I was his last client.

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As I walked out the therapy room 41 days ago, DS closed the door… to his room, his practice and our alliance.

Our last session went as well as I could have hoped. There were smiles and tears. Reminiscence and talk about the future. Pain. And joy. I felt lighter once home. Knowing about DS (Deep Soul’s) imminent departure had weighed me down for months. So much so that I hadn’t been able to find the right head and heart space to blog.

I hadn’t planned to be his last client. It just worked out that way. Somehow it made it a bit better knowing I would be the last to see him before he jetted off to his home in a new country a week later.

What you wouldn’t have known is that many of our last sessions were weighed down by the very real grief of not being able to give him something I had made to say goodbye and help with closure. The process and end product was symbolic and largely about me. It was not so much dependent on his reaction and whether he liked it (although that would have been a bonus). I shared that I was making him something (I never told him what it was). He replied that he had a strict no-gift policy. I thought this was surely different because it was not something of great financial value. Nor were these normal circumstances. Shocked and furious, I told him I couldn’t believe he was dictating how I could and could not grieve. We were already saying goodbye because of what was happening in his life. I explained that I wanted to feel as though I could move forward on my terms for once. Allow me to do this the way I need to, I said. He remained firm and I couldn’t find the heart to finish the gift, knowing I would not be able to go through with the process. But at the end I did finish, for myself.

I knitted him a pure cotton cream scarf. He was moving to a country very much colder. Part of the healing process was imagining him being able to wrap it around his neck to keep warm. The knitting became a form of self-soothing and a time of reflection. With every knitting session, I could pour all my feelings into the product. And the plan was to hand it over, having cast off the last stitch after “processing” everything.

Anyway, I brought the scarf to the final session despite knowing I wouldn’t be giving it to him. DS genuinely seemed pleasantly surprised and touched as I took the scarf out a plastic bag to show him.Β He held it as I explained the process. I took it back because that was what he wanted. And then, with what looked like a sheepish smile, he said he could accept the gift. Talk about being confused. I asked him to explain and he said he was referring to gifts that people bought and were worth something. With that I gave the scarf back. Obviously I was happy and relieved.

What I miss most is having someone ‘neutral’ and safe to share my feelings, thoughts and difficulties with. That said, I think I am doing better than expected. I truly miss him as a person. He was really kick-ass. I still haven’t decided whether to see another therapist at some point.

Saddest is that his face is disappearing from my mind. Memories of his voice are becoming harder and harder to access. I suppose this is what happens when someone you care about leaves your life.

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9 thoughts on “I was his last client.

  1. Wow, I’m not sure how to take that comment. I mean, I’m really glad you were able to give him the gift (I’m thankful I’ve never come up against a no-gift policy with any of my service providers), but the implication that a handcrafted gift doesn’t have monetary value kind of hurts.

    • Jay says:

      I always thought a no-gift policy was standard but as I’ve seen here, many therapists accept gifts on condition that the exchange and item be analysed like anything else in therapy. Thanks for the visit.

  2. Sirena says:

    Endings are so difficult and full of grief. I’m glad he accepted the scarf in the end, I think he must have liked it very much. I was glad to see a post from you today.

  3. This is really hard, bur you seem to be handling it well, and i am glad you found a way to grieve and say good bye. I have been wondering how you were, and have missed your blog posts. Xx

    • Jay says:

      So good to hear from you Alice. Often think about you. Know that even though I haven’t blogged regularly, I have been checking your posts when I can. Good to be back x

  4. Tina says:

    I know your heart must be hurting with a loss, a sadness, a grief. Ugh I don’t want that day to come & yet I know it will & still keep arms length distance because of it. That’s awesome how you processed the difficulty of knowing you wouldn’t be able to give him a gift you poured your heart & soul into AND I’m SO glad he was open to receive it. THANK GOD my therapist has never turned away the small heartfelt things I’ve made or brought with the purest intentions. Analyze my gift all you want, discard it after I’m not looking, but oh the rejection of non acceptance is hard.

  5. Your post is beautiful! Congratulations on all of your hard work, and the scarf too. πŸ™‚

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