The Summer of Grieving

autumn leaves as summer turns into fall

As the seasons turn from one to another, we inevitably feel a change within ourselves, no matter how subtle. We might experience this change within as fluctuating energy levels of our physical bodies, in the food we are drawn to eat or cook, the colours we are attracted to wear, or the time that we feel it’s time to go to bed or wake up.

The start of autumn has been more than just a cool breeze wafting through the doors and windows of my home, or tree leaves changing colour, or making soups instead of salads. For me, it was being drawn (or withdrawn) to reflect and search deep within me for answers to the “unease” that I was experiencing.

The Movie of My Life

The summer passed before my eyes, like a movie trailer with significant clips stood out in slow motion. I needed to make sense of the past summer – over a cup of black coffee of course!

I realised that grieving for my mother wasn’t just that. It stirred more “unfinished” grieving for the premature death of my beloved husband. It suddenly dawned on me too that “my sister and I is all that remains of our immediate family”- a very unsettling insistent thought!

I felt disconnected form that life that I had. I clung to my sister like a child to a mother. I insisted on us flying together back to her to home in Canada after the funeral. I felt that I could not do anything on my own.

Having arrived in Canada, I needed to feel needed; to belong. So, I started spring cleaning my sister’s house, changed the furniture and the contents of her cupboards around to the point that her family did not know where things were!

I avoided grieving, by keeping busy to give meaning to my life that seemed abruptly empty, sad, and void of a loving family life which I had, not so long ago, shared with my late husband and mother.

I also could not explain to my sister why I did not want to meet my friends, let alone her friends, co-workers or neighbours. I cancelled every activity she thought I might enjoy – and I would have (she knows me so well), if it weren’t for the peculiar way that I was feeling. 

This went on for a few days until a dramatic row erupted, in the true passionate Mediterranean fashion. Only then, I noticed that I was neither feeling my emotions, nor grieving – but forcibly forcing my way forward instead.

Friends Abound

I discovered that a few of my incredibly good and old friends who lived within a radius of an hour’s drive from my sister’s home in Canada (thanks to social media); and others were just a stone’s throw away across the border in USA. I could no longer put off giving them a call; particularly when they joyfully expressed their readiness to come over and visit.

Over few more cups of coffee (either black Americano or Turkish coffee, with no sugar) the grip that was over me began to ease. Gradually, I started calling my old friends and arranging to meet them; and I decided to fly to Boston to meet my friend American friends. My other American old friend, whom I had not seen for over 12 years, arranged to fly over from Washington D.C. and meet in Boston – where all of us spent the entire day together, before she flew back early evening on the same day.

When I met with my old freinds (I have not seen some of them for over 30 years) we hugged, tears ran down my face, I cried, and they cried, endlessly. Despite being apart for several years, we picked up exactly where we left from.

Visiting with old friends had cheered me up to no end. Yet, I felt overwhelmed with both, sadness for having been apart for so long, and with joy for having never lost the connection we once had.

My trip to Canada was a success, the first since my sister moved there over ten years ago. Back in Dubai, after four weeks, I was deeply touched to see “welcome back gifts” waiting for me form friends and my step daughter. Soon afterwards though, the “old void” that I had felt came back!

Talk To Me

I do not know if you ever talk to yourself when you’re going through a rough patch; but I often do. I keep the conversation going in my mind until something clicks into place.

I told myself, “understandably, you are grieving your loss: your two loved ones, who were the very centre of your life, are no longer present. A familiar landscape was now completely arid”.

However, the issue was that I didn’t recognise my own life nor my place in it. “You’re grieving”- I told myself. Although I feel blessed to be intuitive and aware enough to know and feel their presence, to date in my life. So, “what is it exactly then, that you are grieving the loss of?” I asked myself.

Suddenly, the answer came. I was grieving the deep and rewarding connection that I had; with both my mother and husband. That back and forth interaction that enriches life and gives it meaning.

Come Out Of The Box!

I came out of my “cave” and suddenly saw clear to nurture the connections I cared about in my life, on many levels including with my clients; and this was the start of weaving my new life together; stich by stich.

I launched new and exciting mentoring program: Unbox The Real You with Sahar, and am committed to working with clients to help them make 2020 the best Unboxed ever. This meant that I no longer offer one-off sessions. My aim is to work with you, to Unbox whatever has been holding you back, get you back on track so that you can enjoy your life (not just a few weeks!)

Few weeks ago, I joined my cousin and two other good friends on an impromptu visit to Istanbul, the city my father loved, and I have never visited before. I intended to get over my feeling uneasy to fly away from my nest. We had an amazing time and it gave me a much-needed perspective: that life was about how deeply we connect with others! The following day, I spontaneously joined another friend in a painting class, an activity that I always enjoyed but have not nurtured.

I painted a portrait, no less, something of a barrier I thought I would never cross. As I got over my apprehension of building a new life, I decided to “Unbox” further, and begin each day doing something creative. It’s simple, joy kills fear! Now that the weather has started improving, I spend most mornings nurturing my garden (you’ll see it on YouTube soon!)- of course the cats help too.

Gradually, my new life started taking shape, building deeper connections to people and activities that I enjoyed including revamping the way that I work. For me, without joy, life would not make sense. So, I have spent the past few weeks restructuring my work and developing exciting, fun, new mentoring programs that I named #Unbox The Real You™ with Sahar (read My Brave New World).

I have also added two new pages on my website: Events and workshops – please visit and have a look. Last October, I hosted the visit of my old friend, colleague whom I met first as a client, Trance healer Gaetano Vivo.

Two Healers on A Boat

Deeper connection were being built as we both made a point of taking a day off and having fun on Dubai Creek and spice souk (see Two Healers on A Boat movie); an old client and friend asked me to be a guest on her show; and another inspired me to join her in a pottery class!

I love being creative! It’s a tangible mean to learning how to “manifest” what we desire in life – something I always encouraged my clients to do. I’d like to share this journey with you  as I unbox learning to use potter’s wheel for the first time –please subscribe to my channel and hit the bell for reminders!

As I contemplated the turning of seasons, I realised that last summer was not only the summer of grieving, but also the season of new beginning! I leave you with an inspirational insta-graffiti :

“if you found yourself at rock bottom, it does not mean you have to stay there!”

About Sahar Huneidi-Palmer
Author, Columnist, Holistic Therapist & Personal Mentor; helping my clients achieve the life they are meant to live since 1992. I am passionate about demystifying the abstract, podcasting & and love Turkish coffee!

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