Life Reviews – a case study
Hello from beautiful Wales.
I thought it might be helpful to share a Life Review with you. This one developed into a Supported Biography (more about that another time).
I should say at the outset I keep all work secure, under lock and key whilst in progress and destroy all work when the Life Review is completed. The client keeps the work we produce. I don’t keep copies.
What I share below is from memory and anonymised.
When I first met Janice her hands and arms were shaking, she was generally fidgety and over time it seemed to be getting worse. I wondered if there was something deeply buried, and toxic, in her past.
Eventually, with me as an empathetic writing companion in a safe non-judgemental space, she told me her father took his own life in the family home and the grief of that led to her having sex with a former boyfriend much against the mores of the conservative and religious society she lived in. She became pregnant and decided to bring up the baby herself. Her mother supported her.
One day Janice was invited to a wedding and her mother urged her to go. She met Tim. Tim and Janice married. Tim adopted Raymond, now three. Janice and Tim had four children together, none of whom knew Raymond was a half-brother.
Janice was on constant high alert because Tim would make mistakes about how long they were married for and in his job and the society they lived that mattered.
We discussed the corrosiveness of these two secrets – her father’s suicide and Raymond’s illegitimacy – if we were continuing with a Supported Biography, perhaps Raymond needed to know the facts and all the children should know the truth about their grandfather’s death.
I felt hugely privileged to be given this task and saw Raymond and told him the story.
A week later I went to see Janice, she opened the door looking like a different woman: fresh, smiling and incredibly, the shaking had gone. She said she felt peaceful for the first time in decades.
If you want to know more about Life Reviews, Supported Biographies or Legacy Writing please follow the link