When I met Ron, his grief over the death of his wife three years prior was raw and paralysing.
He was unable to mention her name without the grief completely engulfing him. This was not okay with him.
He was often told it was time to ‘get over it’, ‘move on’ and people grew impatient when he was unable to.
Using the Story Seeker™ approach, Ron and I gently and purposefully navigated our way toward this story.
It includes things he had not shared with anyone before.
Each story I work with has a clear purpose, negotiated with the Storyteller.
Ron’s Story Purpose:
1. Honour this special togetherness/closeness/mutually beneficial relationship.
2. Help me (Ron) and others understand my grief by sharing the unshared/unspoken.
3. Help others be more patient/at peace with their own grief (or someone they know).
“This process helped me.
It has been a wonderful process, absolutely beautiful.
A wonderful experience – not an easy process to go through but now I have, it’s better.
She’s gone but she’s not.
In my heart she’ll never be gone.
With this digital story Joan’s story is still alive.
This has helped my grieving process.
I bottled a lot up.
This released a lot of things.
There’s more understanding on my part and possibly for other people who watch it.
I have talked to counsellors, which helped a bit.
But this really feels like it has changed my life in a way that I think the grief is not so raw now.
I can look back now and I think it has really moved me along.
Jennifer’s persistence and diligence made me go further than I would have done.
To do it with others has been wonderful.
Hearing their stories and them hearing mine has been beautiful.
It has had a big impact on me.”
Ron has generously offered to share his story in the hope of helping someone else who is feeling the pressure of ‘getting over it’.
It is seven minutes long – remember the story purpose was not to entertain in sound bites.
I hope you can find the time in honour of Ron & Joan’s “Beautiful Love Story” (and listen out for Ron & Joan’s singing during the credits!).
Since making and screening this video with others present, Ron has resumed playing guitar and singing and says he feels “a lightness” that he hasn’t felt in a long time.
I sincerely thank you Ron for entrusting me with your beautiful story.
Would you like to learn how to collect stories ethically and powerfully?
Learn more about Jennifer Thompson here.