Purmamarca Cemetary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the things I would like to do with this blog is reach out to other practitioners as well as the general public and let them know what we have been thinking about grief over the decades… I won’t be writing them up in any order.
I think there is a huge gap between what those of us in academia, those of us with broken hearts, and those of us who see the broken-hearted in our offices all think/feel/believe about grief.
There is a lot of research out there that says grief counseling does no more for a person than time. I like that Bill Worden in his book on grief counseling and theory, takes that on, if only briefly. There are others out there that question the same thing and Bill’s book shares some of those resources for students and clinicians who want to know more. When you ask simple questions to large numbers of people you get simple results.
When you think that a phenomena like grief can be stereotyped, canned, and put into a box to sell… or a pill like the American Psychiatric Association seems to want to do with the new version of the DSM, you lose the depth and richness of that with you are studying.
And let’s face it, what we start out to study is what we find or don’t find. We usually don’t have our worlds shattered by mind-altering experiences in the middle of a study… want a mind-altering experience, hold the hand of a dying person…. talk to someone who has held the hand of a dying person and listen with your heart and your head… then maybe the phenomenon will not escape you.
I feel very strongly about this topic because I have seen really good people become really beaten down by telling them that they aren’t moving through grief fast enough or given ridiculous advice like… for every year you knew a person, you will grieve a week.. you know what that means…
My parents have been married for 52 years… if one was to die today, in by that logic, they’d be “all better” in a year.
Nonsense I say!
I knew my brother for 25 years… I wasn’t magically better in 25 weeks… Nor was I over the death of my grandfather in 16 weeks when he died suddenly of a massive heart attack.
My point is, we need to listen, not take surveys. We need to allow the grieving to teach us and not the other way around. For almost 10 years I worked at hospice, directly with those who were grieving …
I saw young widowers, very old and sickly widows, parents who had lost multiple children, twins who had lost both parents, etc… I can tell you two things… none of them grieved the same way and I never thought it was my job to move someone through their grief on any time-table.
So, I will write about different theories, hoping there are people out there who are not grief specialists but are nurses, doctors, social workers, clergy, etc who will see this. But I will also be sharing examples so that you can understand what these theories look like. Ask yourself if this has been your experience… think about to grief experiences of the past and see if these process seem like they are close to how you lived your grieving.
Please feel free to share comments or you can always use the Ask Here tab to send me a message if you don’t want it published.
I believe that we need to move therapists and scholars closer to the lived experience of many phenomenon, but most importantly grief… let us face our own fears, pain, and stigma and be present, with deep listening and compassionate speech, to what others are living. Then maybe, and probably only then, will healing occur… for them and for us.
So, on to the first theory… Bill Worden’s tasks of grief…..
- Stop All the Self-Help? (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Reblogging Myself: Seeing the Whole (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Crazy Ideas about Grief (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- One Calendar Does Not Fit All (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- How long will it hurt? (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Males and Grief (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- I would gladly trade my lessons. . . . (namasteconsultinginc.com)
Read Full Post »