• rachelfowlerfilmma

Prompt: A time when you had to put the pieces back together again....



While I lived in NYC, I became known amongst my friends as "the cleaner". When they had a breakup, I would be the one to pick up the reminder of their things from their ex, so they could stay in one piece alone.

I volunteered as an act of love for my friends whose hearts were broken, whose lives were upended. Perhaps it was also to prevent a slipping into old patterns, prevent them from temptation, a booty call, "I miss you sex" or an argument.

Every time I did it, the ex, the one who had all the things, they were heartbroken too. In the five or so minutes I spent with them, they sought gossip, solace, or just to know they were going to be alright.


And so, I navigated two people with heartache, taking pieces from one to return to another, saw the absence in each one, the brokenness, the beautiful, collateral fragility.


All these years later, I think about being "the cleaner", and how my work as a grief and loss coach is similar: I help people pick up the pieces of their lives, decide what to repair, what to discard, what to keep.


All these heartbreaks leave divots and dimples on me, like witness marks from a master clockmaker. They shape my own being into something that refracts and casts light in dark places within me.


My clients are transformed and so am I.


It's glorious, hard, humbling, gorgeous work.




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