A Grief Support Blog

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

Grief Recovery: Intellect can't fix Grief - heart vs. smart!

Throughout this series of articles we make constant reference to the fact that understanding does not equal completion,  and that knowledge or intellectual awareness does not create resolution of the emotional incompleteness caused by loss. An incredible amount of our time is consumed in undoing the damage done by mixing intellect and emotions.

Intellect can't fix grief

Emotions are emotional and intellect is intellectual. When we learn to let that truth be true, we increase the probability of completing the pain caused by loss. We all know people who understand exactly what happened to them and how it happened and why it happened and who did it to them. Many of those people are in constant pain, still incomplete with the losses represented by those events and those people.

It is, by far, the most stubborn belief to shake, that if I can just understand I will be free, that I will be able to make new choices. Yet understanding is only awareness, it is not completion. Most of us were socialized to look for answers in our intellect and for most problems the intellect does contain the solutions. Emotional incompleteness is not resolved in the intellect.

When the physical aspect of a relationship ends through death, we are usually left with some unfinished business of an emotional nature. In order to effectively complete and say goodbye to the physical, we must first identify and complete whatever is emotionally incomplete. The net result is an acknowledgment of the reality that the physical relationship we had is over and that we now have a changed emotional relationship. Our emotional relationship does not end with death, but it must be brought current as we move into the new reality of life without the person who died.

Divorce, almost automatically, produces tremendous emotional incompleteness. Divorce differs from death to the degree that the physical relationship usually changes, rather than ending entirely. It is important to recognize that divorce grief is the death of a relationship, as well as the death of the hopes, dreams, and expectations implicit in marriage.

While death and divorce are different, completing the emotional pain caused by either of those losses requires the same emotional skills. The grief process is identical. You must discover what is emotionally unfinished and finish it, so you can say goodbye to the physical relationship that has ended or changed. Knowing that you are incomplete, and even knowing what is incomplete, is not enough. You must follow a clearly defined set of actions to help you grieve and complete the pain caused by all significant emotional losses.

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Grief is the normal and natural and PAINFUL emotional reaction to loss. Grief is supposed to be painful and it is supposed to be emotional. One of the natural functions of grief is to alert you to any emotional incompleteness left when a relationship changes or ends. The Grief Recovery Handbook contains the clearly defined actions that will help you discover and complete the undelivered emotional communications that may be limiting or restricting your life. How often have you or someone you know been caught in that intellectual trap where you know but you don't change? The most difficult aspect of this process is undoing the obsolete idea that knowledge and analysis equal recovery. Knowledge and analysis equal knowledge and analysis, nothing more. The Grief Recovery Method is a series of grief recovery actions that leads to completion.

If you found this article helpful, we suggest you may also want to read:

Divorce and Grief

Time Does Not Heal, Actions Do

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I understand how it happened and what happened, and I have no earthly clue WHY it happened.

How do you come up with "a reason" for burning someone out of the world so effectively that the surviving family never receives a single solitary remain to prove he ever existed.

How do you "get with the program" and believe "everything happens for a reason" when you don't know the effing reason and don't believe the people advising you of it do either. More like they just want you to shut up w/out having to admit they don't have a damn CLUE why it happened.

It makes me angry, b/c I've never met anybody who hasn't said that, and I mean they say it even in contexts where I never asked for an opinion. Like the time people I work w/ found out I knew someone who died on September 11, 2001, and I explained to them that I'd be going to New York City. Several people said 'Everything happens for a reason.' Or they said 'It happened for a reason, you just have to have faith in God's Will. (and they always make me see a capital W on the word.)

The worst intellectual statement I've ever heard throughout the 10 years that I've heard intellectual statements, is the one that goes "everything happens for a reason." smdh It so obviously has nothing to do with anything, in my opinion anyway, that my reaction is to feel confused every time I've heard it.

I'm just really glad nobody here has said 'it happened for a reason.'

Another statement I heard, that I hadn't heard before 2001, is the one "Don't cry b/c it's over, smile b/c it happened."

Some famous person made the quote, and it always used to make me feel stifled when they said it.

But I don't understand why quotes are given ridiculous amounts of credence just b/c a famous person said it. As if a famous person could never be wrong in his information even once.

Thank you for these words on writing about grief. I have been keeping a journal for several years now, but before I started this I had already lost or thrown out the diaries I kept as a child. My sister died age 7 in 1980, so I would have liked to be able to look back on what I wrote as I was growing up. I recently decided to start writing a book about my journey through her death and my healing journey to the present and I found it hard going! It's still on my to do' list, although, having written only a few pages, has slipped off the top of the pile. If you have any tips for me, I'd appreciate them!

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