Entries by Valda

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 […]

Funeral Rites & Funeral Rights

My dearly loved father died in the middle of the night. Five hundred miles away, I was sleeping soundly after a food deprived day at a health farm, a treat paid for by the friend sharing my room.  We were woken by a loud knock on the door, that sound marking the beginning of the […]

Beginnings & Endings – With Lifetimes in between

Endings seem to be thematic for me at the moment, sitting alongside my hopes for an exciting beginning. Today is the first anniversary of the death of my very dear friend, Ann, and missing her hurts.  Poignant memories float in and out of my mind’s eye, and I wish so much I could talk with […]

Life Changing Moments

One of my own special moments occurred when I was consumed with grief after the death of my daughter.  I was sitting on rocks at the beach, mesmerised by the sight and sound of waves, struggling to find hope that life would ever feel OK again.  I was pulled out of my almost trance like […]

The Death of a Pet

I have a Shoodle named Saffi who is central to my well being every day of the week. What is it that makes so many of us love pets? What is it that makes the bond so strong that they often feel as if they are part of our intimate family circle? Why do others […]

Unmasking our Truth

Daring to be Vulnerable Recently, a children’s support group session at ‘A Friends’ Place’ focused on the way we all use masks at times when we are grieving. In that session, the children demonstrated a high level of self awareness, and openly disclosed when and how they used protective masks. Sitting in on the team […]

Grief and the Fear of Happiness

Fortunate children are born into a family that welcomes their birth. Their first exposure to emotional intensity may be to the indescribable happiness of their parents, and later, the joy of grandparents and the extended family which expands their welcome mat into the social world. There, as well as in their nuclear family, they will […]

Death of a Friend

When Ann, my very dear friend and colleague, died in August 2018, she left a space in my heart that belongs to her alone.  We shared confidences, safe in the knowledge that each could be trusted.  We comforted each other in grief, rejoiced with each other when we achieved goals, and shared all that we […]

Fathers’ Day

Fathers Day, like Mothers Day, is another significant occasion each year that stimulates joy for many, sorrow for the newly bereaved, and a mix of both for those who miss their fathers but treasure their memories. I know there are also many folk who never knew their fathers, and those whose fathers were abusive, absent or […]

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