Home' Aurora : Aurora August 2014 Contents 11
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
During Grief Awareness Month, Co-ordinator
of Seasons for Growth, Benita Tait, shares
some wisdom grounded in experience.
These were not the words I was expecting
to hear upon telling our 15 year-old son that
his aunt's treatment wa s ending and there
was nothing mor e doctor s could do for her.
This was not the first time grief had visited
our family, nor was it to be the last and I
knew his words were not an attempt to
minimise our reality. My son was reminding
me that whilst our grief was r aw and painful
and that the days -- months -- even year s
ahead would be difficult, it was impor tant
to remember that we had faced other
challenges together as a family.
I reflected on this conver sation a s I
considered the theme for this year's
Grief Awareness Month, "Capturing
Grief: acknowledging grief and promoting
resilience". In choosing this theme, the
National Association for Loss and Grief
(NALAG) encour ages individuals and
communities to look at ways of being
creative in their grief, acknowledging losses
and building resilience. William Worden
(2008) believes that the griever needs
to engage actively in tasks of grieving,
viewing grief as a process characterised
rather than a linear
creative in "capturing
grief " helps us to
work more effectively
through the tasks.
At the time of his
aunt's death, our son
was writing songs.
Through his creativity
he discovered a way
to give expression to
his grief and in "Diane's
Song" he was able to capture
the lived reality of his transition
through the four ta sks.
Ver ses 1 and 2 tell of his str uggle to process
task 1: accepting the loss... "I remember
the day I heard the news. . .the news that
we might soon lose. . .one of the greatest
friends that I have known. . .I couldn't help
but feel alone. . .I didn't know what to say. . .
happiness had gone so far away. . .they said
you wouldn't last long. . .you really did prove
them wrong. . .I remember false hope kicking
in. . .I really believed that you would
win...you'd jump the hurdles...
you'd beat the r ace...but
you tripped on your own
In the chor us he's
capturing the pain he
was experiencing (task
2)..."This hurt just
won't heal. . .this hole in
my heart it won't seal. . .I
miss you now mor e
than you could know. . .I
loved you much more than I
showed. . .I wish this hur t would
just heal. . ." and ver se 3 reveals his
movement towards task 3: adjusting to the
changed environment and task 4 : fi n d
enduring connection with what has been lost
whilst embarking on a new life. . . "I hoped it
was just a bad dream...'cause tear s flowed
like a str eam. . .no physical pain could
compare to this. . .all I want is one last kiss. . .
"WE'RE GOING TO BE RESILIENT
WHEN WE GROW UP,
AREN'T WE MUM?"
Good for you.
Good for your community.
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heal what we
do not first
Continued page 12
but life must still go on. . .we all have to
trudge along. . .through whatever troubles we
may face. . .we'll always remember your quiet
gr ace. " Whilst writing was not the only
way our son expressed his grief, the words
enabled him to capture his str uggles as he
sought to re-establish his life.
His desire to find meaning in the wake of his
loss led him to discover ways of remaining
connected to his aunt. A number of writer s
-- in viewing "continuing bonds as resources
for enriched functioning" (Continuing Bonds :
New Under standings of Grief eds D Klass, PR
Silver man, SL Nickman)-- have moved us
away from the idea that successful grieving
requires 'letting go'.
A significant par t of our family's healing
was praying together, lighting a candle and
having Mass offered for Diane as well as
sharing our memories and honestly talking
through the 'whys' and 'what nows'. Our
reconstruction of meaning and continuing
bonds assisted us to move for ward,
integr ating the lessons of loss and resilience
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