An elderly woman seated in a wheel chair was being interviewed by a psychiatrist.
She told him she was dead because she had lost her heart. He told her to place her hand on her breast to feel it beating. It must still be there if she could feel it beat.
“That,” she said, “is not my real heart.” There was nothing more to be said.
--- from The Force of Character by James Hillman
How powerful a scene the author relates to his readers. It describes so well the struggle grievers have. Loss has been described as “my heart is broken,” or “a piece of my heart is gone.” In the case of a child’s death, I remember a grieving mother saying simply, “My heart has been torn from me.” All are describing a loss so devastating…. How do you, who are grieving a loss, move forward? Is there a path to take, a solution? Can the pieces be put back together? What does it look like to be “doing better?”
Truly there are no easy answers to these questions. The way forward is as individual as the loss. The pieces of your life will be put back together - but just not in the same way.
Let your imagination move you forward. Imagine what “moving forward” looks like in your future. Here are some ways that grievers just like you have gone forward then found themselves beginning to heal.
There are multiple ways to remember your loved one and remain connected to them in your heart. But for today, recognize that the world you once shared with your loved one is changing, and your actions in it will change too. Actions that start with what you imagine in your new life.
Peace and hope for new beginnings, Maggie Terry
Maggie Terry is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Bereavement Counselor for Hospice of Washington County. She has been with Hospice of Washington County for seven years. She is an experienced group leader and presenter, facilitating monthly grief support groups such as the Hearts of Hope group and Loss of Child support group. She provides individual grief counseling from her office at the Community Life Center in Boonsboro, Maryland. There is no charge for these services.