client story: grief is love with nowhere to go

by Katherine Mathers
July 3, 2023

We know how difficult it can be to make that first step and ask for bereavement support. To give you an idea of how space2grieve can help, one of our clients has written about their recent experience with us.  If after reading this you would like to find out more, please do give us a call on the details below. 

how space2grieve helped me to live with my grief, rather than be overwhelmed by it.

When someone dies, your feelings about them don’t. I have amazing friends who have all been very supportive but I could feel myself becoming more and more down. I slowly realised that I couldn’t process my own feelings of grief and that it was becoming self-destructive not doing so.

At a point where I felt almost completely overwhelmed, my GP signposted me to space2grieve. I knew I didn’t want to join a group, I would only worry about everyone else’s problems and not share my own. So, I emailed space2grieve, shared some of my thoughts and waited for a reply.

This is not an ‘advert’ for space2grieve but I can genuinely say that I felt looked after from the word go. It’s not easy to open up and say that you’re struggling, but the staff I spoke to were so approachable and genuine that it was a relief once I’d made the first move.

The volunteer I was matched with was very calm and very clear about how we would work together and the boundaries of our sessions. I felt that I was in a safe place, I trusted that what I said would be treated as valid and although I knew there were time limits, I never felt rushed or pressured to talk.

Before space2grieve, I didn’t feel like I was functioning properly with so many negative thoughts swimming around in my head all the time. Just having a set time each week to go to ETNA  to explore my grief and to be gently challenged about my thinking, gave me the structure I needed to feel more in control of my thoughts.

Initially, I was worried about how I would sort ‘everything’ out in eight weeks. Clearly, that was never going to happen and was not the point of the sessions. Each week, however, I felt my voice was heard: my volunteer had a wonderful knack of drawing out a couple of points from what I thought was a jumbled mess, so that I could start to address those, and return to others when necessary. This was really validating for me and helped me order my thoughts more, so that I could worry less about needing a solution to everything. I never expected to be praised for saying what I said during sessions.  As adults, we don’t often hear that. It honestly made a big difference to me. 

At the end of several sessions, I was surprised by what I had found myself discussing. It was a bit like saving the next chapter of a book for the next week… and even though it was my book, I wasn’t quite sure what was coming next… I felt comfortable in the direction I was heading.

there are a few gems i have taken away from my space2grieve sessions: 

  • I came away with a real sense of clarity. I had such a messed up bundle of string in my head.  When I began unravelling it, it turned out to be several smaller, more manageable balls, which are now in a much tidier state than before and take up much less space in my mind. 
  • I was encouraged to give myself permission, to allow myself to acknowledge some uncomfortable thoughts and let them be. I wasn’t judged, I was listened to. I value my friends’ support hugely, but there is something freeing about thinking ‘out loud’ in a different space with a trusted outsider who is there specifically to help you. 
  • I did everything I could for the people I was and am still grieving for, yet I was carrying a large bag of guilt around which was so tiring.  Sometimes I wasn’t even sure what I felt guilty about.  Over eight weeks of talking, I did learn to say, “It’s not my fault” and crucially, to believe it!  

I can’t remember where I first heard this phrase but it makes total sense to me, “Grief is Love that has nowhere to go”. For me, I think that explains the truly awful pain I felt when someone I loved died.  

Working through my space2grieve sessions didn’t ‘fix’ me but then I’m not sure I was actually ‘broken’. What I did need was time and space to process difficult feelings and uncomfortable thoughts. I feel more able to deal with those now and to live with grief, rather than being overwhelmed by it. My grief still exists and I know there will be more to come. I can still love those people who died, they are just not here anymore.

I hope some of my thoughts might help someone else facing their own grief and perhaps feel able to ask for support when loss feels overwhelming. 

A heartfelt thank you from me, to space2grieve for this part of my journey.

if you’ve been bereaved, no matter when, no matter how, space2grieve can support you.
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