massive thanks to all on here, all of you, us, who post and interact, allow people in to see our experience, it does help. My friend will now take all of the advice and support we give each other and she will try and apply it to her life, her friends and in the future her clients as an acupuncturist. I just wanted you all to know that your efforts to try and understand, to accept, to try and find yourselves are helping other people. Well done all of us for trying.