“HeartSpun Talk from the Crucible of Experience”©

From the life of Ken Matthies - Author, Poet, Real Life Storyteller

Every single journey of loss, grief and bereavement is individual and different for each person experiencing it. There can be no hard and fast rules saying that it’s the same for everyone or telling anyone going through the experience how long or short a time period it should last till they break through to their healing.

What can and should be said though is that there are ‘marker stones’ along this journey that can help you identify your own exhausted progress through it, and give you a sense that you’re at least moving in the right direction.

Each reality of your grief cycle represents a ‘stone’ in the context of what I’m writing about in this article series. You can either continue to trip over them without knowing what they are, or you can come to understand them and know that your progress through grief actually will lead to your healing from it.

I promise from my own well of experience that you’ll be able to look back later and recognize this truth about your journey more clearly.

But allow me to explain the first of these marker stones and cycles of grief in a little more detail now to help you understand their significance to the healing which awaits you along your journey.

Within this first ‘Avoidance - Walking the Edges’ cycle you’ll recognize that you’ve been going through (and very likely emotionally stumbling over) the following realities of your early exposure to grief:

• Not wanting to or able to acknowledge your loss
• Feeling shock, denial, numbness and severe disorganization
• A need to know all the details of how and why the death happened

Though brutal in their impact to your life as you once knew it, these are the marker stones of this first cycle of your grief – they help you understand that these harsh aspects of your experience are a recognized part of the human experience surrounding your loss.

The denial you’re experiencing is not only emotionally normal at this early stage but is also the mind’s way of allowing you to absorb the reality of it in increments, preventing the shock from overloading and shorting out your human systems, and allowing you to take in the painful truth at your own pace.

Often mistaken by people around you as strength (when in fact it’s not – your weakness still knows no boundaries at this point), the numbness you experience is the insulator of emotions which allows you to deal with the suddenly necessary details of this death – those of contacting others, making funeral arrangements and enduring the funeral itself.

The need to know all possible details of the death is also a normal part of the mind’s way of coming to terms with its sudden reality, and necessary to you in order to be able to categorize it within your previous experience of coping skills already learned in life to help you deal with it.

I remember well, and have detailed in my book ‘How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father’s Book of Healing Light’, what my own experience of these early marker stones of the journey into grief from the death of my daughter was like. It was in beginning the writing of my story two years after it happened that the significance of these markers became apparent to me, allowing me to understand their value and placement within my own healing journey as I began to progress through it.

You don’t need to wait as long as I did to come to an understanding of these marker stones, or of the fact that they clearly point the way to your certain healing from loss, grief and bereavement.

In fact the most important task you can set yourself during this first cycle of grief is simply coming to the point of recognizing and acknowledging your loss to yourself. Doing so will draw you into the next cycle of your journey – one huge step closer to healing than where you began.

Understanding these cycles of your grief and the marker stones along your journey through them is one of the most valuable tools you can reach for in your search to find healing.

Author's Bio: 

For almost forty years of his life Ken Matthies has been a writer and chronicler of life expressed in poetic form, following the family tradition laid down by his grandfather before him.

Faced with the dramatically life altering experience of his helicopter pilot daughter’s sudden death in 2002 he has grown to also become a literary author of true events based on his own life. Though grief opened his literary doors it is the Light of Love and Memories supplying the fuel of inspiration to write through them.

As a second-chance dad given the opportunity to verbally share his life stories with his newly rediscovered daughter it was she who told him that she believed him to be a ‘worthy man’ after having heard them, and who encouraged him that they should be shared in written form beyond her own life – not yet knowing as she said it that she was soon to leave him behind. As a bereaved father and writer learning how to live life again in the Light of his own Love and Memories of his daughter, he writes those stories now as a testament to her belief and faith in their value.

His full length book entitled "How to Survive the Death of a Child - A Father's Story of Healing Light" was the first of these stories which he wrote in the Light of those Love and Memories.

He lives in the solitude and grandeur of a tiny southern Yukon village with his Tlingit native wife Skoehoeteen and the successor to their venerable old Tahltan bear dog Clancy Underfoot, who now happily awaits them at the Rainbow Bridge in Doggy Heaven. She’s a new female puppy named Hlinukts Seew which means ‘Sweet Rain’ in the Tlingit language, a wonderful phonetic variation in memory of Clancy’s name who was also called C.U. for short. It’s a good place to tell those stories from.

You can read more of Ken's writings and find his Amazon Kindle book at www.kenmatthies.com.