Thursday, November 15, 2007

grief, bereavement, mourning

Grief & Grieving

It is said that we can demonstrate that we loved well by expressing our grief. We must model the grieving process for our children.
I heard about a terrific book the other day. It was featured on Oprah. It is caBroken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Growlled, Broken Open, and refers to the process of dealing with Bad Things That Happen to Good People or Overcoming Life's Disappointments - a familiar concept.

Elizabeth Lesser, the author, purports that this is the time to ask yourself:
  • what can I learn from this process?
  • what is this experience supposed to teach me?
Grieving is difficult. It is unique in terms of time, process, product for each individual. It proves the theory Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

One of the things I learned is that Hospices can and do provide bereavement groups. They train volunteers to support one another. These are people with real life experiences that have led them to move through their grief and make the choice between denial or acceptance, anger or Overcoming Life's Disappointmentsacceptance, bargaining or initiative*.

What do you do and where do you go?
You can seek help from many sources: Victim Services in Ontario, funded by the Attorney General's office, provide sources of support. There are many non-profit sources for counselling and therapy. It is in talking and, for me, writing about your process, that will lead you to come out of the other side healthy and whole.

Rabi Kula suggests that we must grieve with our head, heart and hands.
Head: by learning all we can, reading about bereavement issues, after the mourning process is over. We can use our hearts by expressing gratitude, and accepting the support of others. We use our hands by reaching out to others and giving them the kind of support we had, or wished we had at the time.

Finding others who have had your experiences truly helps. There are many caregiver groups where you will find a home while you are pregrieving and providing care.

I went to nature, the arts, and read and wrote all I could on the topics that interested me. You can seek spiritual guidance from organized religions, many will provide support whether or not you are a member.

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*See Kubler-Ross' 5 Stages of grief:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance