As many of you know, a little over three years ago I lost the love of my life, Bill to cancer. While he was seriously ill for over four years,...
As many of you know, a little over three years ago I lost the love of my life, Bill to cancer. While he was seriously ill for over four years, we both denied the fact his life was coming to an end. It was too painful to acknowledge the reality and gravity of the situation we faced; and since he always seemed to bounce back by some miracle — why wouldn’t he this time?
My grieving process has been “a deep, dark, yet spiritual journey.” (A very wise man told me grief is on kairos, not chronos time.) What has haunted me though, was not having the chance to say good-bye to him in the way I needed.
At the InnerPath Retreat I wrote about last month, part of the program included psychodrama exercises. When the therapist asked who wanted to try it first, I waved my arms and jumped up. I had never done this kind of work before but something, (Was that you, Bill?) pushed me out of my chair. I looked about the room thinking, “What the hell am I doing?” Yet I knew I couldn’t be in a safer place, and was eager to heal.
Through my psychodrama experience I was able to release emotions I did not know existed. Sure, I let out anger and feelings of being abandoned; and I cried from so deep within my core I thought I’d burst. Gradually, a release of darkened energy and sensations of relief and comfort emerged from deep inside. I was able to tell Bill all the things I needed to; from my love and gratitude for our time together, to all the scary parts of my life without him. We laughed, joked, shed lots of tears and hugged tight. I saw his twinkling eyes.
I don’t know how long the exercise lasted. I was in the moment— completely present. And, when I asked why he had to leave without me being there, he gently said, “Dying was something I had to do alone. Just know I’m always with you.” For the first time since he is gone, it made sense.
I will never forget that Tuesday afternoon in Tucson at Cottonwood. Thank you, thank you… Dr. Kathy Norgard, Rokelle Lerner, the group of amazing women who were my support beams, and the special lady who played the role of Bill.
A very special thanks to Dr. Marlo Archer who accepted the task of writing about Psychodrama for this issue.
This note is dedicated to all who help us heal on our road to recovery.