Entries by Valda

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 […]

Grief after Suicide

Thursday the 10th of September is World Suicide Prevention Day. As our community focuses attention on suicide and its impact on families, schools, our nation and the rest of the world, it seems to me to be an appropriate time for all of us to think about our personal responses. The word suicide seems to stimulate […]

Grief in Anticipation

According to the dictionary, the word ‘anticipate’ means to foresee, foretell, have advanced knowledge of, or look forward to a future event. Great if the foreseen event is positive, but if not, what is foreseen can almost paralyse us with fear. For example, diagnosis of a terminal illness, for us, or for someone we love, […]

Grief in the Workplace – A Personal & Professional Perspective

We stood in small groups, clad in respectful funereal clothes, exchanging wordless hugs and mopping tears. Words seemed inadequate to express intense feelings, thoughts too fleeting to gather into a coherent sentence. We lingered, not wanting to break comforting connections with friends and relatives who we saw so rarely – geographical distance relegating meaningful exchanges […]

Back to School

A child’s version of ‘Grief in the Workplace’ I was sitting at my computer, sweltering in the humid heat of early January,  preparing for another year of the work I love, when I wrote the words below. I knew even then that by the time you got to read these words, the year would be […]

Love, Loss and Grief in a Time of Enforced Isolation

What a beginning we have all experienced to the year 2020 – a year that held so much promise, so much to look forward to. The numerical aspect – 2020 – had an almost magical sound, somehow like 2020 vision that might give everyone a fresh start – but the magic aspect has long passed. […]

Grief Stress and The Art of Distraction

I have a dilemma writing about the art of distraction – I don’t want it to be about me, but if I don’t include my own story it sounds like a lecture with a prescription, and that’s the last thing I want.  So, I’ll take a risk and leave it to your discretion to decide […]

Compassionate Helplessness in Times of Disaster

What a summer – and we still have several months of heat, humidity, and drought to endure.  Then there are the fires – terrifying in their intensity, rendered chaotic and unpredictable by fierce winds, lightning strikes, embers, carelessly thrown cigarette butts, and the occasional intervention of pyromaniacs who seem to find tinder dry grass and […]

Grief & the impact of Cultural & Religious Festivals

From now until the end of January the calendar is filled with dates of religious and cultural festivals around the world. For many people, these dates are anticipated with warmth and pleasure, while for others they are times that stimulate rushes of anxiety. People who are lonely, worried, bereaved, sick, or wondering about missing relatives […]

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