Grief and Loss: Is There Any Way Forward?
“D”, a woman in her 50s, lost her spouse unexpectedly through a tragic workplace accident. Y was a very outgoing businessman, involved in local charities, known to many people, and very well-liked in his community. With his loss D began to realize in a profound way how much she had grown to depend on him for her connection to the outer world. His death confronted her with an overwhelming experience of loneliness, despair and deep disconnection from her community and the life going on around her.
As we worked together, D became aware of the emergence in her dreams of a figure who was the connection with her own outgoing aspect, and her own unique self. This inner life had been pushed deep within her by an extremely critical early family experience, which had carried into her adult life in the form of very hostile, critical inner voices. With time, D began to develop an increasing confidence in her own ability to be outgoing, and in the fact that she was an interesting person whom other people could experience as someone they wanted to know on much more than a superficial level.
As she re-connected with the world through involvements that mattered to her, and new friendships, D began to value the inner self that had been submerged for so many years. She began to have a new deeper appreciation of herself, her own inner life, and her own uniqueness. Slowly, being alone with herself began to lose its terror. Along with new social relationships, D could even begin to enjoy time spent alone with a fascinating and surprisingly multi-facetted person — herself.