Friday, September 23, 2016
On The Other Side Of Grief (Stage 3)
The next stage to be discussed is bargaining, which is a deep regression to an earlier, much younger state. We often see strange rituals, enshrinement or deification that seem puzzling or obscure. This is primitive, magical thinking and also the attempt to regain some sense of control or "normalcy." There is the need to feel safe, and there is no safety. The work during this phase is to realize that nothing will bring back life as you have known it, no matter how many things are enshrined. This is a very important time and is part of the redoing of the upset sense of reality. It is an - "if this, then that" attitude. For example, in bereavement we sometimes see a room or object enshrined; the thrust being, if I keep everything exactly as it was, then the person will not be so gone.
In this stage the grieving person’s response is to bargain for impact. To try and do something safe and familiar. The most common form this takes is for us to join in the rituals. It is such a relief to feel useful and see the grieving person interacting once more. It seems like the person is finally getting on with life, and they are. This joining together continues to strengthen the relationship and is part of our new history together.