"Doing the work"

Saturday May 16, 2020

A few years ago, I was bereaved by suicide.

Four things got me through that terrible time: God, dogs, my friends and Sertraline.

I joined a local group that supports people bereaved in this way, and found it hugely helpful. I was introduced to Moodscope. I attended a seminar on dealing with guilt, delivered by a fantastic counsellor. He talked about there being work to do when a loved one dies, in order to recover from the bereavement.

There have been estrangements from family, financial worries and health scares, but now, I'm in a happier situation than I have been for many years. I am fortunate: I do not feel guilt about the bereavement and I don't feel obliged to remain dutifully bereaved. I have moved on with my life. What is past cannot be changed. No amount of effort on my part will undo the death. No focusing of my thoughts on what happened will make any difference.

But – and here's the thing – I have to keep "doing the work". Some part of me is inclined to take my focus back to the suicide, the police, the legalities, the relationship before the death. But I can identify that this is what's happening, and "do the work" with myself to get back to now. I'm still here. I still have God. I have my dogs. I still have my friends, and I don't need the Sertraline.

The media recently reported the death by suicide of a well-known TV personality. It's a tragedy, and I suspect I know what it's like for her family and friends. But in the same week, a young man was killed in the storms. That's a terrible tragedy for his family and friends. Both of those deaths are very sad, and (arguably) could have been avoided. But they're not my tragedies. I don't need to ruminate over them. I don't need to give them my focus and my emotion. I can "do the work" to recognise the good things in my life. I invite you to do the same.

Mrs H
A Moodscope member.

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