Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



Grief – the great unraveling

Grief is, because love is #8

I must admit for me, I find the image of grief being like a tangled ball of wool useful. What I find particularly useful is that although there will be some ‘untangling’ as we journey with grief, there will other components, so tied up with the one that is died, which may not result in any ‘untangling at all.’

As human beings we want things to be fixed, to be OK, and for life to go back to normal as quickly as possible. We get stressed about having to change a mobile phone over, or getting a new computer like the old one was. What about when the hot water service goes, and we do not have the wonderful morning shower? Life seems ‘over as we know it !’ When we overcome that ‘little glitch’ and life resumes in its normal state, we breathe a big sigh of relief.

But what about when life will not resume as normal? In this crazy world that we live in today, with over 100 million people fleeing their countries, often because of conflict, there may be more that is un-normal than normal. When the dust settles, if ever it does, the world is going to be filled with traumatised people.

What about when life will not resume as normal? That person you would spend so much time with, who was your anchor, your rock, your lover, you confidant, your companion, is now gone. Surely it can’t be true???? There is so much emotional investment in a relationship, and when the person is no longer there physically, what happens to that investment? Margery Allingham, who was an English writer of detective fiction, best remembered for her a string of successful stories, featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion, speaks about the ‘untangling’ when the normal has shifted:

“Mourning is not forgetting…it is an undoing. Every minute a tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered from the knot. The end is gain of course. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be made strong in fact. But the process is like all human birth, painful, long and dangerous.”

There is a mystery about a tangled ball of wool. Sometimes there may be more than one ball tangled together. Sometimes the tangle is just too hard to untangle. Sometimes it is easier just to accept that the knot will just have to stay. After all, if you have spent years with that ‘special someone’ and they are no longer here, do we wish that we never had that time? Most would answer ‘no’ to that question. The knots and tangles are so embedded that become a part of us, and may actually makes us stronger.

The commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.

Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash




Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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