Grief and Loss
Its been a while since I wrote about grief and loss. As a counsellor and blogger, the issue of what to write about often comes to me whilst enjoying one of my favourite pass times, drinking coffee at a nice cafe with comfortable armchairs, you know the type right, today I just happened to be in a particularly nice one in Thailand.
Whilst enjoying my latte and watching the world go by through the full size window which looks out onto a busy pedestrian walk way, my eyes were drawn to a young man who was heading in the direction of the cafe, I gasped as he was almost hit by a passing car, my initial thought was of relief and later of how lucky he had been to escape serious injury or worse. At this point I still had no idea what today’s blog would be about.
He came into the cafe and after ordering his green tee latte (a favourite of mine too) he asked if the seat next to me was free, it was free and he slowly sloped into it, his whole demeanour looked withdrawn and like he could hardly muster the motivation to take a sip of his drink.
After a few seconds I commented on his near-miss, he looked confused, after a short discussion, it was apparent he had no recollection of how close he had just come to a major accident and was oblivious to what had just occurred moments earlier.
He went on to tell me that he was ‘numb’, he was Thai and its somewhat unusual for Thai people to share their feelings so up front. Without any prying, he went on to tell me of the reason for his current state. ironically he had lost his younger sister in a traffic accident, the motorbike she was a passenger on had been hit by a car and she had died immediately on impact.
By now, tears rolled slowly down his face, (I was fighting my own back too) she was 10 years old. He shared more information and said that it had happened this last morning on her way to the market. He said ‘it should have been me’ I asked why he said that, he went on to tell me that he had been asked by his mom to go to the market, but instead, his sister wanted to go’.
I placed my hand on his shoulder to try to convey my sorrow at his situation, we talked about the fragility of life and the cruelty of death, of grief and loss. One thing that stood out was his belief that she would be born again in another soul and return to live another life, this clearly offered him much comfort. He smiled wiped his face, said thank you, finished his drink and left. I felt so sad for him and yet I knew his beliefs would make his grief and loss much easier in time.
When I think of all my friends and my own losses, Grandparents, my Mother and a couple of lovers, (I see loss in a similar way to the death of a loved one), I am also fortunate to have a strong belief that there is more to death than only the ending of a persons life.
I am in this moment reminded of all the different ways we experience bereavement, and although there are similarities in the feelings generated by individual grief and loss, we all experience them differently and at a different pace.
So with great sadness today’s short blog was easy and difficult to write, easy because the topic was delivered to me by a very sad but inspirational young man, sad because it reminded me of my own grief and loss.
RIP Dao (meaning star).