When my mother suddenly passed away seven years ago, I experienced all the usual signs of grief that you read about in books and see in movies (except so much more painful because it’s happening to you). There were the sleepless nights, the gut-wrenching sobbing sessions, the feelings of anger when people didn’t talk about her (“have they already forgotten?”) and then the resentment when they did (“they didn’t know her like I did”).
But after the worst of the symptoms had subsided and I was left with (mostly) a dull heartache, something new happened. My body began to physically rebel—breaking out in angry rashes that no doctor (and I saw over a dozen) seemed able to cure. That’s when, at the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try therapy.
And it was truly amazing. It didn’t bring my mother back or get rid of the rash, of course, but it helped and it’s something I recommend strongly to others dealing with grief (or anything, really). I saw my therapist for nearly two years before moving to a new city, where, after about 18 months and a couple of painful family reunions, I found another one.
My last therapist was my favorite—a kooky, soft-spoken woman who was obsessed with the air quality in her office. We talked about me most of the time (hey, that’s what I paid her for), but our conversations could easily veer off into other topics like politics or travel, and I always looked forward to our sessions (which is definitely not always the case when it comes to the hard work of therapy).