…I sent Anna a text.
It’s been a wild ride this past year and I’ve been reflecting! The last month or so has been pretty good actually, all things considering. I’ve found a new love of my job which was completely unexpected. Another thing I’m appreciating is that I have been feeling deeply connected to my kids and husband which has been joyful and liberating and directly related to some of the deep work I’ve done with Mark. This year has already held so much for me… one significant thing being that we lost my grandmother last month, 13 days after her 100th birthday (which is truly remarkable) and I wrote her eulogy and was very involved with the whole ceremony (from a distance) which was such an honour and pleasure. The whole thing has helped me find a greater perspective and sense of forgiveness and respect for my female lineage… all of the women, the mothers before me… it’s worthy of a whole other post which I may write at some point. I have found a compassion for my mother and her mother and all the mothers… and gratitude that I am in the position to heal all of their handed down wounds. The work I’m doing with Mark is moving mountains inside me and I know deep inside that I’m heading in the right direction. Despite things feeling so good, I knew I’d want to slow down and feel into things today… the last day of February, a year on from the last in person session with Anna… it’s been a year. A year since I sat with any therapist in person! Ten minutes in to reading last years journal entries and the grief came flooding up and out. And I decided to write Anna a message. This time I actually sent it!
Hi Anna, it’s Lucy. I’m just sending you this one message today (please don’t worry, it’s not the start of something, I respect the boundary very much, in fact the respect and love I have for you is the only reason why I haven’t text you every single day since May 19th).
The last face to face session we had was the 29th of February and I can feel the anniversary in my core today. I still think about you every single day and often write you messages that I don’t send. Allowing space for all parts of me to express the grief and longing. Thankfully I’ve had a little space to breath over recent months and the grief isn’t as overwhelming as it once was. Today however it feels just as raw and I’m holding my aching heart with compassion and understanding.
I spent some time reading over my journal entries from this time last year and it threw open the door once more. The work we did together was so powerful Anna and impacted me in ways that words can’t express. It amazes me to revisit it all. I want you to know that you remain the biggest force of positive change in my whole life. I know now that you really did care very much about me and I am so grateful for that. If I close my eyes I can put myself back in that room, hugging you… I hope you know that it was like magic, your kindness… so deeply healing. And looking back I know now that there were times where there was no wall between us, no glass… just you and me connecting in a way that I’d never connected with another human being. Even in the silent moments where I couldn’t look at you or when I hid my face. I felt you there and I feel you still.
I took four months off work after the summer. It was like a complete break down. I needed to reduce my life to just focusing on survival, to restore, to build my reserves and focus solely on myself and my family. In that time I had the space to let myself grow a little. I met parts of myself that had been walled off all my life. There are aspects of the grief that are still too hot to touch. But I am noticing them, pacing myself. I haven’t been able to take Luna and her panda family out of hiding. I tucked them away in my wardrobe in May and any time I catch a glimpse of them or smell your perfume, it floors me. Maybe one day, but not yet. It was such an integral part of the work that you and I did together, so personal and delicate… I’m not yet ready to feel into it by myself or share it with anyone else. But I know I will get there in time… baby steps.
Though I wish with every part of me that I could go back in time and change what happened and continue working with you, I want you to know that the grief I have experienced through losing you cracked my heart wide open and with it, exposed all of the wounds I so desperately needed to get in touch with and wasn’t able to. I have cried more this past year than in my whole life. The grief demanded to be felt and expressed and witnessed… and I have to the best of my ability been letting it do what it needs to do. The quote, ‘what stands in the way, becomes the way,’ became my mantra after I got through the black haze of the early days after our final phone call and remains a helpful source of grounding whenever I lose myself in the ‘it’s not fair’ cycle. This was not how we planned it but it is now part of my journey. You never planned on leaving, but losing you became a doorway to untapped grief. And I felt in my soul that by openly grieving the loss of you, I was honouring all of the work we did together and the love I allowed myself to feel for you. It has been a year of grieving.
I am still working deeply on myself, still exercising the muscle of tenderness and care, working hard to turn towards my younger parts with love and feeling into the beautiful buds of growth and change that we planted together. The therapist I’m working with now is gentle and patient and kind. He understands my need to go slow and he is doing a great job at helping me continue the work you and I started together. In the absence of you, this feels like the right path for me. I feared so much that I was having to start all over again but he reassuringly said to me, ‘You’re standing on the shoulders of your previous work… Anna was such the good mother for you and that will stay inside you forever.’ He knows how amazing you were for me and he can see the impact that our work continues to have on me. I feel like you’d be glad to know that I am in safe hands doing good work. Building on the foundations we laid.
The whole world completely turned upside down this time last year and tore me away from you when I had only just felt myself opening up in a way I never experienced before. But just as you said, the work we did together will never leave me. I think of your words often and they give me great comfort, they support me when I need it and often make me smile. I can feel into the spaces inside me where your kindness took root. It is all still there. I would give anything to have one last hug with you, one last conversation. I’ve had countless conversations and hugs with you in my mind. If there was ever the opportunity for us to speak one more time, or if in the future we happened to bump into each other, I’d welcome that very much. But also I know and I am learning to slowly accept that what we had has come to an end.
Anna, I have no idea what really happened with you last year but knowing you as I do, I know it must have been very serious for you to have walked away from your practice. I really hope with all my heart that you are well and happy and that whatever your life looks like now, that you are okay and that the people you love are okay. You deserve nothing but happiness and love. I hope this year brings you what you need and that your world has settled into something that makes you happy.
I just wanted you to know, you’re still in my heart and I meant what I said… I will never ever forget you.
A year on from our last in person hug I am sending you a virtual one and feeling into it inside me.
With love x