Grief is so hard because people don’t wanna hear about it, mental health “professionals” included. They will try to talk you out of it, out of your feelings, offer platitudes, stupidities. Well-meaning friends will assume you haven’t found God or your potential. There are all kinds of ways to invalidate and ignore and do harm. I’ve seen it all. And then you feel even more isolated because the friend or relative or shrink won’t just let it be, see it, feel it, let it be. Yes, the mental health “professional” has to feel it along with the patient. That’s the job. I said this all the time in my psychosis class. THAT’S THE JOB. What the clinician feels is a key to the patient but I’ll say more about that another time. And if a therapist ever tells you that you need to “find closure” about whoever or whatever you are grieving then find another therapist. Anyone that simple-minded shouldn’t be charging you for their time.
I’m in a phase of life right now where grief is part of my landscape. I remember reading Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia last semester. I read it twice and I read it so deeply that I was correcting other students in class about certain points and I wasn’t wrong. Two readings isn’t enough though. There is no substitute for depth and you can’t read Freud in a cursory way and hope to… be the human you need to be. I admit I miss school. At first I needed the break. But now I need my Freud. But I am grieving. My analyst told me I could train *and* grieve at the same time, but honestly I’m not sure if I can. I respect his wisdom, but I have to find out for myself.
What helps the grief? Crying. Tears. And not stopping short. Letting the tears run their course. I know this isn’t always possible. You’ve got stuff to do, I know. Cry in your car if you must. But why all this talking about grief and tears in another Venus (love) retrograde post? Because grief is a sign of life. Only the living grieve.
To be continued…