GriefTalk #1 and #2

Grief Talk #1

Snoopy enjoyed “skating” on his snoopy paws all around the lake….until Lucy took his joy away by stating that he wasn’t really skating because he didn’t have SKATES! His grief was immediately evident.

The Bible is about Life

*in the beginning God created….

*Revelation 22:17 the Spirit and the Bride say “Come”

And a record of death

*first death – Genesis 3:21 innocent blood

*Revelation 22:15- those on the outside

Later we will look at the story of Job (probably next week)

What is loss?

Loss is an event that changes the way things have been

Separation/going on without/missing love/ letting go

Loss can be a big event or a small   (other)   Examples of loss could be ——————-

Two ways to talk about loss

1. describe different kinds of loss —-from the loss of a pet, a toy, a car, a house, a loved one….

2. discuss the intensity of the loss   —how bad is it?  Individualized/ different opinions ok

What is grief?

Grief is how people feel about loss

Normal feelings about grief include disappointment, fear, resentment,

fatigue, sadness, confusion and loneliness

Grief is a special emotion because one has to have been blessed to have loss

4 trajectories of grief are expected:

1. Resilience- the ability to experience and overcome loss****the person that it seems that nothing bothers them*****

2. Recovery- A slow, progressive return to adequate function similar to the

pre grief condition  *****awful but improves with time and circumstance***

3. Chronic dysfunction- Prolonged suffering and inability to function  ***He stopped loving her today***

4. Delayed grief or trauma- Adjustment seems normal at first but distress

and symptoms occur later.  ***He just snapped!!!****

Death changes everything!

Examples of Bereavement

  1. Death of a child including SIDS. Ex: increased stress on the patents, the BLAME GAME, trust issues.
  2. Suicide Ex: increased guilt, insecurity, no CLOSURE, no final answer.
  3. Death of a Spouse. Ex: 50-60 years together. Loss of  life as you know it. Loss of support system. Who cooks, drives, pays the bills???  -OR-

Sudden death in a young relationship ie: cheated out of so much!

  1. Death of a Parent.  Ex: loss of role model (very acute in teens)
  1. Death of a Sibling.  Ex: loss of best friend or confidant
  1. Loss during Childhood  Ex: the class mate lost to accident
  1. Loss of a relationship through court action ie: divorce, custody..

Other sources of grief and discouragement include:

Loss of occupation, position, income, lifestyle

Raising taxes

World events

Even recreation often leds to grief through gambling, addicitions and mounting debts.

The story of Job.

Job had 10 children and enormous wealth ( Job 1-2)

  1. the children were all killed in a disaster.
  2. The wealth was either stolen or destroyed.
  3. His wife rejected him
  4. his friends both grieved with him…and caused him additional grief
  5. He was so miserable he wanted to die (Job 3:1)
  6. Yet, Job remembered who his redeemer was (Job 19: 25-26)
  7. His wealth was restored and his loved ones reconciled. (Job 41:11-17

We hope we are supplying valuable information to both those who are grieving and to those who will become encouraging resources.

GriefTalk #2

Five Identities of grievers:

  1. The Nomads- Unresolved grief and lack of understanding of how the loss has changed them.
  2. Memorialists- Goal is remember and honor the loved one
  3. Normalizers- strive to get things back to where they were
  4. Activists- Help others deal with the pain that they themselves are having.
  5. Seekers- Adopt religious, philosophical or spiritual beliefs to create meaning in their lives.

Five Stages Theory: Kubler Ross Model

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Complicated Grief- prolonged or abnormal grief

Anticipatory Grief- Sadness that proceeds the loss

Postponement of Grief

Stress related to loss/ Change in roles in the family

Support group benefit

Cultural Diversity in grief

Stoic Culture- Quiet resolve, acknowledgement of loss but little outward  display of emotions except sadness. European, southern US.

Wailers- The more outward crying the more resolution. Middle East and Afican culture. Jewish culture- paid mourners, think new Orleans and the paid funeral procession mourners.

The Talkers- Far East- story telling and honoring of the dead

Examples: the family who took pictures with the loved one

The GHOST sister (Norman Miller story)

The fights over belongings




Healing yourself During the Holidays!!!

Holidays are often difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of someone loved.  Rather than being times of family togetherness, sharing and thanksgiving, holidays can bring feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.

Love Does Not End With Death

Since love does not end with death, holidays may result in a renewed sense of personal grief—a feeling of loss unlike that experienced in the routine of daily living.  Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died.

No simple guidelines exist that will take away the hurt you are feeling. We hope, however, the following suggestions will help you better cope with your grief during this joyful, yet painful, time of the year.  As you read through this article, remember that by being tolerant and compassionate with yourself, you will continue to heal.

Talk About Your Grief

During the holiday season, don’t be afraid to express your feelings of grief.  Ignoring your grief won’t make the pain go away and talking about it openly often makes you feel better.  Find caring friends and relatives who will listen—without judging you.  They will help make you feel understood.

Be Tolerant of Your Physical and Psychological Limits

Feelings of loss will probably leave you fatigued.  Your low energy level may naturally slow you down.  Respect what your body and mind are telling you.  And lower your own expectations about being at your peak during the holiday season.

Eliminate Unnecessary Stress

You may already feel stressed, so don’t overextend yourself.  Avoid isolating yourself, but be sure to recognize the need to have special time for yourself.  Realize also that merely “keeping busy” won’t distract you from your grief, but may actually increase stress and postpone the need to talk out thoughts and feelings related to your grief.

Be With Supportive, Comforting People

Identify those friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss and who will allow you to talk openly about your feelings.  Find those persons who encourage you to be yourself and accept your feelings—both happy and sad.

Talk About the Person Who Has Died

Include the person’s name in your holiday conversation.  If you are able to talk candidly, other people are more likely to recognize your need to remember that special person who was an important part of your life.

Do What Is Right for You During the Holidays

Well-meaning friends and family often try to prescribe what is good for you during the holidays.  Instead of going along with their plans, focus on what you want to do.  Discuss your wishes with a caring, trusted friend. Talking about these wishes will help you clarify what it is you want to do during the holidays.  As you become aware of your needs, share them with your friends and family.

Plan Ahead for Family Gatherings

Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which new ones you would like to begin. Structure your holiday time.  This will help you anticipate activities, rather than just reacting to whatever happens.  Getting caught off guard can create feelings of panic, fear and anxiety during the time of the year when your feelings of grief are already heightened.  As you make your plans, however, leave room to change them if you feel it is appropriate.

Embrace Your Treasure of Memories

Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved.  And holidays always make you think about times past.  Instead of ignoring these memories, share them with your family and friends.  Keep in mind that memories are tinged with both happiness and sadness.  If your memories bring laughter, smile.  If your memories bring sadness, then it’s alright to cry.  Memories that were made in love—no one can ever take them away from you.

Renew Your Resources for Living

Spend time thinking about the meaning and purpose of your life.  The death of someone loved created opportunities for taking inventory of your life— past, present and future.  The combination of a holiday and a loss naturally results in looking inward and assessing your individual situation.  Make the best use of this time to define the positive things in life that surround you.

Express Your Faith

During the holidays, you may find a renewed sense of faith or discover a new set of beliefs.  Associate with people who understand and respect your need to talk about these beliefs.  If your faith is important, you may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony.

As you approach the holidays, remember: grief is both a necessity and a privilege. It comes as a result of giving and receiving love.  Don’t let anyone take your grief away.  Love yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  And allow yourself to be surrounded by loving, caring people.