A Grief Support Blog

This blog will allow you the opportunity to acquire both support and guidance after experiencing a significant loss.

Is it ever too soon to recover from grief?

The question of when to begin a process of completing relationships that have ended or changed, due to death or divorce, is confused by conflicting opinions from a wide variety of sources. Medical, psychological, societal and family experts all approach the issue from differing perspectives.

It is not at all uncommon for us to hear of people being told, by their Professional, "it's Too Soon to begin your grief work, you're not ready yet." We grit our teeth every time we hear that comment. Imagine that you have fallen down and gashed your leg.

Imagine that blood is gushing from the wound. Imagine someone walking by and saying: "it's Too Soon, you are not ready for medical attention yet."

Now, imagine that circumstances and events have broken your heart. Imagine that you are experiencing the massive and conflicting feelings caused by significant emotional loss. Imagine a friend, or worse, a professional, saying to you: "it's Too Soon, you are not ready for emotional attention yet."

This is an area that is so filled with misinformation that it is often difficult to fight through to the truth. We have been falsely educated to believe that grievers want and need to be alone. We have been incorrectly socialized to avoid the topic of the loss, in an attempt to protect the griever.

Here is the simple truth: most grievers want and need to talk about "What Happened" and their relationship with that person or event. They want and need to talk about it almost immediately following the loss. It pre-occupies them, just as the person with the gashed leg is pre-occupied with their accident and their treatment and their recovery. Those who do not want to talk about it will let you know.

When a person learns of the death of a loved one, an almost automatic review process begins. This process may be conscious or unconscious; usually both. In reviewing the relationship, the griever remembers many events that occurred over the length of the relationship. Some of the events are happy and produce fond memories, some are unhappy and produce sad memories. During this automatic review the griever will usually discover some things that they wish they'd had an opportunity to say, things they wish had ended "different, better, or more." It is those unsaid things which need to be discovered and completed.

Never too soon to heal your heart.jpg

The review is most intense and most accurate in the time immediately following the death. It is the time when we are most focused on the person who died and our relationship with them. We will rarely have another opportunity to remember with such detail and intensity. This is the circumstance where "time" not only doesn't heal, but also diminishes our memory as we move further away from the death itself.

We will refrain from offering any concrete definition as to the "time" involved. Every griever is unique. Every griever responds at their own pace. It is essential never to compare one griever to another. Each and every griever has their own individual beliefs about dealing with their feelings of loss. Each griever is remembering their own individual relationship with the person who died.

We have been talking about the review that follows the death of a loved one. Everything above also applies to the death of a "less than loved one." Everything above also applies to divorce and to any and all significant emotional losses.

As soon as a griever becomes aware of the review process going on inside their head and their heart, it is time to begin The Grief Recovery Method. The Grief Recovery Handbook is an excellent guide and addition to the natural process that the griever is already doing. The Handbook will keep you on track and help you to complete the pain caused by the loss.

If your loss occurred some time ago, even many years ago, do not despair. The Grief Recovery Method can help you recapture the review that took place and may have been repeating over and over.

If you found this article helpful, we suggest you consider reading:

Time Does Not Heal, Actions Do

 

 

 

 

Comments

My comment is a question... the flip-side to the question above..

My Question for you Russell : ' Is it ever too soon to be done with grieving ?" A mother told me recently : " I'm done Grieving ".

Are we ever really done Grieving The death of our child?

And lastly ... What Is the difference between

Grieving and Bereavement ?

Look forward to your response so I can share it with my Mom's.

Love... Linda Berry

~ Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ~

Dear Linda,


Nice to hear from you.


We’re going to break your first question into two parts.


Part one: “Is it ever too soon to be done with grieving? A mother told me recently: ‘I’m done grieving.’”


Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss, and includes an incredibly wide array of human emotions. It’s also the most unique and individual of all human experiences based on our own personality, style, and information or misinformation about dealing with our feelings; and based on the one-of-a-kind relationship that we had with the person who died – or the person we were married to, in the case of a divorce.


And, as you will see below in our response to the second part, there are constant reminders of people who are no longer here, each of which may stimulate memories with emotions attached.


Grieving isn’t a time-based or even action-based event. It can get a little too intellectual to try to clearly define the words and ideas that relate to the emotions of grief. As you know from your training here, our job is always to move people that critical 14 inches from their heads to their hearts. Incorrect or misstated language can keep people away from their emotional truths.


If we were talking to the lady who said, “I’m done grieving,” we’d probably determine in our conversation with her, that what she meant was that she was adapting to the painful unwanted reality of the death, and that the constant pain and tears, loss of focus, and other common reactions, had subsided. That adaptation though, wouldn’t necessarily mean that she was emotionally complete in her relationship with the person who died.

________________________________________


Part Two: “Are we ever really done grieving the death of our child?”


In order to answer your question, we have to modify it. As you’ll recall from your training, we talk about the fact that we never use the phrase “get over,” related to someone important to us who had died, as that would imply that we could or would forget them.


Therefore we rephrase your question to ask, “Will you ever forget your child who died?” The obvious answer is NO!


Additionally we would ask, “Will you ever stop having feelings about your child who died and your relationship with her or him?” Again, NO!


With the death of the child, there is also the awareness of the unrealized future that relates to what and who they would have become. Even years later, people who had a young child die will almost always be aware of children who are the age their child would have been now. When they see a group of kids that age they automatically remember their child and with that, often have some strong emotions. With the death of older children even when they are adults, we always have feelings about the things that never get to happen.


Some people erroneously believe that because they remember their child who died, and some of those memories come with sadness or other feelings attached, that indicates that maybe they are still emotionally incomplete. We don’t necessarily agree. We think you can miss someone and be sad, just because they are no longer here, and because all you had hoped would happen never came to pass.

________________________________________


As to Grieving and Bereavement? That’s one of those language based things that might be better addressed in a stand-alone blog. One of these days, we’ll write something on that.


Warm regards,


Russell and John

I have a couple good days and then suddendly i am a wreck again. I didnt go to work today because i feel sick and am ezhausted what can i do? just roll with the flow> I am angry about the loss of my best friend for 30 years and my room mate for 22 yeras i know in my head it was time for her to go and i believe as long as she lives in my heart and in Gods arms she has only shed her visible body. she passed on 11/6 it is so very difficult her birthday was 12/8 christmas was her and my favorite time of year.

Dear Theresa,


Thanks for your painful and poignant note and question.


Let’s start by talking about your opening line, that you have a couple of good days and then you hit emotional ground zero again. In our books and articles, we write about the most common reactions that grieving people have in the first few weeks and months following the death of someone important to them. Here are some of those reactions:

• Inability to focus or concentrate

• Disruption in normal sleeping patterns – either can’t sleep or can’t get out of bed, and going back and forth between those extremes

• Disruption in eating habits - either can’t eat sleep or can’t get out of bed, and going back and forth between those extremes

• Roller Coaster of emotions


The last one of that list relates directly to what you have been experiencing. We want you to know that so you can be reassured that what you are feeling is normal and natural. And even though you and your feelings are unique, what’s happening for you is not at all uncommon or bad.


In response to your comment, "I didn’t go to work today because I feel sick and am exhausted": We can tell you that “GRIEF DRAINS ENERGY.”


In addition to that drain of energy, there’s often a lack of restful sleep. Our bodies often react by making us sick. Again, this is a very common reaction, especially when it applies to a relationship of such tremendous emotional meaning for you. After all, the phrase, “my best friend for 30 years” says a lot.


As to the idea that it may have been “time for her to go” - even if that is intellectually and even medically accurate, it is still emotionally devastating for you.


Also, while the beautiful, poetic images of her living in your heart and in God’s arms may be comforting and spiritually uplifting, your heart is still broken. When your heart is broken your head doesn’t work right and your spirit has a hard time soaring. The broken heart tends to dominate – correctly so – in the aftermath of a death of someone important to us.


Another thing we want to mention is that this is very new and raw for you – just a matter of a little over a month. With that in mind, we suggest that you take that into account knowing that the amount of emotions generated not only by the newness of her death, but by the stimulus that is compounded by the Holiday season which puts us in mind – and in heart – of people who are no longer here. For you, this is multiplied beyond the usual because of your shared love of Christmas.


With all that in mind, we want you to be gentle with yourself and with all the feelings you’re having.


Please go to the library or bookstore and get a copy of “The Grief Recovery Handbook.” As you read it and take the actions it outlines, you’ll find the anger subsiding and your energy and heart coming back.


From our hearts to yours.


Russell and John

I really need help. Around nine months ago, I met a guy on an online relationship site who had lost his long-term partner 5 months previously. I questioned whether he was ready to move on quite a few times and the answer was always 'yes'. So our relationship moved on to the point where he told me he loved me and I realised he was the love of my life. I tried very hard not to get jealous of a ghost but sometimes I lost my cool and told him I didn't intend to be in an emotional threesome. We've been very happy together but after the anniversary of his partner's death, he has become somewhat withdrawn and says he feels like he's stoned all the time - he's also sleeping a lot and although he's still loving towards me our sex life has stopped. The positive aspects of this are that we can talk about it (I do my best to stay loving and understanding) and that he is clearing out his partner's personal effects - his decision, not mine. Am I handling this right as I love him so much, my heart reaches out to him and I so want to help him for his own sake.

My daughter was taken from me at 22 months, I got to see her 4x a week, then riped from me and given back and hit the repeat cycle over about 5x. Since she was 5 the adoption couple slowly reduced visits and at age 10 they were no more. I never even got another picture. Until I saw it on the internet. After the agr 10 I never received any ohter information on her. She is now 17. I have PTSD-P and everytime I see kids at age 3 I remember her, even at other ages I think of the what would have been. I know that actual death is painful, what about not an actual death, or not knowning if that person is even alive? I walk through my life thinking is she even alive. I kind of just woke up from whatever state I was in and keep asking what is all this new stuff. I keep thinking its 15 yrs ago and like I was in a coma. I kept thinking that is was all the meds I had been in(May play a part) but I know it is 2013. I do not understand what is happening to me. When I "Woke" up so to speak I didn't understand the world like I should have when I was 22 when I was with my daughter. I am so lost now in my life I don't even know where to begin. I know my daughter is alive, but to have a child out there and not know "Really" if they are alive or dead or if they will ever come back. I cannot shake the feeling of my own doomed future that I know nothing about when it comes to my child.

Dawn, our hearts go out to you. There are ways to help heal your heart. This is our organizations goal.


Please look into finding one of our trained specialists in your area who can help you. Click this link to access our online directory

http://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/outreach-program/

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