My first session exploring the loss of mum and dad. I sat in the car for 5 minutes running through my head. Where do I start to unravel the pain of loss of both parents. I walked up to the gates and pressed the buzzer. ‘Hi, I have an appointment at 6pm.’ The gate buzzed and I was inside. ‘Take a seat. Would you like water?’
I took a seat in the waiting area surrounded by red and beige sofas. Out came my counsellor same height and full of life who led me into a small room.
As soon as I started talking the tears started to flow. I found myself firstly talking about the illness that took my mum’s life. The same questions were foremost in my mind was the cruelty and unfairness of PSP. It’s bad enough that old age takes away your youth and vitality but this disease takes away the essential building blocks to life – mobility, speech and independence. She asked me ‘Are you angry?’ I was shocked because of all the emotions I’ve experienced, guilt, self pity, loss etc. But anger it didn’t make sense until I remembered mum’s refusal to have the operation that could have sustained her life. I begged and pleaded with her to try and when it didn’t work I had to go outside to the car park because the full weight of its significance struck me. We were at the end of all the struggles against this merciless disease.
I shared stories from my childhood and when I thought about mum and dad as a team I couldn’t help but smile. They were both so stubborn and they rarely admitted that they could be wrong.
The time went so quickly my younger self would have called it ‘self indulgent’ but age is telling me it’s a necessity. Anyway after an hour of releasing my ‘anger’ I was ushered out into the waiting room to be greeted by more wounded soldiers anticipating their opportunity to be listened to – a precious commodity in this busy world.