- A New Outlook Coming Out Of The Grieving Place
- A New Outlook: Coming Out of the Grieving Place by Pastor Stephen Singleton
- The 5 Stages of Grief
- Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral
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It is sometimes difficult to know what to say to a bereaved person. If you find yourself tongue-tied or uncertain of what to do in the face of someone's loss, here are some ideas to help you. To learn more about ways to live with your own loss and grief or assist others in the same situation, read Grief and Loss , a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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A New Outlook Coming Out Of The Grieving Place
Don't be afraid to mention the deceased. It won't make your friend any sadder, although it may prompt tears. It's terrible to feel that someone you love must forever be expunged from memory and conversation. Saying how much you'll miss the person is much better than the perfunctory, "I'm sorry for your loss.
Instead try, "How are you feeling today? People who have gone through grieving often remember that it is the person who offered reassuring hope, the certainty that things will get better, who helped them make the gradual passage from pain to a renewed sense of life.
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Be careful, though, about being too glib, as doing so may make the bereaved person feel even more isolated. Rather, say something like: "You will grieve for as long as you need to, but you are a strong person, and will find your way through this. Reach out. Call to express your sympathy. Try to steer clear of such phrases as "It's God's will" or "It's for the best" unless the bereaved person says this first. Your friend or relative may need you even more after the first few weeks and months, when other people may stop calling. Check in every now and then just to say hello you may find it helpful to put reminders on your calendar.
Most bereaved people find it difficult to reach out and need others to take the initiative. Help out. Don't just ask if you can "do anything. Instead, be specific when offering help.
A New Outlook: Coming Out of the Grieving Place by Pastor Stephen Singleton
Bring dinner over, pass on information about funeral arrangements, or answer the phone. Pitch in to clean up the kitchen. Sometimes your help is most valuable later. This is especially true with the loss of both parents. This question gets asked over and over, particularly when the death is that of a child whose life was just beginning.
We believe in fairness and justice, but this event represents neither. I felt a deep, aching sense of unfairness. I had been a good person. I tried to do what was right in the sight of God. How could this be happening to my family? If God existed, if he was minimally fair, let alone loving and forgiving, how could He do this to me? I wanted to write a book that could be given to a person who has been hurt by life——by death, illness or injury, by rejection and disappointment——and who knows in his heart that if there is justice in the world, he deserves better.
His life made it possible and. Feelings of despair at the injustice and unfairness of the death of the person you love are often coupled with difficulty in sustaining personal faith in a God who can be viewed as loving. Yet that faith and firm belief are of great value to the many who believe. This was poignantly expressed in an inscription found on a retaining wall of a building in a concentration camp liberated by Allied forces in World War II:.
The 5 Stages of Grief
Folkman points out that when we have to face something like the loss of a cherished person, we first try to approach it as we ordinarily do, namely, to see it as a problem and solve it. This may mean feeling close to the person who has died, by a feeling of a spiritual presence, and by a hope to be reunited in a future life. Searching for a transcendent meaning beyond the bounds of physical life provides a strong support during grieving.
John Spinetta, a psychologist, found that parents who had lost a child to cancer were helped when they could give some meaning to their loss. I have discussed the normal grieving process and how myths about it lead to inappropriate expectations. Sometimes, however, grieving is complicated by factors that make it much harder, some of which are outlined below. Most people with these issues can benefit from professional evaluation and treatment.
Our view of the world and the goals, values, and expectations we adopt for ourselves have a lot to do with childhood experiences.
If the world we grew up in was largely benevolent, with only the reasonable and expected troubles of childhood, we are more likely to be optimistic as adults, expecting good things from the world. On the other hand, when childhood has not been characterized by benevolence, when there has been physical or psychological abuse, we are, as adults, less trusting of the world, more pessimistic, and more suspicious of the motives of others.
Many people manage to overcome these problems and, as adults, appear secure and well adjusted. However, when a person has had earlier, traumatic experiences, the loss of someone close can lead to an intense recall of the traumatic events from long ago, which compound grief with symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Grief is complicated by increased anxiety, fears, and helplessness. These individuals are vulnerable to additional problems during grieving.
When she died, he was devastated and found that he could not bear to go on, even though he was aware that their children needed him. He was overcome with grief, and he had anxiety and frightening nightmares along with his profound sadness. When we talked, it was clear that Jorge had had a remarkably good marriage after he came to the United States as a young man. He had put his childhood in Puerto Rico behind him, never talking about it to anyone.
It was as if his life began with his marriage.
Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral
As we talked, Jorge described a childhood of physical abuse leading to his running away and coming to New York. The grief over the loss of his wife led to his inability to keep the buried traumas from the past out of his consciousness. Jorge could not prevent the memories from coming back in nightmares. We met several times, and he began to take an antianxiety medication. He was able to connect his past with the present and to motivate himself to care for his teenage children, whom he wanted to protect from what he had experienced.
The lack of enjoyment of things that brought you pleasure in the past, along with sadness, isolation, and crying, begin to resemble the symptoms of clinical depression. Certainly, symptoms of depression and grieving overlap, and it is not always easy to tell them apart. Professional evaluation is needed to determine when severe grieving, that is, prolonged or unresolved grief, has become a clinical depression. This double tragedy is catastrophic, taxing the powers of making sense of it and adapting to a totally altered life.
If the spouse was a breadwinner, the grieving person may also experience financial losses and the need to live with diminished resources. Depression following multiple losses is a common occurrence.