Grieving the loss of sex
We’re always interested in what doesn’t get talked about, because of those themes are fertile with possibilities for making new and hopeful meanings after loss. So we just loved that this article invites us to talk with our clients about sex in the context of adaptation to the death of a partner. Have any of your clients brought up grief over the loss of sexual intimacy? If so, what gender were those client/s? Do you as a grief support practitioner ever bring up the topic of sex? If not, why not? What are your feelings about discussing sex with your clients?
Honest responses to “How are you doing?”
The title of this article, “Terrible, thanks for asking,” caught our eye. As grief support practitioners, you’ll know how hard he question, “How are you doing?” can be for grieving clients. That question often brings up so much “head-shit” about how one should be feeling after loss, what other people might think about how they’re doing, whether they feel safe enough to offer an honest reply, whether they feel generally supported or judged… and all of this might invite in themes of shame and belonging. We think someone needs to sell T-shirts for grievers that say, “Terrible, thanks for asking”! What do you think? What other responses do you wish we had T-shirts of?
The importance of being an unhappy teenager
This article argues for the value of the unhappiness involved in the kinds of existential explorations that teenagers often engage in, but we think it’s relevant to grieving too. Here’s an excerpt:
At the root of adolescent sorrow and rage is the recognition that life is hugely harder, more absurd and less fulfilling than one could ever hitherto have suspected – or had been led to suppose by kindly representatives of the adult world. The sentimental protection of childhood falls away – and a range of searingly malevolent but profoundly important realisations strike.
So often our clients – or their well-meaning loved ones – or perhaps even (godforbid!) grief support practitioners view the painful existential explorations of grieving as problems to be solved or stopped. What if this lack of patience and hope is short-changing our clients? How could be communicate and practice hope and faith in the process instead?