I have been thinking of writing about grief for a while. I am interested in grief that is not socially sanctioned or is disregarded by others. There are many examples of this, such as the loss of a same-sex partner in a heterosexual community which doesn’t recognise same-sex relationships. Other ways to disregard the loss of others is to put an arbitrary “deadline” for grieving. While we tend to be tolerant of those whose life partners have died, it is not uncommon to be less tolerant when the relationship has ended by the desire of one of the people involved. While death is terrifying, relationship breakups are considered “normal”. Those grieving the loss of a partner who has left them are often not afforded the same compassion and understanding that we might give those whose partner has died. From the perspective of the grieving person, the loss can be just as significant.
What I am considering is working through a Narrative Practice approach to helping those who are grieving the loss of a partner through abandonment. Especially helpful could be the use of ceremony in the grieving process – perhaps comparable to a funeral – as a way of saying “goodbye”.
Still considering the possibilities, but there could be a chance to help those suffering the loss of a partner in a way that allows them to externalise, consider unique outcomes, develop new stories and say goodbye in a way that promotes future growth.