((Counselors Office, USS Gorkon))
::Tasha took a deep breath and looked at her mother. She gave a nervous smile and glanced back at the door before her.::
T. MacFarlane: Are...are yeh sure about this ma?
N. MacFarlane: Aye, it will be good f’ both o’ us...righ’?
::Tasha took her mother’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, then took another deep breath and pressed the door chime.::
Fortune: Come in!
::Corliss grabbed up an additional PADD, smiling as the door opened.::
Fortune: Hello again, it’s good to see you again, Lieutenant.
::Stepping into the room Tasha flashed a small smile at the pink haired Ensign.::
T. MacFarlane: Aye, I’m a bit more awake this time. This is m’ mother, Natalie. Ma, this is Ensign Fortune, th’ ships counselor.
N. MacFarlane: Pleasure t’ meet yeh.
Fortune: Pleased to meet you as well, ma’am. Although, I take it this is less of a social visit then?
::She chuckled, waving at the seats.::
Fortune: Sit, sit. Would you like something to drink?
T. MacFarlane: Tea please, f’ both o’ us. Jus’ ask th’ replicator f’ MacFarlane blend three.
::The two women sat and Tasha nervously tugged at her sleeves. Natalie placed a reassuring hand on her daughters thigh.::
N. MacFarlane: Its alrigh’ Tasha.
::Corliss chuckled, flicking on the replicator as it made up the two teas. She brought them over, setting them on the small table.::
Fortune: here we are.
::Tasha gave a small smile and looked to the pink haired Betazoid.::
T. MacFarlane: Shall we cut t’ th’ chase counselor? ‘ow much o’ m’ counselin’ record ‘ave yeh seen?
::Corliss sat with her own tea, earl grey with a massive amount of sugar, so much it was probably just sugar with a dab of tea. She sipped it slowly, humming.::
Fortune: I did read over what happened with your arm...and I know, certainly, that this whole dream incident has probably had a horrendous lasting effect. Is...that what this is about? Or something that happened in the dream?
T. MacFarlane: Well, it actually ‘appened when I was…’ow old?
N. MacFarlane: Four.
T. MacFarlane: Four, but I didnae remember until th’ dream brought it up. ::she took a deep breath.:: Counselor, I ‘ad a twin sister. She died when we were four. I...I didnae remember she existed until th’ dream, an’ even then I wasn’t sure if it was true.
::Corliss tilted her head, holding the cup lightly.::
Fortune: As children, what we remember and what happened sometimes melds together, so I can understand why you felt uneasy about that...
N. MacFarlane: It...it was my fault. Evelyn slipped and fell down th’ hill. ::tears were starting to roll down her face.:: I...I...there was nothin’ I could do t’ save ‘er! M’ baby girl! Gone!
::Natalie began to sob, and Tasha gently wrapped an arm protectively around her mother.::
T. MacFarlane: Hush ma. Its alrigh’. Its good t’ let it out.
::Corliss handed over the tissues easily, nodding.::
Fortune: Yes, it’s never good to hold it in. I can see you’ve been holding it in for years, ma’am.
N. MacFarlane: ::Dabbing at her eyes:: Y-yes. It w-was more than t-twenty years a-a-ago.
::Corliss leaned back, tapping the cup lightly.::
Fortune: It sounds like it was a horrible freak accident, and I’m sorry this has happened...however, Miss Natalie, have you ever talked about her?
N. MacFarlane: O-only at th’ t-time. M’ husband was th-there too. Who else could I m-mention it t-too tha’ m-might underst-stand?
Fortune: To...anyone, I suppose. Talking things out...helps, in their own way. It hurts, it reopens old wounds, but for them to heal they have to be reopened, sometimes. I think Tasha has her own grief on this, although separate and different.
T. MacFarlane: Aye.
::Corliss put her empty cup down, sitting up.::
Fortune: Tasha, you didn’t recall her until the dream. Twins, even siblings, that find out they once had a sibling that died years back still feel grief. It’s a grief, a sadness, of missing someone you don’t know. Miss Natalie, you knew your child, and that’s a greater sadness that could possibly be told in words. However, I think if we...talked about her, perhaps what she was like, what she loved to do, how alike or different she was from her sister...perhaps that can lighten the load a tad, as it were.
N. MacFarlane: Evelyn was...happy. Always. Both o’ yeh were. ::She looked at Tasha, struggling to hold back the flow of tears.:: Yeh were inseparable, always laughin’ and smilin’ with each other. Yeh were sad an’ quiet f’ months after th’ accident. Tha’ ‘urt almost as much as losin’ ‘er. Eventually yeh returned t’ yeh usual ‘appy self. I think tha’ must o’ been when yeh started t’ forget about ‘er, tha’ was also when yer father joined Starfleet. ::She reached into a pocket and with drew the holophoto of the twins. She gently traced Evelyn’s features with the tip of a finger and gave a sad smile.:: Not quite identical. Evelyn was more like yer father, yeh ‘ave his eyes, but my hair. She was all ‘im.
::Corliss smiled softly.::
Fortune: They look happy together.
T. MacFarlane: Ma...th’ photo. Where was it taken?
N.MacFarlane: In our garden. Only a few weeks before...before...I can’t!
::The photo slipped from Natalie’s fingers as she buried her face in her hands, sobbing. Tasha’s arm snapped out and caught the photo before it hit the floor. Carefully she turned it around and looked at it with intense scrutiny, committing the details of her sister’s face to memory.::
Fortune: ::nods:: I understand. These things take time. We can’t fully wrap everything up in one session-not that I would force you, anyway-but, I think this was a good thing…
::She hummed, watching Natalie a moment.::
Fortune: I...would suggest counseling, privately, for yourself, ma’am, perhaps to slowly shift through the grief itself. It certainly wouldn’t hurt...we can pause here, for now, if you prefer, or we can go over something else besides Evelyn, if you feel up to it?
N. MacFarlane: I...I think...I…::She rubbed her palms across her eyes, wiping away the tears.::...I...twenty years an’ it still feels as fresh as th’ day it’ ‘appened. Why Miss Fortune, why does it still ‘urt so much?
Fortune: Grief, whether over a death of a family member or the end of a relationship, is varied and...odd. It’s not like a scratch you’ve made with a fingernail that heals but burns for a while, nor is it like hurt feelings after an argument. ::pauses:: There’s an old saying about wounds healing, but a death is much more like a scar. A scar is made from a deep wound. Sometimes when the wound heals over with a scab, we think the underneath is healed, but it isn’t. If you, say, pull back the scab...you get all the pain and heartache as if it just happened.
N. MacFarlane: So...you think that my coverin’ it up is th’ problem? I should o’ let it out earlier?
::Corliss gave a soft smile.::
Fortune: However, there’s something to be said about...letting a wound ‘air out’. If you dig into it, continuously obsess over it, that’s not good either. But slowly retelling what happened, remembering her in small instances, can gently let that heal into a scar. The scar won’t fade, you won’t forget your daughter, but eventually, you’ll be able to recall her without having it ache so badly.
N. MacFarlane: I...I think I understand...thank yeh counselor. ::She went quiet for a moment as she gathered her thoughts.:: So...how do yeh think I should start doin’ tha’?
Fortune: Small steps, of course. Perhaps, rather than speaking about what happened that day, why not talk about say, her first word or something they both did that was silly as children? Or, you could write it all down in a journal of a sort, and if you don’t remember something, that’s okay. It’s...been a while and memories are fickle things, but any little bit helps.
N. MacFarlane: A journal...I like tha’ idea. Make it permanent. Keep her memories with me.
T. MacFarlane: D’ yeh think I could read th’ journal...once its done o’ course.
::A solitary tear traced its path down, Natalie’s cheek and she gently took Tasha’s hand. She squeezed it and nodded.::
T. MacFarlane: Counselor, d’ yeh know any way tha’ I might be able t’ remember more o’ Evelyn? I...I remember nothin’, ‘cept ‘er accident.
Fortune: ::Smiles:: I think a journal is a perfect starting point. You can write down memories, hopes you had for her, so on. For you, Tasha...hmm…
::She thought for a moment, jiggling her foot lightly.::
Fortune: You said you were four, yes?
T. MacFarlane: Aye, four.
Fortune: Mmhmm. At that age, significant events do leave an impression, whether they end up being traumatic or something as simple as moving rooms. ::hesitantly:: There are several ways of...forcing memories to the forefront. One such is hypnotism, however, there’s also the threat of implanted memories. There is also the...interesting therapy in which one is brought back to their younger years.
::Both MacFarlane’s sat back and listened. Hypnotism seemed like a plausible option, and this therapy where one was brought back to their younger years seemed like an odd, yet sound idea.::
Fortune: There’s also support groups, which I would greatly suggest to you both. Natalie, there are quite a few for the parents of children lost at a young age. Tasha, you may find groups that focus on talking through their own memories of siblings or close friends that they lost at a young age to be a great help.
N. MacFarlane: Thank yeh, you’ve given us much t’ think about. ::There was a determined fire in Natalie’s eyes, as though finally speaking about her lost child had brought something to life within her.::
T. MacFarlane: Aye...d’...d’ yeh think we could perhaps try one o’ those therapies yeh mentioned? Th’...th’ hypnotism or younger years thing? Not today o’ course, but perhaps next time?
Fortune: Perhaps, yes. How about in a few days time, you come back around and we’ll discuss it further and see what we can do?
::Hypnotism wasn’t so hard to figure out, plus it seemed to help assure Tasha...and well, it had a good track record with buried memories, even with the small amount of false ones.::
T. MacFarlane: I would apreciate tha’, thank yeh.
Fortune: Wonderful! Alright then, is there anything else I can help with? If not, perhaps we’ll break for lunch then, and I assume the rest of your visit, Natalie?
T. MacFarlane: Aye, lunch sounds like a good idea. Thank yeh f’ yeh time Counselor.
N. MacFarlane: Aye, Thank yeh Miss Fortune.
::The two MacFarlane’s stood and headed for the door. The session had pulled many things to the fore, and it would take quite some time for them to work through all of these new, and reawakened feelings.::
Lieutenant Tasha MacFarlane
Ensign Corliss Fortune