It happened again! Somehow my blog for January just disappeared. Poof it is out there somewhere floating on the super highway called the Internet. Did I do what my 24 year old said to do and back it up? Nope, I did not. Did I write it in a document first and then transfer it over here? Ummm, NO! Why am I discussing this on my blog? It is quite simple really I am having a grief reaction. That’s right, I am grieving the loss of something. We all do this several times a day with the loss of our keys, missing an appointment, being put down or maybe the loss of a pet, a dream, or bigger still the death of someone we loved.
Grief is a normal reaction and encompasses the “stages of grief” by Kubler-Ross.
Many times your children may come home in a “bad mood” and we just assume it is just that…a bad day. Having a bad day can be simple grief but you won’t know unless you ask, “what has happened to make you sad?” They may tell you about being embarrassed in front of the class. To this you can apply the phases, “wow, you must have been really surprised by that.” Let them talk then say something like, “did you feel angry?” Again, let them emote. You can then say something like, “I would feel depressed and sad if I was made fun of as well.” They will agree and usually come up with things they wish they had to avoid the embarrassment. You can say, “I am glad that you know your options for next time” and then suggest some more hopefully healthier ones. Finally, offer a hug.
You have just taught your child how to go through the grief process and how to communicate their feelings to you.
As for me I will just keep learning about the complications of the computer, Internet and saving documents.
I’ve just read the Time article to get a mmruasy of the author’s thinking. As a clergyperson for almost 30 years, I’ve seen a number of people live through loss and grief in a variety of ways, and have done so myself. I have found that people often experience the feelings that Kubler-Ross’s identified (as well as others), but it is been clear to me for many years that we do not expereince those feelings in systematic stages, but rather in unpredictable roller-coaster fashion not unlike the oscillating graph shown on this site. My own (admittedly anectodatal) take on grief is that the plethora of intense feelings we typically have for some period of time are the psyche’s way of honoring the importance to us of the person (or job or marriage or ) that have been lost. Once we have done that to the degree each needs, we are ready to move on in our lives. What I continue to observe is that while the varieties of approaches to grief process described and debunked in the Time article are widespread in the culture, it is also the case that in practical terms our culture often leaves little space and time for grieving. People are routinely expected to be able to return to normal functioing, especially in the work world, within a week or two of a major loss as if nothing significant had happened. There seems to be a disconnect between the possibly over-developed psychological approach to the inner work of grief and an under-developed acknowledgement in the public world of the functional challenges that people in the early, intense time of grieving often face.
Absolutely Tamara. There is more about how children grieve under that title. Our society is still fearful about the intense emotions that grief entails. And we expect the whole process to be done with rapidly. It takes a full year sometimes longer to adequately grieve a loss. Thank you for your insight and welcome to the connection.