Archive for July, 2010

No particular place to go…

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I’ve been been spending much more time at home since I had to stop driving (and that is no surprise) and with that that there has been a certain withdrawal, a bit like the trees withdrawing the sap from their leaves before they drop them in the autumn.  This may just be par for the course in the grieving process… I don’t know.  It feels kind of appropriate.  However, whilst I have been getting out and doing stuff, I have noticed that there are times when ‘out’ feels different and maybe less safe.  I don’t know if this is just part and parcel of the withdrawing process or something deeper.  

It is interesting to observe how what we feel changes our experience or reality; it transforms the world into a safer (or less safe) place.  It can equally transform a situation from challenge to threat or how we feel about a person.  In short, our internal feelings shape the world we live in.  I know some people say that we can therefore control our experiences by controlling our feelings.  I can’t say this has ever been my experience and I’m therefore somewhat cynical about this aspect of things.  What is clear is that so called ‘Reality’ is a lot more fluid that we might expect.

Something happens and our viewpoint changes and suddenly we not only see but experience our worlds differently.   So perhaps the best way to change our worlds is to put ourselves in new and different places.


Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Grieving is a process that happens when you lose something or someone.  I leant about the stages of this when I trained as a change facilitator as people do grieve for the things they left behind in a the course of Change.  Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described it as a five stage process:-

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Well regular readers know that I know have personal experience of loss and I have to tell you that after 5 months and a little reflection that the real experience is much messier than this (or any other) models suggest. 

After my holiday I feel further back along this road in terms of emotions although the model might suggest I’m making progress.    It feels these stages are more like a piano keyboard that you wander up and down, sometimes going through several steps in a day.

I learnt today that bereavement comes from old English and means literally to be robbed.  I felt that this original meaning gives much insight into the reality of the experience.  You feel robbed of your dreams, your expectations, your future… 

I feel we have all coped ever so well with our loss but I have a friend who reminds me that the stone on top of a wall is referred to as the coping stone and its job is to cover the wall and protect the base.  Some times coping gets in the way of healing.

Whether you are dealing with loss of a job, or a role or a loved one, it is a complex and lonely path one walks, no matter what help is offered.  Accepting help is not easy or simple and it has to be offered at the right time, in the right way by the right person to be acceptable.

Someone to talk to

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

We have just had a wonderful week in Tuscany.  We hired a villa located half way up a mountain and there was all the peace and quiet you could wish for.  It seemed to make reflection unavoidable.  One of the things that I found tough was not having someone there to share and explore these ideas with.  That kind of conversation was always at the heart of our relationship and I don’t think anything has so brought home the reality of her passing as this sense of not having that person you totally trust to explore new ideas and feelings with.

I occurred to me once I got home that this is also something which is common amongst people who are running businesses and I know that many of my clients particularly value having someone independent who they can frankly explore ideas and issues with and it is this role as a sounding board that I particularly enjoy.

We all need someone to listen to us and it is a huge and valuable gift between people… have you made time to listen to someone today?