A slient grief

Healing Through Memory and Objects

Blog 11, Deirdre Prins-Solani

One of the loneliest forms of grief is that which does not allow the name of the loved one to be spoken.  The reasons for the ‘disallowed’ is often linked to shame borne out of stigma, immense unresolved emotions about the loved ones absence such as a mixture of anger, resentment, and inability to articulate what appears to be confused emotions – but is in fact experiencing feelings which are poles apart; intense love vs intense resentment, sweet memories vs visceral anger. Supporting a loved one through loss often requires a gentle unravelling of the emotional complexities, shining a light on why each are being felt and experienced and calling the loved ones name into being. One can only imagine the wounding which takes place when, in addition to facing the reality of the absence of a loved one, the fear of forgetting that loved one is compounded by the inability to call their name out loud – call them into the present.

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Inserting an object into the storytelling space navigates the storyteller from the ‘disallowed’ into the spoken realm. Its physical presence allows an evocation of the unsayable as participants move from the real to the symbolic, thinking through and speaking the complex web of emotions associated with it. The object becomes a vehicle through which to Name.