- Do you find it hard to think about the good times without thinking about your loss?
- Do you feel like you are stuck and can’t move forward in your life?
- Are regret and guilt crippling your life?
- Does the moment of loss replay over and over in your mind, even months after the death?
Losing a loved one can inflict 4 separate types of wounds.
The First Wound
First, there is the trauma of the loss. Remembering their illness, the hospital visits, being notified of the death and the wake and funeral all become open emotional wounds. Just thinking about them brings tears. You try to avoid these memories but they intrude and refuse to leave your mind.
The Second Wound
When you try to think of the good times, it just reminds you of the loss so you may train yourself to avoid the good memories. Since each of these good memories is a resource, a strength, a part of your wisdom, a part of the definition of who you truly are, avoiding them makes you lose a part of yourself.
The Third Wound
If that person is also someone who plays a special role in your current life then there is a third wound. The third wound occurs because there is a hole in your life. If you always had Sunday brunch with the person who passed, or if they were the only one you could really confide in when you were afraid then you still will be hungry on Sundays and you will still have the need to confide in someone when you are afraid.
The Forth Wound
If your loved one is one of the handful of very special people in your life – a spouse, parent, child or lifelong friend – then there is also a forth wound. The forth wound occurs because the very special people in your life have a special place in your heart with their name on it. Now that they are gone there is a vacant spot in your heart.
Wounds Can Heal
My goal is to help you to fully heal the first wound, the trauma of the loss. I focus on helping you to map out the painful memories of your loss and then I use techniques that are powerful enough to help people to fully heal from major traumas like rape, child abuse or combat to fully resolve the loss memories. By the end of therapy I want you to be able to be at a place of perfect peace even when you recall the most painful parts of the loss. Once this first wound heals the second wound will also heal – you will be able to enjoy the many positive memories of your loved one without being dragged down by the hurt and pain of the loss. This allows you to savor and be comforted by these positive memories, the time you went camping, Christmas mornings, etc.
For many people this is all they need to accomplish. Others need to work on the third wound, to fill the hole that was left in their life. Once the trauma of the loss has healed you will be able to begin to find someone else to share Sunday brunch with and to cultivate new friendships so that you will have enough close friends to confide in when you need to.
The forth wound, the piece of your heart that has that special person’s name on it does not heal, at least not this side of heaven. But that is okay, you can still have a rewarding life filled with love and joy that is enhanced by the wonderful gift of precious memories that you forever carry in your heart.