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 missing piece

Grief is, because love is #11

I posted this question in my last blog. Can grief be defined? The problem with definitions is that they try to define a ‘thing’ to all cases. The problem with the word ‘all’ when reflecting on the human experience, is because we are ‘all’ different and unique, and the way we relate to each other is also unique. When a physical loss occurs in our lives, all of the ‘uniqueness-es’ may mean that no-one else will really understand, well not really.

The quote for today, which I will get to in a minute, got me thinking about an image that may be helpful. Imagine you are just about at the end of a favourite jigsaw. Let’s say a 5,000 piece one. You have completed many times before, and it is certainly a sense of achievement when you see the finished product. You have invested many hours to get to the end. However, you are down to the last dozen or so, and a sense of horror starts to unfold. THERE IS ONE PIECE MISSING!!!!!!!!

And sure enough, you get to the end, and there is one piece missing! How can this be? I spent hours on this thing! Where has the piece gone? How dare it go missing and deprive me of the pleasure of the final picture! The jigsaw has gone from being one of life’s joys to one of life’s disasters. It is one of those events, that has gone out of your control! What do you do with it now? Keep it in the hope the piece will turn up, maybe write on the lid ‘one piece missing’ , or just throw it into the bin.

Maybe this is a picture of grief. Maybe. Where once there was a beautiful complete picture; amazing experiences, beautiful moments in the past, will be no more. There is a piece missing. What do you do? Throw the experiences, the memories ‘in the bin’ or do you store them in your heart of hearts ‘one piece missing.’ This quote from Iris Bolton, who is an international lecturer and consultant, offers hope to people bereaved by death, loss and suicide:

“Grief is like a bomb that has been dropped into your life – all the pieces of your life are thrown into the air and when they come down again one piece will be missing and the missing piece is all-consuming.”

Just like the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle, making the puzzle incomplete, so it is with the ‘all consuming’ part now missing from your life. They are no longer there! Yes, we can talk about holding on to memories, and we should; however it is not that same as the person standing there. Will the picture ever be complete? It probably won’t. But this is the risk of love; it will come a time when the physical presence will be gone, forever. But while we are in love, it is a risk that we will take. This is the irony of our human existence.

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 Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash



Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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