Getting over it

Categories: Opinion.

“Many years ago I had a miscarriage, and recently a doctor asked about my experience. Speaking about the baby I lost was emotional for me, more so than I had expected. What was even less expected was my doctor’s reply – Why does this still upset you?”, the opening lines of an intriguing article by Melanie Rolfe, International Children’s Palliative Care Networks, guest blogger.

Melanie is mother and wife, who is passionate about empowering every member of the family to live the fullest life possible. Melanie has worked with non-profit organisations for almost a decade, supporting children, young people and families who are living with life-limiting conditions, or are dealing with the loss of a loved one.

“A life touched by the death of someone we love will never again be as it would have been. The path that life was on is changed; that person is forever missing.” In her article Melanie addresses the pressure that society imposes to ‘move on’, ‘deal with it’ or ‘get over it’ after experiencing the loss of a loved one. She attributes these notions to outdated psychological theories suggesting that after a specific timeframe, you will have recovered from the trauma of your loss.

“We are all shot with arrows throughout life; things that are innately hard, like losing a job, losing a house, illness, disappointment, and yes, death. No one gets through life ‘unhit’, and unlike literal arrows, you can’t see how badly someone has been hurt.” Melanie makes reference to the concept of ‘shooting the second arrow’. These are the avoidable arrows, which are shot by family, friends, healthcare providers and sometimes even ourselves. The ‘second arrow’ refers to thoughts such as ‘I want this pain to be finished’, ‘I should be dealing with this better’ or ‘look on the bright side’. Melanie believes that grief is a necessary debt of love, people feel the pain because they acknowledge the joy. To read Melanie’s full article, click here.

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