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Posts Tagged ‘unforgiveness’

        Well, if you do any research at all on grieving you will find some very pat answers to describe what are considered “normal” stages of grieving.  There are actually “lists” and books of normal stages. 

         One of those lists is from a book called “Death and Dying”; i remember reading this in high school as part of a course on death and dying.  In the book the author, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, identified five different stages of grieving, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  Another book, written by Dr. Roberta Temes, called Living With An Empty Chair, identifies what she calls behaviors of grieving, she lists Numbness, Disorganization, and Reorganization.   Of course, there are other books that try to simplify the process to help us to understand it better; but, I think grief is much more complex than these lists imply.

        Grieving is different for everyone.  There is no ONE way, no one order of normal grieving that applys across the board for each and every person experiencing grief.  http://www.rainbows.org , http://www.dougy.org/, http://www.centerforloss.com/

        Whenever i see someone grieving, i think of grief almost as layers of an onion.  Each emotion is peeled away only to reveal another emotion or behaviorial response.  When all of the layers are peeled away to the final layer; there, deep inside is a green sprig that represents new life.  The goal is to get to that final layer and feel some sense of peace again.  http://www.journeyofhearts.org/.

           I think that people respond to their losses differently.  Even when a death is expected …emotions and behaviors are triggered that a survivor is not expecting to deal with.  This can be surprising to them; as they may feel that they thought they were prepared.  Facing a death that is traumatic or unexpected is devastating as well.  If the death is in the eye of the public, such as a public figure, or a death that is connected with a crime or tragedy, the grieving may be complicated because of the circumstances.   

          Those previous lists do hit on some emotions and behaviors that grievers experience; but, I feel that there are so many more layers and depths of grief that affect us. 

        Yes, there is shock, denial or disbelief, fear, anger, guilt, worry, busy work, distraction, forgetfulness, avoidance, risky behaviors, a sense of betrayal; second guessing oneself…what if i did this?  What if, i hadn’t done that?  …it is paralyzing to be stuck on that treadmill, when no answer is possible to satisfy the soul of the survivor. 

        For some people who are grieving, there is a sense of unforgiveness, alcohol abuse… sexual promiscuity… or drug use  to achieve numbness, depression, rage, wallowing in loss, hiding in the past, reliving those final moments and drowning in that experience; for some blame, hatred, litagation, revenge, loneliness, hurt, sadness, abandonment, and yes, hopefully acceptance.

         Finally, it should be a goal of the person who grieves to be able to acheive a healthy balance of their personal loss along with their memories of the deceased person.  In this area there can be found some comfort.  Wrapping yourself in positive memories, and positive activities is a very useful tool to move forward.  Setting a future goal to achieve, in memory of that person, can be helpful as well. 

          A person experiencing grief should not allow anyone to tell them to, just get over it…that it is time.  But, on the other hand, if some of your emotions or behaviors are damaging to you; or, other loved ones around you…you would be wise to listen to someone who truly cares and is concerned that maybe you are stuck in any one of those destructive emotions or behaviors. Try to listen if their concern has a genuine basis. 

        There is professional help if you feel you just aren’t on a healing path…but truly, only the person going through the grief knows what is going on inside of themselves.  It is important to give yourself permission to heal at your own pace.  Often, you will hear someone talk about closure…but…closure is an illusion; closure implies an ending to something. 

          Grieving never really ends because you are always experiencing some event or activity that triggers the thought that the deceased person is “missing” from that event or activity.   Closure doesn’t really happen…but, Healing Is Possible.

           There are some things that may help you to heal, in your time of loss, such as, connecting with others going through similar experiences, taking some time to meet your physical and emotional needs, take time off from work or school, finding comfort & support with friends or family who will listen to you and not judge you.   Don’t isolate yourself; find a support group, volunteer in your community, do something to honor the person you are grieving for, make a memory book, tape, video, or journal, take a vacation, seek spiritual guidance, or pray. 

         You know yourself best; and you know if you are not making progress in your journey from your loss…that is a time to seek help in your grieving.  If you are making progress…give yourself credit…and do something nice for yourself to mark the occasion.  Eventually, the good days start to out number the days when you feel lost and alone.  Ultimately time really does become an ally to those who struggle with the pain.

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