It has been a year since my mother passed away. My heart and my mind are often with her. With the absence of her presence that I feel with every breath. With all the care that I still long to give her that somehow has nowhere to go. And with the unknown mystery of death that despite its closeness still escapes my understanding.

After I heard the news, I sat still for a while, and then I stepped outside. My garden and the trees were quiet and earthy fragrant. Darkness had fallen and the stars were arcing across the sky. I remembered how different cultures have images of Goddesses who reach across the heavens. Being sky-hearted felt right. I felt broken open, in a vast cloud moving kind of way.

So many words I still long to say to her, and so many more I wish I could have stayed still long enough to hear from her. My yearning to call her or go see her will never leave me.

In the beginning, despite knowing in my mind she was gone, I couldn’t quite get that she was no longer here. It takes time to thaw from the shock of it. It takes gratitude to soften into the legacy of what your loved one left behind in you. It takes tender commitment to transfer the pain into stories of remembering.

Your process of grief will be as unique as your relationship was. You and your loved one were a singular combination. Your grieving for them is as if it were co-created with them; in its timing, its quality, its imagery, in how it feels inside you. Many people talk about the stages of grief, but yours may be nothing like the progress identified in the literature.

I want to offer others an alternative to the usual channels we have for mourning. In my experience, and I am no stranger to loss, the intimacy of the grieving process over time feels overlooked. The on-going recognition of the transitions. You may have lost your loved one recently or longer ago. If you would like support with the grieving process, please come to my brief support group program. A small intimate gathering for one afternoon and evening. The package includes two one-to-one therapy sessions, one before and one after the small circle. Our sadness requires tender holding, not too tight as to suffocate it, and not too loose as to feel left alone with it.

A One Day Grief and Loss Support Program

May 23rd 2.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Psychoeducation about grief, circle sharing and stories, inspiration for personalised mourning processes, candlelight ceremony.

Zjamal Xanitha

Zjamal is in private practice as a Gestalt Psychotherapist and has been working with individuals, couples, and families for the last twenty years. As a counselling clinician her work is client centred, relational, and creatively constructive.