It brings me immense pride and satisfaction to ensemble everything I’ve learnt on the subject personally, as a father, as a friend and as a coach in order to offer help support, perspective and guidance to those that find themselves in the clutches of grief.
I write as the teenager who’s mother sat him down to inform that the biological father i had not known about let alone met had drowned in a riverboat accident four years before the day. I write as the 22 year old sobbing uncontrollably outside the church after the sharp introduction to death that only your first funeral can deliver.
You see I was the 29 year old receiving the phone call that changed your world forever making you drop to your knee’s. Im the 29 year old that had 6 months to prepare two infants for the incomprehensible whilst coming to terms with an unimaginable change of reality.
I asked myself “How will i cope?! But I still feel like I’m practically a child? How do i compensate for the irreplaceable? How? What? Why? When? How? When you find an answer to one question a new question seemingly always replaces it.
Ive also been the 31 year old that visits you and talks to you about the loss of your wife hoping that my experience up to then might serve in someway useful. I was the 33 year old that studies for a year and qualifies as a Life Coach and NLP Practitioner so i can accelerate the process for people coming to terms with a number of issues including death. I am the talking therapist that learns more about bereavement through my clients that i could have ever known through personal experience.
I am now the 37 year old father of 12 and 13 year old boy’s, writing a book about grief’s persona so that i might shine a light on your path and help you find what you need as your navigational companion on life’s inevitable yet thoroughly inconvenient, unwanted and uncertain adventure.
Our personal relationship with grief is unique, absolutely lacking in rules and boundaries. You as a person are different to every other human being on the planet so it makes perfect sense that no two people would ever grieve identically given that their loss could be so dissimilar in the processing of the trauma and the circumstances leading to that event.
You may have lost someone from your life without the opportunity to say goodbye, you may have lost someone from your life at the end of a struggle with cancer, you may have to deal with losing someone and feeling that you could have done more to save them. The possibilities of the end are invariably end-less so bare this in mind when searching for the exact science behind bereavement because nobody can decide how you cope but yourself.
Deciding how i cope? This would insinuate there are some kind of choices to be made? Initially no, its out of control isn’t it? We don’t ask for the need to read this book but we certainly do have a strong hand in how we process the information from here on and our experience of death through those we love is absolutely parallel to the choices you make from here on.
Will you give yourself permission to cry? Will you load yourself with feelings of blame and guilt? Will you hide your emotions from the kids to ‘protect’ them? Will you pretend somewhat convincingly to feel nothing? Nothing at all?
The way you feel in grief is dependant upon a multitude of factors, your relationship with the individual, your faith in what happens next, the acceptance of the outcome from the person you have lost, your psychological and physical well-being, your perception of what is appropriate, your attitude towards the post-loss behaviour of family members, the additional responsibilities begrudgingly gained in their absence to name but a few.
The point is, you’re not alone here, theres countless ways to make grief less harsh and eventually become manageable however there are even more ways to unwittingly make a bereavement harder and let it go from an excruciatingly tough experience to a constant creating of difficulty. Im looking forward to breaking it down and showing you the difference between the two. Who knew we had so many options? But we do.
“Grief is bloody good at hide and seek and will pretty much find you each and every time no matter how long it took you to cram yourself into the washing basket whilst expertly putting some dirty underwear on your head for cover, you have no choice but to sit down nicely and play scrabble with it.”