Dealing With Grief and Bereavement


Grief will be with many of us this time because of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado USA, where a disturbed man entered the cinema and went on a killing spree leaving 12 people dead and 58 injured, 7 in critical condition.  Many of us wonder “WHY” Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology: A ...and most still in shock. Aside from this, someone somewhere is mourning a lost close relative or friend of who either was killed or just dead  from natural causes or unnatural circumstance.  Still, in an era when the media seem to tout the wisdom of “closure” within days of any tragedy, it’s easy to feel abnormal when confronted with the long, painful, and messy process of adapting to a death.

Healthy grieving can be a slow, difficult process that lasts for months or years. And although you may gradually be able to refocus your life, you’ll probably never “get over it” or stop thinking about the person who died, till this day I have never stop thinking about the mother I lost at a very tender age; Yes its an individual thing, an individual grieving

process.

Initially, a person may feel shock and numbness as the reality of the death sinks in. Yet during that time, he or she may seem to be handling things well and may be quite competent in managing the funeral and legal matters. Later, feelings of sadness, distress, anger, and guilt may become more prominent.

To others, a grieving person may seem irritable, disorganized, or restless. Rather than “moving on,” the person often seems worse and less able to function several months after a death than he or she did during the first weeks. That’s one reason ongoing practical help and emotional support from friends is so important.

If a person feels stuck and months go by with no improvement, however slow or painful, it could be a sign of complicated grief. Complicated grief is not a mental illness; it’s the term mental health professionals use when grieving has proved to be particularly difficult and the bereaved person could benefit from professional attention.

Signs of complicated grief include an inability to accept that death has occurred; frequent nightmares and intrusive memories; withdrawal from social contact; and constant yearning for the deceased. Complicated grief is more common after a suicide or other traumatic death.

It’s important to distinguish feeling down or depressed from true clinical depression that requires treatment. A professional can help make this determination. He or she will assess whether someone is unable to cope with everyday activities and is showing symptoms not explained by grief. These include constant feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, continual thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, uncontrolled crying, delusions, and slowed thinking and physical responses.

In the year after a spouse’s death, 50% of widows develop depression. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, or both. Medication does not take away grief, but rather helps a grieving person preserve the emotional energy needed to cope with feelings.

For many of the bereaved, recognizing and expressing the strong emotions associated with grief is an integral part of healing. To that end, they may want to write about their feelings, talk to friends or a spiritual adviser, see a therapist, a counselor or join a support group. Other things that can help:

  • Group support.     Relatives and friends often can’t understand what a grieving person is  going through. People often find uniquely helpful support in discussing  their loss with others in a similar situation.Bereavement support groups may be general or may focus on a particular  disease or type of relationship. They’re not meant to be psychotherapy,  although some are led by professionals. Some are ongoing; others are time-limited. A local hospice, hospital, religious group or community organization may be able to guide you to a group that is capably led and  seems like a good fit.
  • Individual therapy.      You may not be comfortable speaking in a group setting. Perhaps your  relationship with the deceased was troubled, and you have difficulty talking about it. Or you wish to address unresolved issues from your past  that a recent death has brought to the fore. In that case, working with a therapist or a trusted companion or friend one-on-one may be easier.
  • No pressure to talk.      At the same time, new research suggests that people who find it difficult to disclose their feelings shouldn’t be pressured to do so. In two European studies that followed widows and widowers for two years, neither  talking nor writing about the loss reduced distress. (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, February 2002.)

Help for the holidays

Some people who are grieving find it reassuring to participate in holiday activities as usual. Others may find it too painful to do so. Here are a few ideas to help you:

  1. Do something for others. Volunteer to help others, through your place of worship or a charity. Invite someone who is alone during the holiday to join you and your family for a meal, a religious service, or an activity such as a concert. Make a donation to a favorite cause in memory of the deceased.
  2. Help yourself adjust. Let others know that you might not participate in all the usual festivities. For example, you may feel like attending a religious service, but not the gathering that follows. Feel free to change plans at the last-minute. Cry if you need to. Let others know if it’s OK for them to share their memories of the deceased with you.
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How can I begin to break the silence and be open about being sexually abused as a child?


Every time my stepfather touched me, I felt as if I was losing a small piece of me. As I got smaller and smaller, our secret seemed to grow bigger and bigger. The silence was cramming all the small, shattered pieces of me into some secret, shameful box that I hoped no one would ever open.

I am not alone. Every day I receive e-mails from people who have been sexually abused and have kept silent about it. Many survivors who have lived in silence falsely believe that talking about their abuse will not only do nothing to reduce their shame and isolation, but that it will actually make things worse.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse long to be accepted for who we are. As children, we never felt accepted because we believed something was wrong with us. We thought something about us was bad and deserved punishment. Now, as adults, it doesn’t make sense that someone would accept us just because we’re not being abused anymore. So we decide to become someone else—someone others will accept and maybe even love.

But even though our façade helps win us the acceptance of others, we feel exactly the same inside. Contrary to what we believed, we do not feel better. We still can’t accept ourselves, for we don’t even know the real us. We long to know who we really are. But we find we fear it just as much as we long for it. It seems easier to just keep faking it.

When I decided to get real, I took small, quick breaths of fresh air. A little trust here. A little openness there. I kept the blanket off just long enough to know I was making progress. But as I kept working at getting real, I began to realize what I was looking for was a community where I could heal, where I could find acceptance, love, purpose and hope. I was looking for a circle of inspiration.

Creating your own circle can take a while. Most of the time, no one will know that you even need this kind of support until you speak up about it. Hence my passion and focus on empowering survivors to break the silence. It also takes time to build relationships by learning to trust again and allowing others to know you.

Your circle may seem small or even nonexistent at this point. You may still be holding your breath, too afraid to breathe. But just as Jesus got to choose the men He wanted in His circle, you get to choose the people you want in yours. You’re the only one who decides who will get to hear your story and have the high honor of getting to know the real you.

We need to find people we trust—or people we can begin to try to trust—and share our story with them. This is where our healing journey begins and where our circle of inspiration starts to grow. So to begin to form your circle, start with someone you feel you can trust. Chances are, this person will be caring and compassionate, someone who is willing to reach out to you in your pain.

(Help is out there, you dont have to tolerate or accept any nonsense because that is what sexual abuse is, please do not suffer in silence. No man has the right to Lord over another human being. It is not acceptable. Contact us or simple email us for counsel; Pastor Rebecca).

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