We’ve been going to grief/trauma therapy 1-2 times monthly since just after Sloan’s death. The therapy we receive is specifically for us as a couple. It is at a maternal and fetal medicine practice, so it’s specialized for maternal/fetal complications and infant death. It is not a group setting, it’s just us, and our therapist. The process has been an incredible form of stability and comfort for us in this continuously unknown territory that is child loss.
This week during our session we reached a turning point. Perhaps not by choice, or by readiness, but by necessity. It was discussed that perhaps Justin needed to seek independent grief therapy, as he is not as able or comfortable with outwardly expressing his grief the way I am outside of our sessions. I am a person who will push myself to feel things, to experience the pain when I need to in order to progress in my healing and develop from it. Justin however, tends to bottle his grief to avoid the wrenching pain of it. This is okay. Everyone handles loss differently, and his methods are no less valuable or understandable than my own. However, because he is struggling with that so deeply, we all feel it would be best for him to nurture his individual grief with a therapist accordingly.
This also brought up the discussion of whether or not we need to continue our coupled sessions. Our therapist feels that because of Justin’s need for individual therapy, my improvement with my grief over the past couple months, and the less relevant chatter in our recent sessions, that we’ve reached a point in our grief journey where we are nearing the time to end our therapy there.
While we aren’t ending our sessions just yet, as we’ve got a lot of grief milestones ahead to get through in the coming months (ie: Phoenix and the anniversary of Sloan’s death), we will be spreading our sessions further and further apart.
This is both terrifying, and positive. I recognize the “why”. I understand. I realize that I’m at a point where I do not withhold or stifle my grieving, I am able to better deal with it now. I know cannot be patients forever. If you’ve experienced loss or therapy, you likely understand all of these things I’m saying very well because you have stood here. Part of this process is eventually cutting that tether and processing our grief ourselves. It does not make the thought of it any less frightening.