The face of grief isn't always recognizable. And the story behind it isn't always identifiable.
Grief has many faces and many stories and they are both unique and the same. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet, the loss of hope, the loss of health….. The story below came from a client with his own grief issue who kindly allowed me to share his own story.
“I had some health issues that were chronic and degenerative. I had always been an active person and did not wish to change my lifestyle. I was only in my 40’s. I found it difficult to slow down and rest. I agreed to meet a horse and have a session around this issue.
I met a large brown horse and immediately had to suppress some tears when I entered to arena and stood close to her. She stood with me but when I tried to move closer, she moved away slightly. I felt more alone after this small gesture but the horse did not move any further away.
At some point horses in a nearby field start to run. I felt sadder and more disabled watching them. The large brown horse came closer to me and touched the area of my body where my pain was, with her mouth. She stayed there until I stopped needing to suppress the tears.
My health issues were unchanged and I can’t “run around” like the horses’ in the other field, but I have come to some acceptance about my illness and can face the future better with this more honest acknowledgement of my health.”
This mans’ health continued to deteriorate but he was able to stop fighting or avoiding this inevitability and begin managing his life better. He was more relaxed and less anxious.
This man needed to grieve for a part of his life and health, that he was losing. This is not harder or easier or better or worse than anyone else’s experience of grief. A horse just allowed him to stay in the moment and stood with him whilst he did it.
I certainly don't want to say that loss of a loved one is or a traumatic loss is the same as this story, but I did want to show that grief can be different for everyone.