François, a big strong man, was still grieving for the loss of his sister, who had died in a traffic accident in France in 1979. For 34 years he had suffered in silence; now it seemed the right time to continue his life’s path. In tears, he told the story of a dramatic week, how a policeman showed up at this front door and delivered the news that would change his life. After the policeman left, François had been in a state of shock. Finally he had found the courage to inform his parents of the death of his sister, first his father, then his mother.

In the days that followed, he went to France to see his sister’s body and to arrange her transport to his country. When he arrived at the hospital, a nurse advised him he’d better not look at his dead sister: she had been trapped in the car and her body was badly disfigured. He decided not to view the body.

Here stalled François’s story. His voice had sounded as if the fatal accident had happened yesterday. His grief touched me deeply, and I took the time to let his story sink in. I had to do something, but what? There was so much material that I could begin with, I could help hm process each single event in that traumatic week, but that didn’t seem right. There had to be a single key intervention to end the grief process at once.

When is the time for a final farewell? After people have seen the dead relative. François had not seen his sister after she passed and hadn’t had an opportunity to say goodbye. The nurse had blocked the grieving process, paradoxically caused by her wish to protect him against reality. Thus there was no picture of this reality: 34 years after her death François remembered his dearly loved sister as a cheerful 24-year-old, full of plans, full of life. On a subconscious level he had a repressed fantasy of what his sister must have looked like when she died in that car wreck that night.

This was the key to the solution. I gave François the Logosynthesis phrases, which he repeated and gave the time to sink in:

I retrieve all my energy, bound up in the image of my sister I’ve never seen, and take it back to the right place in my Self.

I remove all non-me energy related to this image, from all of my cells, from all of my body and my personal space and send it to where it truly belongs.

I retrieve all my energy, bound up in all my frozen reactions to the image of my sister I’ve never seen, and take it back to the right place in my Self.   

The effect of the sentences was dramatic. Initially he cried softly, tears running down his cheeks. Then he became silent. I asked François what had happened, and with a dull voice he said, "Now I can recognize that my sister is gone." Now he knew their roads had parted on that day in 1979. He felt a great emptiness. Then he described a small picture of his sister, which he saw up high left in the room, and he pointed to the beams of the attic where we worked.

Now I gave François the Logosynthesis sentences for this small image. After the second sentence, while the energy of his sister was leaving his personal space, he wept for minutes without holding back, which was heartbreaking. This was the real grief, saying goodbye to a life with his sister. After the third sentence François was quiet again, but this time the silence was different, there was a relief: The agony was over, everything had found a place after 34 years. Now I could talk to him about the fact that every person has their own way of life, that those roads meet, that we go together for a while and then split up. This interpretation seemed to help François to create an order in his experience, and we were able to close the session. In the last minute of the session I had tears in my eyes, too.  

Two days later, François's wife Nadine told the group that in the morning after the session she had been awake early and had looked at her sleeping husband. In her words, François normally looks like “one of those dogs whose head only seems to consist of folds.” That morning all his wrinkles were gone. François said he had felt reborn.