Unspeakable LossesJun 15, 2023
By midlife and indeed for some even earlier, there are losses that are so achingly difficult to navigate or even speak about.
The loss of a child, the loss of an unborn, by circumstance or choice, the loss of virginity, of innocence, the loss of a love, a marriage that you thought would last, a parent, a relationship longed for yet never realised. The loss of family, a dear friend. The loss of how our body functioned when we were younger.
The loss of dreams that have gone unfulfilled. And then there is the loss of dignity, of boundaries through neglect or abuse. And so many more.
Some so tender, so unspeakable, perhaps so secret, that they lay silently, yet steadily in the archives of the heart, tethered to our longing for that which is missed, that is absent.
So by midlife, and surely beyond, we all have had our run of losses.
All of these losses, left unattended, can affect our current and future relationships.
One of my mentors shares how he eventually recovered from an unspeakable loss of a love. He said he would curl up at night and hold his own hands, and speak to himself - VALIDATE his feelings, "of course you're feeling devastated, sad, angry etc etc....". Instead of denying or pushing the feelings away.
He said he validated two things - the feelings and the yearning, the yearning that was alive in his heart. And he had to do this many times a day until the feelings and the yearning became less and less. It took a long time. Yet he was finally able to bless her life without him with his love. That is real love. Loving through hurt. Loving through pain. Loving through yearning.
We need time to gather ourselves after loss. Just like the land is ravaged after fire, there's a time to lay fallow. Be still. And let nature take its course. Until the rain comes again to renew. Until tiny sprouts of green can start to erupt against the blackened charring of our heart. And there's such beauty in the contrast of the black and the luminous green of the new.
There's such a deep yearning in us as humans for our love to have a place to land. To me the source of so many sexual and relationship issues is the grief of love not landing how we hoped it to.
Many couples turn away from grief and loss. I say turn towards.
We cannot avoid loss. It is part of loving. Part of living. The ache of loss is unbridled Love. It's like a storm in our hearts. Once the fire and storm have passed, another beautiful way to heal from the grief and traumas of the past, if you are lucky enough to be in partnership, is through tender-hearted lovemaking.
I share about this is this podcast below, Sexuality and Relationships in the context of Grief and Trauma, with my long time friend, Author of 3 books on Grief and Loss, Counsellor and trauma specialist, Nathalie Himmelrich from Zurich, Switzerland.
All my Love to those who have loved and lost. May your Love find its home again.
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