They lost a loved one: “It was four years ago, it’s like six months”



We had to get up to get a box of tissues from the next room. When Marion (1) talks about her father, her voice still breaks and tears roll down her cheeks. On this Monday evening in May, there are six young adults, like her, gathered in a support group organized in Paris by Empreintes, an association specializing in bereavement support (2). Marion cries, however, it has been four years since her father died. But the stroke, the coma, for her, it’s as if it had happened ” Six months ago “.

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In front of her comrades in grief, she tells how she feels “still very sad”describes this feeling of not “not having advanced”this feeling that the psych sessions “didn’t help him much”. At night, she sometimes dreams that her father is coming back. “Since I’ve been living with my mother again, everything in the apartment brings me back to him. »

Time bombs

Sitting opposite her, Aymeric understands. He, too, is going through long-term grief. Like Marion, he lost his father four years ago. But in this young man, the pain is drier. ” Before “it was “kind, compassionate”. Now it turns out “harder, colder. » He says he has “darkness within”. When his father died, he had “preparatory exams to pass”,“head in the handlebars. So he didn’t “never burst into tears”. That’s it“annoys”. His pain, he describes it as “a scar, which reopens from time to time”.

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Everything exploded in his head “during confinement”. A boomerang effect that Marc Guiose, the psychologist who leads these exchanges, understands well. “We don’t all have the same reaction to bereavement. Some will talk a lot about it. Others will compartmentalize everything. The risk is that it gives time bombs. And one day, all the sadness can resurface during even a trivial event”. However, the participants “are not sick with mourning, he insists. They suffer, it’s different.And that’s normal.» All are active, they work or study, see friends…

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Over the course of the exchanges, the word is freed, the laughter also fuses. Whether the loved one died three months ago or a year ago, everyone finds some of their reactions in the experience of the other: denial, silence, anger in the face of the awkwardness of those around them. “You feel less alone when you share your pain,” deciphers Marc Guiose. Moreover, Marion, who said she hadn’t made any progress, realizes while speaking that she has made progress. A few days ago, she began to sort out her father’s office, which no one had touched since his death. “It’s a busy office. By sorting, I have the impression of passing a new stage. » A small victory on the road to mourning. To continue, without forgetting.

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