“A deep well of sadness”

Writing done in group on Monday, May 15

A well of unprocessed grief

“To be met!”  That’s what I said when I was doing somatic experiencing with Peter Payne.  He also did body work and I was sitting on his table with my knees drawn up.  He put his hand on my leg just below the knee and said “Push.”  I pushed and he held me, stopped me gently and pushed back.  I pushed forward again laughing.  He pushed back.  I laughed harder.  We did it for a while until I collapsed laughing.  Later I thought about it, why was it so wonderful?  I realized with Mom & Dad, they would either stop me dead, or not stop me at all and let me fall.  I had never been met, there had never been a conversation, a back and forth negotiation, mutual response.

I remember another time, it was about the Robert Frost poem where he says: The sun was warm but the wind was chill.  You know how it is with an April day…  I said one of the lines trying to join my father in something I knew he loved.  But we stumbled around at first.  Then he said “You started me off wrong,” and went on with the poem.  He had somehow missed that I was trying to join him in something he loved.

How do you grieve something that didn’t happen?  If you have something and lose it, you know what you’ve lost.  But if you never had it?

I remember when Erica started giving me positive feedback, detailed positive feedback, like “your hand is holding your face in such a gentle way.”  At first I wanted more, but then I couldn’t handle it and started saying Stop! Stop!  Erica referred me to Francis Weller who talks about what he calls the five gates of grief.  One is what we should have had and didn’t get.  Every child, growing up, needs positive feedback and support for learning unfamiliar things.

I have been feeling a lot of sadness this past week.  Sadness mixed with delight in the beautiful spring flowers, the greening grass and trees.

After I read it, I said it was “dead grief.” Judith asked what is dead grief?  what would it say? I think I meant grief that couldn’t be processed. I’ll have to explore it more.

I notice that when I wrote about it the next day, I said “a deep well of sadness,” and had to check my notes to see that wasn’t what Erica said. What’s the difference? “Sadness” is tender, a kind of dark background that can give depth to a bright present. “Unprocessed grief” sounds like a mass of stuckness — actually, unprocessed grief can be a source of depression.

I see that I’ve done some earlier posts about grief this year:
Needing to find a way to grieve
Let grief speak
A well of unprocessed grief

This entry was posted in Depression, Healing, Journal, Present Day, Somatic Experiencing. Bookmark the permalink.