The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


14 May 2024| Personal

One sentence, affects three generations

On the first day of the training module in Romania, Dana asks what she can do for her son who does not know his father. The father has not recognised the son.

On the second day, we do a meditative exercise looking at everyone’s family history.  Dana wants to share something afterwards. She says she dreamt of her grandmother last night. And startled, she says: “Oh my god, in the meditation I realised that there is a curse on our family.”

And she starts sobbing, “Grandmother’s younger brother shot dead a man walking across their land. The wife of this slain man was just pregnant. Then my grandmother uttered a curse: “In our family, children will grow up without a father.” I had been in a good relationship for five years when I became pregnant. And when I was two months pregnant, I broke up the relationship. Actually, I never understood why. And only now that story of that curse is resurfacing. And all my nieces are also single mothers. Only my brothers have a partner…”

I say her to look at an imaginary picture of her grandmother and ask her to say aloud to her grandmother, “dear grandmother, I have listened to your curse. What a grand gesture of yours to create justice like this after the murder! I will remain your granddaughter even if I disregard the curse now.”

And then I ask her to look at the murdered man’s wife and tell her, “Dear madam, your husband was murdered by my great uncle. I am his sister’s granddaughter and I live in 2024. My son also grew up without a father, just like your child, under the illusion that we helped you with that. I see your fate. And there is nothing I can do for you. I bear my fate and I allow myself to put the curse aside.”

After lunch, she returns beaming. She whispers to me that although she is not Catholic, she thought it would be a good idea on this Easter Sunday to briefly enter St Mary’s Church to pray …

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