Don’t let anyone kid you. Estrangement is loss.
The person may not be dead, but they might as well be, because they are not present in your life.
And just like with death, we grieve the loss.
I know a lot about this because I’m estranged from my siblings. It wasn’t my choice. And it’s irrevocable.
There are always reasons
There wasn’t an “incident” and there’s nothing for me to apologize for. The reasons are complex and unique to our family. I usually don’t talk about it publicly but I’m sharing today because I know others like me are hurting..
No doubt about it: when you’re estranged from loved ones, the loss feels similar and the process of grief is exactly the same as it would be if they were dead.
They are, after all, dead to you.
I know that I had things to say to them that I will never have the opportunity to say in person. And really, I know they wouldn’t be able to hear or process my words. So it would be futile.
And there are always things we want to say
But my words were still in my head and they wanted to get out. So here’s what I did:
I used my Coping with Grief audio, HERE. Using the audio download, I went on a journey to meet with each sibling and there, in my mind’s eye, in a quiet corner of my house, I pressed “stop” on playback and said what I had to. When i was done, I resumed playback and the journey ended a few minutes later. It was emotional and amazingly cathartic —and I began to get a sense of that closure that is so elusive in situations like mine.
I then turned to my Guided Journal through Grief, HERE and I used it for both siblings. I didn’t rush. It took me some weeks to finish. But in the end, I’d gained perspective, lost any anger or hard feelings, owned what I felt I needed to and moved on. These days I rarely think about the estrangement. It no longer has the emotional charge that it did. I’ve moved forward.
When I developed these two products for A Healing Spirit I knew they’d be helpful for grieving the death of a loved one or a pet. Then, I discovered the estrangements in my life weren’t unique to me. That others also had similar situations. And that these products were also helpful in dealing with those situations.
If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll take a look at the products. They could be helpful to you or someone you know. Thank you.