a man standing in silhouette grievingYou will have heard it said but, until it happens to us we cannot fully accept it. We do not see it as it is. When we tell parts of your own life to others it doesn’t feel like a privilege to have given it. When you are given a piece of another’s life it feels just that, a privilege.

Sometimes it is not what you are expecting and I always found that it is wrapped in the other words given in that 50 minute session. I used to like to start the session with a review of the one  before, or if it was a new client then I would chat about confidentiality and discuss that if they felt I was not the person to help them, then that was ok and we could find someone that would.

This is a tale of a man in his late 40’s who was into is second or third session and I felt that it was taking a long time to get anywhere. This I know can happen and am always much more alert when this happens.

I will call him Jimmy, this is not his name, but it does fit him well. He was working his way through the brake up of his marriage and the passing of his children back and forwards. He was a good father and loved his children and would have been happy to have his children 24/7.

I the middle of this particular session,  I was asked “What do you think of Abortion” My reply was “what I think of Abortion is not important ,, but I can see from your body language you have strong feelings on the matter” There was a pause and silence the he moved on to other things.

The next session was cancelled and I did not see him again for 2 weeks. The next session I started with a review of where we left off, although, I felt that the Abortion was the pearl that had been wrapped in his other words. This was the last thing I reflected on.

The flood gates opened and I was given all his hurt, pain, anger and frustration. I sat and was given a very detailed account of what an Abortion entails and it was fact after fact. Although I have no personal knowledge I am well read on abortion and understood what I was listening to.

His wife had aborted their baby just before they broke up. This child was as real as the children he saw, loved, fed and clothed, his pain was so real. We worked together to come to terms with this, in truth, I did nothing but be there for him during our time together.

He spent the next three sessions and the time in-between them writing a testimony to his unborn child, if testimony is the right word. Then he worked on closure and saying his goodbyes to his child.

Jimmy had arranged with friends and had performed a final farewell to his child, he had named, given his child a gender and an identity and made whole. Jimmy moved on but his story touched my soul and I admire the man that left my office on the final day, his healing had begun.

Abortion for a lot of women is what was required and done at the time. I would never judge what anyone does, what they feel they need to do at any given time. I am also aware that life has ripples and the ripples of our lives touch others.

The decisions we make, undoubtedly impact on other people, some of it we can see and some of it we can never know. The role of a counsellor is such a privilege in these situations, helping people deal with ripples which started out long ago.