google6b68fd714eed908e.html Occasionally I write for myself...
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Occasionally I write for myself...

One of the things I do from time to time is write poetry - I have done this for much of my life, and I recently entered the Hunter Writer's Centre annual writing competition Grieve. My piece was not selected for the anthology, but I understand that although my poem is intensely personal - and one I am quite proud of, I consider it a worthy piece of writing - it is about witnessing grief and responding, rather than being about direct personal experience of grief per se. Which is what I expect the judges are looking for.


Working with grief is complex yet rewarding, and healthy self-care is essential.


However, I am sharing the poem now because judging is over, and I have been fielding a lot of questions lately about my own healthy self-care and how I deal with the grief, sorrow, rage, hurt, loss, and pain of clients and this aspect of my End of Life Consultant and Doula work is what I write about in the poem.


Do you write to help process emotion? What do you do in terms of supporting those around you in times of sorrow and grief? If you would like to have some support for yourself, or to attend an upskilling workshop for grief, loss, and compassionate support please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I am a seasoned workshop leader and educator with decades of experience working with grief and loss.


Let's talk.


I Will Witness Your Grief

I offer my silence to your grief

I offer you place in which to ‘be’ that is right for you, right now

I offer to hold your limits and your raw, unrequited – often unacknowledged – feelings

I offer you a safe space and emotional harbour as you process your loss


I will witness your struggle to breathe

I will sit with you as you navigate your new reality

I will witness your tears: tears copious or scant, dry and painful, or a deluge which threatens to wipe away your emotional foundations

I will listen to the stories you tell me of your love, the overwhelming love you have no longer any place to ‘put’


I will not proffer platitudes in the hope that you will cease to hurt so visibly in front of me

I will not pressure you to give words to the unsayable of your reality

I will not be impatient as you sift and sort the confusion and pain you carry with you everywhere you go

I will not judge your choices in how you express your grief


I will not be shaken by anything you tell me

I will not be shocked by the whispers of your innermost truths

I will not turn away from you no matter how much emotion you pour out in front of me

I will not tell anyone – your secrets of mourning, questioning, wondering, guilt, shame, relief, horror, numbness, joy, and insight are yours and yours alone


I promise not to be surprised when you are angry in your grief

I promise that this is supposed to be a totally shite time and that what you feel is normal

I promise to hold your laughter and your emptiness with equal care as you unfold your landscape of loss, sorrow, and bewilderment as an act of trust and vulnerability between us

I promise this process of grief is personal, individual, and takes as long as it takes.


I offer my silence to your grief

I will witness your grief

I promise


© Dr Annetta Mallon, 2019


#GDEP #writing #poetry #grief #loss #sorrow #witness #HealthySelfCare

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