As I reflect on the solar eclipse of 8th April 2024, I want to draw parallels to the intricate process after loss*. There is the gradual phase before the total eclipse, then the total eclipse occurs, followed by the gradual after-eclipse phase.

Similarly, when confronted with loss, the world around us gradually dims and cools, rather than plunging us into immediate darkness. Initially, there is still sufficient light to manage day-to-day tasks, aiding in the adjustment or transition. The initial shock or change is eased by this light, and any temperature shift often goes unnoticed due to the warmth and support from those around us.

Yet, with time, as reality sets in and others resume their routines, the world can grow darker and colder, much like the felt experience during an eclipse, when the sun’s warmth seems distant. This can evoke fear and unease and a disconcerting feeling of alienation from the world around us. Grieving individuals often seek support during the ‘total eclipse phase of their grieving process. They express desolation and uncertainty, grappling with an inability to convey their grief to those who might not comprehend their ordeal.

Grief support and guidance (offered by ‘Art for the Heart with Karin’ through the use of diverse art techniques) involve attentive listening to their narratives and validating their experiences. It offers solace, and provides a sense of normalcy. The goal is to help them to articulate how grief permeates their entire being. Shedding light on secondary losses that may have gone unnoticed and delving into the repercussions on their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being brings understanding. Exploring strategies to alleviate suffering can help them to navigate towards the light at the end of their ‘personal’ eclipse.

For some, the light may never fully reappear, and that is understandable. Grieving is a cyclical journey calling for self-compassion and discernment between helpful and unhelpful approaches. Loss, an inevitable facet of the human experience, necessitates navigating through various magnitudes of losses throughout life. Each encounter is unique, yet discernible patterns emerge, fostering understanding and empathy in this shared human experience.

*In all forms of trauma, transition, disruptive life changes, or adverse experiences, there is an aspect of loss. Even in positive events, there can be elements of loss that lead to a grieving process.

Book as session – Karin Grobler if you are in need of some grief support and guidance. I am fluent in English and Afrikaans and work Online or consult with clients, in person, in Odenton, Maryland USA.

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