Loss and Our Lives

Imagine that a large boulder suddenly, unexpectedly drops into the sea.  It makes a terrific splash and, in moments, a large crater is carved out of the water. Waves cascade outward in ever widening circles, causing all sorts of disruption, both permanent and temporary, major and minor.  Then, over time, sometimes a long time, sometimes only minutes, the water closes over the hole in the sea and the sea becomes still, as if the boulder had never dropped and started all this commotion. Sometimes, when I hear about a death or a tragedy that is not mine, that is the image that comes to my mind. If it isn’t my loss, I’m just hit by a wave or ripple but it passes and emotions become smooth rather quickly. 

However, if it is my loss, if the boulder has dropped into my life, the disruption continues underwater long after the surface seems to regain normalcy and calm.  When the boulder crashes into my sea, coral gets broken, tiny creatures are crushed or swim away, and turmoil extends in all directions as the boulder sinks onto the ocean floor and settles in.  Eventually, in weeks, months, or years, long after the surface has returned to being placid and shining, everything below has also worked hard and long to reconstitute, one way or another, around this massive boulder that was once an intrusion but is now a part of ongoing life.

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein 


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