“Slowly But Slowly,” I Will Only See the Scar

 

Imagine your sorrow as a scar.

When the shock subsides from the death of a loved one, and you begin to feel like you are somewhat back in your skin;  how do you make sense of your life again?  How do you live a life that is not only tolerable, but whole?

Here is one way that I find helpful.  Imagine that you have a large growth on your body.  The doctor says, “I believe this must come out.”  So, you have this growth removed, which in turn leaves a large hole in your skin.  The skin is then stitched together creating deep bruising, bleeding and pain.  There is a foreign hem now holding your body together.  Hopefully, the area doesn’t get infected; creating a poison puss seeping out of the Raggedy Ann’d wound.

See this suture as an image of the loss you are experiencing.  Know that your body is feeling cut apart.

As your wound begins to heal, it is very uncomfortable–sometimes unbearable.  You itch, you hurt.   You may need antibiotics or pain medication to tolerate or even survive the ordeal.

“Slowly, but slowly,” (a phrase my brother uses that I love), your body starts to create a new way of fitting together.

Depending on how attentive you have been to the wound seems to set the time frame for healing. With time, space, and self-care, your body heals.  What remains is the scar–sometimes not so pretty, but a scar nonetheless.  It no longer throbs as it did when you were first cut.  You don’t look the same. You don’t feel the same.  You are not the same.  You are scarred, but patched.  A patch is neither good or bad.  But for now, the patch is good enough.

Ask yourself, “what am I doing to treat my grief wound?”  You are the ointment in this equation.

About Jean Wolfe Powers, LMFT