Good Grief!


The Oak tree reminds us of how short our own time on the earth is.

Grief is something I see from time to time in my practice in Cambridge but only rarely is it immediately after or even close to the event causing it. Much more common is for me to see a client long after the event when for one reason or other they have got stuck in the grief process. Note, I do not say, “when something has gone wrong in the grief process.” I do not believe in right or wrong in this area.

I was stimulated to write about this having taken yesterday off to attend the brother of my father in law’s funeral along with my partner and wife. I had never met Arthur which probably enabled me to be somewhat (but only somewhat) less emotionally involved than had it been someone close to me. I say that because funerals have a way of reminding us not only of our own past losses but also of our own impending mortality. I have reached an age where several people I know have died who are younger than myself and yet I have a large number of relatives who are still alive in their late eighties or early to mid nineties, twenty to thirty years older than myself, giving me hope that I might have a good few years to go yet! IMG_0725

As funerals go, this one was a relatively happy affair with lots of good memories shared and the usual murmurings of why can’t we organise a get together like this without a funeral?

Oils that I like to use for grief include, Rosemary with the English saying, “Rosemary is for remembrance” and Cypress and Myrrh which have both been used for many centuries as funeral herbs.

Of course, those who know my in-laws will guess that bits of this were not straight forward. Some were missing due to their own poor health, the two people named as executors of the will are both wards of court, one due to dementia and one due to a head injury about 14 years ago. And yet despite all this, I met many people I expect to get to know better in the next few years. One is also a massage therapist and was prior to this working as a psychiatric nurse, my own former profession.