The pathway Through from Loss to transcendence
The Loss adjuster.
Loss is something we all experience, whether it is a loss due to death, relationships ending, financial disaster, redundancy, job losses or retirement. Loss accompanies us in our lives.
Every day in some way we experience death, and during the course of our lifetime, we experience the greatest of all endings, losing someone who is important to us. Making us feel that life is not worth living without them. Our life as it was being over, and so it is, but at each death a new birth awaits, and if we become aware of how we handle loss and death, then we can draw comfort from the fact that if we have patience and allow ourselves to grieve properly, one day we will come out of the dark tunnel and into the sunshine a wiser and more mature being.
Over the years working with the dying and the bereaved I have learned that there is a pathway through. It is a well-defined path, though rarely shared. Knowing the pathway doesn’t hasten the process, but treading a well-walked path gives us some comfort of knowing that others have been here before us and left their mark. A guide knows the easiest route, the short cuts and the pitfalls, and can move the blocks that keep people stuck and in pain.
Death has become sanitized. Somehow in the last 100 years or so we have lost the art of dealing with death and dying. These days the deceased is whisked away to the funeral home, often before the body is cold, before the family can congregate around the bedside and witness that life has ceased, and most importantly said their goodbyes. Old and valued traditions which helped the acceptance process have dissipated. There have been huge changes, even in my lifetime.
In my street when I was a child, there was a designated woman who came and ‘laid out’ the body. (Incidentally she also acted as a midwife and an abortionist.) The body remained in the house. Neighbours came and paid their last respects, children were taken to kiss the cold forehead. When the hearse came, all the curtains in the street were closed. Neighbours came out of their houses as the cortege left, to pay their respect to the deceased as they made their final journey. Men doffed their caps and bowed their heads. There were rituals to follow and these played an important part in the final farewell.
I am indebted to my hospice experiences for showing me that some of the traditions are still followed today. Some nurses would leave the body in the bed for a few hours to let the soul depart. They also opened the windows to enable the soul to leave the room. Nothing was hurried, relatives could come and go and saying good-bye was an important task. Through this experience and working with people over many years on loss issues, I have developed several ways of easing the pain of loss and helping people move on.
I have become a loss adjuster. Allow me to show you the way through.