Entries by Valda

New Year – 2022 Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot…

By the time you get to read these words the new year will be well under way. Conventional wisdom advises us to look forward, not backwards, especially at the dawning of a new year, and many of us comply by making lists of impressive resolutions. I wonder how many we actually keep? Few I suspect, […]

Christmas Hopes & Wishes – A Time to give Thanks

Acknowledging Difference Religious celebrations of many faiths are an important part of the Australian summer calendar. They always have been, and hopefully always will be. The joyful anticipation of those wonderful, long summer holidays usually helps teachers and students endure the final weeks of term, but this year, and the one before, feelings as the […]

Father’s Day

In past years, Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, has been a day of celebration for those fortunate enough to have loving fathers, a day of poignant memories for those whose fathers have died, and a day to focus on survival for those whose fathers have been abusive or neglectful. This year, in lock down, most […]

Life in the Slow Lane – Lessons from Nature

Like others in lockdown around the world at the moment, I’m finding that my usual ability to think creatively is a touch jaded. Most of us have grown up in a social environment that expects, encourages and rewards productivity. Genetics, family modelling and expectations, as well as our own personalities and capabilities, determine how we […]

Grief – More than Words can Say

The saying many of us learn in our school days – ‘sticks and stones can break my bones but names (words) can never hurt me’ – is not always our truth. Words can hurt, and, as another saying goes, can be more powerful than the sword. The words that inform us of the death of […]

Mother’s Day & Motherhood – More than Meets the Eye

Celebrations of motherhood began in ancient history with worship of a mother deity – Isis in Ancient Egypt or Cybele and Rhea in Ancient Greece.  Later, Mothering Sunday in the UK was originally dedicated to the Mother Church and later broadened to honour human mothers. Mother’s Day as we now know it, was begun in […]

Time Matters

Time is both objective and subjective. Social measurements of time are linear, measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and years, whereas personal experiences of time are experienced through a variety of filters – age, physical and mental health, social conditions, context, and our senses. Grief, particularly following bereavement, is another significant filter. Many years […]

Spirituality & Grief

Writing about spirituality and grief is complex but important.  Grief affects every part of our being – body, mind and spirit – especially in the first year or two when grief is new and raw, and we have not yet learned how to live full lives in the absence of someone or something central to […]

COVID-19 & its Impact on Styles of Living & Grieving

Goal or Process Orientation, or a combination of both As I write, I’m very much aware that we’ve lived with our changed social environment for many months, with no real end in sight. We probably have more in common now than in previous decades, but there are still differences in the way we are reacting. […]

When a Soulmate dies

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘soulmate’.  In my years of counselling grieving widows and widowers, many described their deceased partner as their ‘soulmate’, rightfully assuming that I would understand how that term indicated the depth of their connection and the intensity of their grief. Assumptions and intuition aside, I have recently found […]

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