Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Rules of Grief

It is interesting to me that over the 42 years since my daughter’s death, I have noticed several “Rules” that repeat themselves with myself, my clients and the general public.

You will notice that I said Rules “of” grief, not rules for grief.  That is because these basic rules happen no matter what else we do.

Rule #1. Grief cannot be denied, only delayed.
Rule #2. Nothing turns hostile quicker than unexpressed grief
Rule #3. Grief comes in waves, building to a crescendo, then receding after some release
Rule #4. Slowly the waves come less often, with less intensity and duration.
Rule #5. If you fight the waves, they stay the same in intensity, duration and frequency.
Rule #6. Grief irrevocably changes the griever.
Rule #7. Nobody wants to follow the rules.
Rule #8. All healing and recovery are in keeping current with grief
Rule #9. It is hard to connect crazy behavior back to grief.
Rule # 9. Grief is very idiosyncratic, there is no “wrong” way or right way to grieve, only your way.
Rule #10. People don’t experience stages, just intense feelings.
Rule #11. Grief cuts through all our defenses, goes right to our core and dredges up any and all unresolved issues.

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