Not Dead But Still Grieving

Letting go

Letting go

In the past few weeks I had 3 conversations with close friends about the grieving for the ‘not dead‘. While attending Bill Coller’s workshop on ‘The grieving process‘, he also extensively spoke about this topic.

Most of you have experienced grief for a relationship that broke apart, which also means that the person hasn’t died. But this was more about people, specifically family members who my close friends hadn’t ‘broken up with’, they were still somehow present in their lives but there was also the experience of huge grief.

He no longer is what he was before

Bill Coller mentioned that the grief about the son ‘who no longer was the son’ the parents were used to as a challenging form of grief. He recalled an experience of a family whose son had an accident and was still alive but paralysed and unconscious right after the accident. The person he was before would never be coming back.

Given that we associate grieving with someone or something that ‘no longer exists’ it often feels strange to experience grief when someone is still physically alive. I remember the time after my mother’s suicide attempt I experienced grief. At the same time I grieved for the unclear future of my younger twin daughter. They were both alive and given my mum survived her attempt I was also relieved and grateful for the time we got to spend with each other. And still, there was grief.

Grieving lost dreams and expectations

Speaking to my friends I started thinking about the topic. One of my friends explained the grief she was experiencing in relation to dreams, hopes and expectations she had with a friend. They did not come into reality but it also wasn’t 100% clear that they wouldn’t in the future. It reminded me of Bill’s story and many other parents who hope for their children to survive, to get better, to get healthy again, to come back to us, to get out of addictions and so forth. The difference again as we would ‘never’ let go of hope in the situation of our children being ill but in other situations we might need to let go of the dreams and expectations as a way to move on with our life. One answer does not fit all questions we ask ourselves…

The soul’s journey

Bill mentioned that in the case of a person in a coma as a medium he can tell whether the soul has left the physical body. He is able to speak to souls who have passed and has mentioned situations where the soul clearly stated ‘it was part of my journey’. Of course I have been asking myself the same question in regards to Amya and my mother’s death. And I guess depending on how I am listening to, I might get some answers which might fit with where I am. The reality of human experience without mediumship quality is however that I don’t know, really. I trust my own intuition and – in line with my experience and beliefs – will know when it’s time to know.

I’m thinking about all the people who have lost loved ones, who are grieving for those aspects in loved ones they ‘have lost’ whether they are still alive or not and wishing relief for those dealing with anticipatory grief and those dealing with the ‘aftermath’ of a family member who has passed on.

Forthcoming book about Grief

You might have heard it by now… I’m writing a book titled: ‘Responding to Grief – Ways to Transcend and Find New Perspectives on the Grieving Process’. It’s more than processing my own experience and as a form of therapy but really finding ways to get back to life through the experience of loss. How have you transcended loss? I’d be honoured to include your view points so please leave your comments and I will contact you.


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