Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The Grieving Channel: To understand, perfect and expand the grieving process.
In the years of my journey as a therapist and bereaved parent I have noticed several important recurring themes. The first and most important one is the unending pressure to not grieve. It is truly amazing at how little time people are given to recover from one of the biggest upheavals in adult life, the death of a child. But that pressure isn’t limited to bereaved parents, it is also true for widows/widowers and down the line to everything else that might demand a tear or two be shed. It is truly astonishing.
The second recurring theme in working with people for over thirty years is that after all is said and done, the root problem is most often some unprocessed loss. I love all the “Oh by the way, my dad died when I was 3, do you think that matters? It was so long ago it probably isn’t important”
That is the third recurring theme, the complete discounting and dismissal of the wounds we carry for most of our lives.
The fourth theme is constant comment about “shouldn’t you be over it by now? Time to get on with life. You are a downer to be around (yes, the death of a loved one is a real downer)
This constant preaching about when to be done is both external and internal We learn that to be sad is a” pity party” or “oh you are just feeling sorry for yourself”, “man up”, anything to stop the process, Grieving changes people too much.
I have come to think/feel that what we need is a safe place for people to grieve, scream and howl and sob as long as is needed.
That brings me to another recurring theme; those that insist on grieving actually do heal.