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Daehnert, C. (2008). Crossing Over: A Story of Surrender and Transformation. Contemp. Psychoanal., 44(2):199-218.

(2008). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 44(2):199-218

Crossing Over: A Story of Surrender and Transformation

Christal Daehnert, Ph.D., Psy.D

“Your job is to keep me emotionally alive until I die.” These were the words spoken to me by my analytic patient of seven years, after having been diagnosed with inoperable metastatic breast cancer. As she approached death, the emotional intensity of our encounter became the most passionate, and almost exclusive, pursuit of my patient's life. We began to see her death as an opportunity for further integration and transformation. In this paper, I attempt to describe the process by which we expanded the boundaries of our relationship to create a rhythm of being together that carried her into death. Influenced by Thomas Og-den's description of the “art of mourning” and Michael Eigen's vivid image of “crossing over,” I describe the experience that I lived, and the process by which I have made the journey back from my immersion in death and loss.

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