Grief is not something that is patched up with a bandaide and left to heal. It is not something that one recovers from ever. Anyone who says one can recover from grief is misleading you. Freud taught that grief is something that must be removed from the person. The person must recover and move on from it, as if grief was a disease or pathology. Grief however is far from a pathology but part of our human condition. It is a result of loving someone so much that the loss creates a void forever.
Grief is not about recovery but is about adaptation and coping. As time goes, one is able to adapt to the loss and remember the beloved with warmness, and even live with happiness, but the wound is forever present at different intensities at certain times. This is not something one wishes to remove but something that one embraces as the price of love. Love and grief coincide in this fallen world and if we never loved, then we would never grieve.
So there is no magic pill or recovery for grief. It is hard work, adaptation, coping and remembering with fondness the love that existed and still exists in one’s heart. This is not what many want to hear but it is what they need to hear. Grief Counseling is not about healing grief but is about helping others learn to live with grief.
The article, “We Don’t Recover From Grief, and that’s Okay” from “Whats Your Grief” is an excellent reminder of how we never truly recover from grief. The article states,
“But the grief, it’s always there, like an old injury that aches when it rains. And though this prospect may be scary in the early days of grief, I think in time you’ll find that you wouldn’t have it any other way. Grief is an expression of love – these things grow from the same seed. Grief becomes a part of how we love a person despite their physical absence; it helps connect us to memories of the past; it bonds us with others through our shared humanity, and it helps provide perspective on our immense capacity for finding strength and wisdom in the most difficult of times.”
Please also review the American of Academy of Grief’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year grief counseling certification
When something or someone is gone, the mind remembers the loss. The greater the loss, the greater the pain and the longer period to adjust. Constant reminders exist throughout our life that do not allow us to forget the loss or person. While this is good, while grieving, it is also painful.
Sometimes, its a place, a scent, an object, a day, or an event. They can all trigger in the mind, memories, both good and bad. Sometimes, our subconscious will dwell on the person in dreams. Ultimately, someone so interwoven with you, will never be forgotten nor should be forgotten. The things that remind us of our loved one are memories of the love shared and remind us how we miss them and how much they mean to us. They also show us the desire to see them again one day in another world.
The article, “Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss” from the Mayo Clinic looks at these reminders. The article states,
“Certain reminders of your loved one might be inevitable, such as a visit to the loved one’s grave, the anniversary of the person’s death, holidays, birthdays or new events you know he or she would have enjoyed. Even memorial celebrations for others can trigger the pain of your own loss. Reminders can also be tied to sights, sounds and smells — and they can be unexpected. You might suddenly be flooded with emotions when you drive by the restaurant your partner loved or when you hear your child’s favorite song.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
When dealing with grief, it takes time but it brings about change. Change comes gradual though and it can take time. One cannot rush the changes grief brings about in a person as the person learns to exist without the loved one and form new relationships with others.
The article, “In the first year of grief, walk the perimeter” by Michael Chancellor, the first year of grief is examined. He states,
“I often tell my clients it takes a year to get a sense of the loss we have experienced. I compare it to a person who has purchased a piece of land and walked out the perimeter before he agreed to the purchase. He does that to become familiar with the land he is planning to purchase. Grief is like that. It takes a year to walk out the perimeter of our loss. What happens in a year that is so important?”
Grief is a life long journey. There is truly no recovery but adaptation to the loss. A new balance of accepting the loss and living with the new.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification to learn more about the nature of grief and also to help others learn to cope with it and make a healthy transition. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.
Post partem depression is a serious issue for mothers. However, many people do not know that it fathers can also suffer post partem depression. This more rare occurrence does happen and can affect men.
The article, “Postpartum depression for dads – it’s a thing” by Armin Brott discusses how this can occur for men. He states,
“Although postpartum depression in women is widely acknowledged and studied, researchers have only recently admitted what plenty of new dads already knew: it affects men too—in fact, as many as one in four new dads experience the kinds of symptoms you mentioned (plus others) in the days, weeks, and even months after the birth of a child. Unfortunately, men rarely discuss their feelings or ask for help, especially during a time when they’re supposed to “be there” for the new mom.”
Men express themselves differently then women and may not receive the help they need. They might even feel embarrassment and bury their feelings during this difficult time.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The Grief Counseling Program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.
When we lose someone, life is never the same. Holidays especially are never the same. The empty seat is a grim reminder of the loss every year. The first few years will be the most painful, while future years will ease in pain but still always remind. Traditions alter as well as time goes by and when certain family members are gone. Changing traditions and but keeping the fundamental values are important in these cases.
The article from “Whats Your Grief”, “Changing Holiday Traditions; Keeping Holiday Value” takes a closer look at traditions change and new ones emerge. The article states,
“After a loss, traditions big and small sometimes have to change. Part of coping with the hoidays as we grieve is planning for the traditions we will keep, those we will change, and those we will leave behind. This is hard in the best of years, and 2020 – a year of change, loss, distance, and isolation has changed our who, when, wheres, and hows more than ever.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in grief counseling
Loss equates to change and that change equates to a series of adaptation called grief. The greater the connection or bond to the loss, the greater the change and subsequently, greater the grief. While many view loss as a tangible object, person or place, loss can also be intangible. The loss of a youth is a classic intangible reality that many grieve the loss of over time. The loss of vitality, energy, strength, health, physical looks, and abilities plague every type of person, from the ordinary worker, or model to the athlete. The adaptation to being aging can be a great grief. It is such a great grief that tales of the Fountain of Youth are found in legends. Youth and eternal life is something all grieve the loss of.
The loss of such youthful qualities begins to set around middle age where greys emerge, aches increase, and wrinkles appear. This adaptation and comparison to how one once was can be a difficult time for middle aged people. This has led to what one refers to as Midlife crisis, where individuals start to release that they are not eternal and time is ticking. For women, they may question their fertility and if no children, they may start to grieve the lack of a family. Men may start to grieve the loss of their once sexual prowess and date younger women, or find replacement value in new fancy cars. These are all coping methods to adapt to the loss. Some cope better, while others have a difficult time with the change. Some at this age also begin to lose parents or find themselves in a care giver capacity where parents no longer care for them but they care for the parents.
After middle age, the period of retirement soon looms. This change is large. Individuals can lose a sense of value after work. They can lose a sense of identity. The once proud engineer, now finds himself lost at home without problems to solve, or the once firefighter, finds himself without the thrill of the job and joy of saving others. These life changes are indeed losses for many. Others may find joy in the time and adapt well but others like the above may seek fulfillment because they know lack their position and former identity.
In later age, individuals are left with memories of times long gone. Health may be a serious issue or merely the fact of age itself. Those lucky enough to be healthy, still will have consistent aches, slower movement, and less abilities to even drive a vehicle. They will be dependent upon others for help with groceries or for getting somewhere. They will also in many cases, mourn the loss of so many individuals in their lives and have hopefully learned to cope with those multiple losses.
Age and death are a reality. Every second, since the moment we were born, we have been on a crash course collision with death. Every phase of life has its numerous challenges and changes. We can either accept those life realities or fight them. Those who mourn the losses, adjust to the changes have a better road map of life, while those who fight aging and death, will never truly find happiness.
Instead of a mid life crisis, one should evaluate where they are and make positive changes. Learn from the early mistakes of young adulthood and proceed forward. Understand one’s new role to the younger generation and older generation and embrace it. Those facing retirement, should embrace the change and find solace in rest but also look for new adventures that were never able possible due to a 40 hour work week. Those who are in their golden age, should reflect on the long life as a gift and see the multitude of blessings that were also infused to their long life.
One can lament the past, worry about the future or enjoy the present. Enjoy the challenges that come with being the age one is and learn to cope with the losses but also enjoy the successes that come with age group. No particular age in this fallen temporal world is perfect, but each age we enter into has new challenges but also new blessings. We are not here to deny the losses, but to accept them with the many blessings in the story of life. Many die young in life and that was their complete story, but others have a much longer book. Enjoy that book and make the most of it.
If you would like to learn more about grief or help others through grief, please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.
Celebrating the Holidays while grieving is a difficult paradox. It is a time of spiritual and social renewal when families come together to celebrate religious and family traditions, but it also can be a time of great pain for the grieving who have recently lost a loved one.
The contradiction of joy and grief in one time and space is confusing to the bereaved and can lead to a myriad of raw emotions. Emotions of regret, guilt, anger, and intense sadness. Memories of past holidays and the love and good times shared are very present and raw in the emotional heart. These memories resurface for even grievers years after, but are far more present and graphic for recent grievers.
This can lead grievers during the Holidays to avoid celebration or even withdraw from family life for the season. This is not necessarily a bad thing for a person who has lost a loved one recently. This is especially true if the lost is within the calendar year and this is the first Holiday season without the deceased.
It is important to allow the individual to express his or her grief in solace and silence if necessary. It is important to give the griever the space one needs to deal with the lost in one’s own way. It would be unwise to force traditions or gatherings upon this individual.
Likewise, if a griever chooses to be around family and friends and wishes to celebrate, it is wise to gently accommodate the needs of the person with sensitivity and kindness. Ultimately, the griever must choose the path that is best for the griever. Nothing should be forced, refused or restricted.
The biggest thing one can do for the griever during the Holidays is to check on them and be there to listen. Listening is the greatest gift and simply checking in. Whether that is through a call, or by leaving a cookie trey, or a simple card. These small gestures carry weight and can help the griever through these difficult times. Avoidance is the worst thing anyone can do for the griever. A balance and discretion are required to know how much to say or how much to do.
One cannot know the first Holiday season if the griever is naturally experiencing grief in its raw form or pathologically and this is why checking in and listening is so critical in helping the bereaved. In time, the secluded bereaved may become more present during the Holidays. They may seek other family and friends and wish to again immerse themselves in traditions, dinners and gift exchange. Or, they may seek to find new traditions, or even wish to commemorate the deceased.
These are healthy advances in any direction. They show a respect for the past, a continuation in the presence and hope for the future. Old traditions may end or they may not, or new traditions will emerge after the death of the deceased, but ultimately, individuals who lose a loved one learn how to incorporate the loss of a loved one into the current and future Holidays. No story is the same and not outcome is right or wrong. The way Holidays are celebrated after the loss of a loved one are never the same afterwards emotionally but that does not mean they do not continue into new ways.
Losing a loved one is traumatic any day of the year. Whether it is during the Holidays or before, there will be emotional grief reactions. These reactions will always exist no matter the year, but they become less intense each year. This is not to say the pain is erased and the love vanishes, it just means that people adjust and adapt to loss and learn how to cope with it, even during the Holidays.
If you would like to learn more about the process of grief, please review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Training Program. Qualified professionals can apply and become certified in Grief Counseling.
Depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy is not uncommon for women. Many women suffer from this due to the many physical, emotional and mental changes that occur, especially the chemical changes within the body. It is not something to be ashamed of or not spoken but addressed.
The article, “Addressing Taboo Topics: Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy” by Elle Kehres looks at this issue that some women face during pregnancy. She states,
“Depression that occurs during pregnancy, or within a year after delivery, is called Perinatal Depression. While many women have a variety of mood symptoms in the aftermath of delivery, Kimmel said 80 percent of women feel Postpartum Blues or “Baby Blues” for a short time. However, these symptoms usually subside one to three weeks after delivery and should not be mistaken for Postpartum Depression.”
Interesting look at the lack of collective grief in some areas of the nation over the immense loss from COVID. While some areas collectively understand the grief the nation is facing, other areas do not. Collective grief is important as a nation when disaster strikes, to identify loss and come together.
The article, “More Than 250,000 Are Dead. Why Is There So Little Collective Grief?” by Corrine and Erik Ofgang look at the number of dead due to COVID and ask why society is not grieving enough over this in the USA. They state,
“A large portion of the population believes the falsehoods that the virus is a hoax or the numbers of dead are inflated, and grief itself has become politicized with some worrying that too much focus on rising death counts will discourage economic recovery. But these factors alone can’t explain the lack of collective response.”
With lack of many visuals of the death, society may not also be recognizing the dangers. To read the entire article, please click here
Please also review The American Academy of Grief Counseling’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
Grief that transfers to work from home can be counter productive to the office or work place, but it is a natural occurrence and managers must be aware. Managers can help limit the issue by actually addressing it and helping employees deal with grief. Support and understanding are key elements in helping an employee function at work while dealing with grief.
The article, “How To Help Others Manage Grief: 16 Lessons For Business Leaders” from Forbes, looks to address the issue of helping employees deal with grief. The article states,
“Working through feelings of grief and mourning with your team can not only improve everyone’s mental health and overall satisfaction, but can also provide valuable insights to help you become a better leader. Below, the members of Forbes Coaches Council share 16 important lessons that business leaders can learn from the principles of grief management.”
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see how it can help you learn more about grief or progress within your professional career. Understanding grief in the work place is a critical leadership quality that needs to be utilized especially during the pandemic.