A lesson in grief
Monday, March 03, 2014
I got this article from a friend of mine, Faithgirl91, who is grieving the loss of her beloved family member and pet Missy who went suddenly downhill and had to be put to sleep recently. I understand so much of what she is going through from my own past experiences (lots including a miscarriage at 3 months with everyone including my pastor telling me I didn’t need to grieve someone I’d never even seen!) and also from experiences of people I’ve known personally and through work. There are many many kinds of losses and all are just as important and need to be treated as such. Not an excuse to wallow in it, so I’ll just get that out of the way but I think a lot of people know what I mean.
Anyway, I have gone through a LOT of grieving lately since my major stroke and brain bleed on Halloween. Aside from the loss of health and rebuilding from the stroke itself, I’m in a different physical location without almost all my things. I lost my 11 year old lab because she couldn’t come with me, I was in hospitals for almost 5 weeks, and daughters couldn’t care for her. She was extremely attached to me and she was put to sleep because she was too old and couldn’t adjust to a new home. I’d had her since she was a couple of months old. At any rate, I have so much to grieve. I know God is good, and I know I will get through this but at the same time we are normal to grieve.
So the article is from Sparkpeople that Faithgirl91 shared, and is called Good Grief by Dean Anderson. And the whole article is here http://www.sparkpeople.com/res
p?id=962 I’m going to go through a few of my points concerning briefly what I’ve learned (and still learning). Even if you aren’t going through it, the article is excellent to help someone else or to keep for future reference.
“The Elements of Grieving
Grieving is not really about handling losses at all—the fact that it helps us do that is just a welcome bonus. Grieving is about handling ourselves when we are facing difficult situations. Each stage of the grieving process involves things you need to do to provide yourself with the same open, compassionate, and supportive response you’d like to provide to others when something bad happens to them. Difficulties arise only when we somehow get stuck in one stage of the process.
Denial or numbness.” Comes in a lot of forms but one area I realize I’ve gone through before and am still going back to is trying to believe that the stroke and other things are temporary and will go away and not really affect my life. With hard work I may regain most or all of my abilities. I don’t know yet. But one doctor I had early said they thought I would have everything back in a couple of month. Now it’s almost 4 months and I’ve come a long long way but still have a long way to go. I’ve been hard on myself because I wasn’t “over it” in a short period of time. I talked to a doctor here at the hospital in Dallas who said a big amount is made in the first 3 month, with the next 3 month slower and the 6 months after that slower still and by 1 year will have most likely regained most of what they will get back. I still can gain a lot back, and I’m not giving up on what I can do but it’s not going to happen overnight even if I want it to.
“Anger. Some may get angry with themselves for “allowing” something bad to happen, even when they had no control over it. This often helps you avoid being overwhelmed by debilitating feelings like helplessness and powerlessness.” I know I’ve definitely had times I’ve felt that somehow this was all my fault and work at realizing it is not. And even if it was, we need to move past and find the new life because we are human. But it will take time and work.
“Depression” Definitely been there! When my life seems like a huge abyss and I have no idea what’s going on it is hard not to deal with this. I will probably battle it again. Today I am trying to figure out where my life goes now because there is still a huge purpose for it or I would have died when I was on a ventilator and had life support tubes right after it happened. But God chose to keep me here so I believe there is a reason, even if I can’t see it yet. Being human though I’m sure I was battle the depression still. But it will get less and less and easier as time goes on.
“Barganing and Acceptance” These are two separate ones and I haven’t achieved much on either yet but the time will undolubtedly come. Also,, all of these come in various times and at the same time at times. They don’t come in a straight line and they don’t go away suddenly.
There is a lot more to the article and I urge you to read it yourselves. But this is a few things that stood out to me today!