Grief and Loss issues
With counsellor Jane Macnaught


Letting goNo disputing we need to let go of things and stuff that is weighing us down – material items, stress, angst, people, screens… the list is long for us all.

“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of it’s release” (unknown)

However after losing someone special in my life I remember thinking…
I want to be Heavy with Grief and I cannot bear to be Light with Joy

There is a foggy heaviness that sits within our grieving body. Heartache and fullness in the chest, stifled throat perhaps, and legs that struggle to move forward.  Well meaning loving advice is discarded like cardboard boxes to be opened at another time. Thanks anyway. Not now. Not yet. Moving on? Letting go? No. That doesn’t feel right!

The heaviness of grief needs space and time; it occupied me, covered me in fog – thick and somehow necessary and comforting.  When you lose someone, you just don’t want to “let it go”.

Time slows down.  I remember seeing the clock, hardly moving, taking so long to make it around the face – the minutes, slowly becoming hours, as my heart ached loudly, crashing into all my thoughts.  Thoughts jumbled with tears whilst I try to function – my life seemed trivial – basic daily chores requiring huge efforts as the cloud of grief weighed me down, slowed the clock. And then at some point and I’m not sure when, life around me started happening again. I could see the world with colours and clarity again.  The days became easier; the nights more restful. Tears fell less frequently; laughter and gratitude felt good again.

A shaft of light cut through the darkness and I saw my grief healing BUT it did not feel right. This progress was not sweet. I did not feel better about feeling better.

The letting go paradox emerges.

Grief provides a paradox that when you start to let go; you also want it to come back.  When I felt the pain, sadness and fog rise and move on it also felt like he was leaving me completely and I wanted him to stay close to my heart.

Letting go is not what I wanted.

The pain and the love entwine. My pain is the expression of love lost, it is how I hold him now.  I was holding a vigil for him, like a candle I wanted to burn forever.

I knew my memory of him could not live in the pain of my grief.  My love for him lives on in memories, stories, photos, music… I have food memories, fried rice filled with prawns that he cooked for me, visits to the fish markets and oyster tastings we shared together, the time he roared when I capsized the boat… I can hear him talking, I know what advice he would offer me, I still know what he would’ve said.  I can hear his laughter, his music, I continue to know him, love him, and I hold him in my heart. I have not let him go. I am holding on without heaviness now, lightly, happily peacefully.

If you or someone you know is struggling to move on and is seeking support then one on one counselling is available plus I am starting a grief circle, monthly meetings in a warm safe space, support, creative ideas for nurturing memories, a place for healing and sharing.  Contact me to register interest or for more information.

Jane Macnaught
Specialist in Grief Trauma & Anxiety.
Contact Jane for appointments: 0425 152 490



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