The Safe Place

for family counseling



Are you still missing?

Author: Suzanne Wirth Date: 2015-03-05

Are you still thinking and feeling about something or someone that you’ve lost? Unresolved losses lurk around in the back of your mind and heart. When I was four years old we moved from the city to the country. My youngest brother had just been born and was only one week old. Our Mom was in the house caring for him as the final trucks got packed. Our Dad, based on default, was in charge of packing the trucks with all of our stuff. So when I got to the new house and my rocking horse and my tricycle didn’t make the trip to the new house, I was heart broken. Many, many years have passed since then, even decades, and I remember that feeling of loss. It stayed with me so much so that years later when I was an adult, a wife and a mother whenever we moved, I was always vigilant about our kids’ stuff deserving a place in our moving vans. Have you had losses in your life that you haven’t dealt with? If you are looking for a definition please think about people places or things that are gone from your life through no fault of your own that you wish were still with you.

As I reflect I see that another significant unresolved loss that I have had to deal with in my life was when I moved out of state at the young age of twenty- two. At that time I was a brand new Mother of a beautiful three-month old child. Moving out of state was hard enough but leaving all my supports as I struggled to learn how to be a Mom made it all more difficult. Part of me was truly happy to settle somewhere with new surroundings and opportunities and see that which I had never experienced before. But there was another part of me that never wanted to leave my loved ones behind. My parents and I had always been close and my brothers had always been the light in my life. Twelve years later when I came home to New York as a thirty four year old Wife and Mother of four children, I was faced with dealing with all those old feelings. Everyone here had gone on without me and I had to create a new space for us to fit in. And that’s exactly what I did with the help of my parents and my extended family. Unresolved losses that are not dealt with will end up coming to the surface. Think about a rubber tire that you keep trying to push down in to the pond and whoosh up it comes! When you have an unresolved loss the best thing to do is to acknowledge your feelings. Journaling or talking to a close friend can help. If the loss is a person who has left your life but is still alive you may want to write to them with no expectation that they will respond. Just the writing itself will help you release the feelings. And needless to say over the years I have bought several Rocking Horses both those that were miniatures and full size as well as many more than my share of tricycles for my family…Psychotherapists call this compensation…. Anyone out there with me on this?