My dad died on February 19, and without declaring it, or knowing for how long, I took a break.  I cocooned myself away from the world as much as I could.  Now I am back, and would like to share some things I wrote in the days and weeks after his death. 

In the wake of my dad’s death, deep sadness consumes me.  I am still not ready to let him go.  His many projects, now forever uncompleted, remind me of what a full life he had, even at the age of 94.  My grief is deep, painful, yet somehow sweet.  I feel it pull me closer to him.  

The past few days, since his soul left this planet, all I have wanted to do is retreat – from everyone and everything.  Away from questions and the words of others, well intentioned, who tell me how I should and should not feel. 

“Oh Julie, you shouldn’t feel regret.” 

“At least you know he’s better off now…”  

NOT IN MY WORLD HE’S NOT! I wanted to scream.  

Thank God for gestalt. Gestalt values my feelings, and allows whatever is inside of me to exist.  Gestalt honors all of me. Gestalt is me feeling me.  ALL the way. 

I withdraw into myself and find peace. 

I remember once when I was about eight years old, staring at the phone, waiting for it to ring.  It had been at least six months since I’d seen him.  I desperately wanted to connect to him, and considered picking up the phone to make the call myself, but an invisible force, which I now know is shame, held me back.  If he really loved me, he would call me!  I thought.  He only lives an hour away, why doesn’t he want to see me?  What is wrong with me? 

I know now that there is nothing wrong with me. 

My dad was just not the type of dad to actively take part in my life.  I finally understand that. 

I can finally accept him for who he is, and now he’s gone.  All I want to do is love him, freely, without judgement and bitterness.  The ache inside to love him pulls at my core.  I will never be healed, I think, terrified.  He is the only one who can fill this aching pit in my soul, and he is gone, forever. Yet, with time and awareness, self compassion has returned. 

Grief floods through me at times, but regret does not overtake me. 

Flowing tears on the outside, healing on the inside. 

I know the reality – he was not there for me emotionally – and I honor the little girl in me that needed so much more.  My feelings come up as they are meant to.  Tears fall and words to my dad flow.  Sobs erupt as I sit in my dad’s shop, where I can still feel him.  The connection is palpable.  Grief is allowed.  “Daddy, I’m not ready to let you go!” I cry out loud, to his space, to his tools, his creations, his things.  

Gestalt allows me to process.  Gestalt does not “should” all over me…wouldn’t even know how.  The beauty of gestalt is that it allows my pain to exist, to be heard, to be felt and known, and then to ebb and flow away…without forcing it to go.  

I am a survivor, and have been keenly aware these past few weeks of my resilience.  I am back. On my journey from trauma to freedom, I continue to shed the dark and feel into the light that life has to offer. 

Things feel brighter, and I see myself taking bigger and bigger steps towards joy. 

And now my mind turns to you, my friend. I wonder, where are you in your journey?  Do you have unresolved feelings about important people in your life? Do you have beliefs about yourself that truly don’t serve you? Would Gestalt offer you the process to move toward peace and the resilience to journey from trauma to freedom?

I would be honored to introduce you to this amazing tool that has changed my life. 

There are warm days now to spend with the horses. Give me a call so we can set something up. There is no charge for a deep dive phone session to see how I can best support you. 

Private sessions are available now by phone, Zoom, or in person with my equine partners. 

In Serenity, Julie