Your Grief My Grief Our Grief?
This is an essay/article How Should You Grieve from Mosaic that I saved from November 2016. It addresses the sorrow of bereavement that is unrelenting or as it is identified in psychology, complicated.
Researchers estimate complicated grief affects approximately 2 to 3 per cent of the population worldwide. It affects 10 to 20 per cent of people after the death of a spouse or romantic partner, or when the death of a loved one is sudden or violent, and it is even more common among parents who have lost a child.
The article written by Andrea Volpe and her examination of her own grief and how the path though and with grief in spite of what we've been told. It is thought that complicated grief is a dual-process model where we alternate between the emotional pain in the forefront of our minds to positive moments.
Volpe sat in on clinical training workshops with Katherine Shear, MD a psychiatrist at Columbia University. Shear directs Columbia's Center for Complicated Grief. Shear identifies her early experiences with grieving patients this way
“At the beginning,” she tells me, she was “afraid to sit in the room with someone who was really intensely grieving because I was still a little bit uneasy with death and dying, but also because it makes you feel so helpless – because you feel like there’s nothing you can do”. The grieving person, she says, “feels like the only thing that’s going to help” is bringing back the person they are grieving – “and you agree”.
Volpe continues this wonderful and informative essay/article by following a patient of Dr. Shear's in counseling and therapy. Shear says, “We do not try to lower grief intensity. I’m just trying to turn the Titanic one degree.”
Go to the link above this a must read for all of us grieving.
Closure Is Indifference It is Denial Said Pretty
I found a transcript of podcast The Myth of Closure by Pauline Boss. This is smack dab in the middle of my grief landscape. Closure is a myth.
There is no such thing as closure. We have to live with loss, clear or ambiguous. And it’s OK. It’s OK to see people who are hurting and just to say something simple. “I’m so sorry.” You really don’t have to say more than that. Pauline Boss
This podcast addresses ambiguous loss which is the loss of a loved one who is missing. Her podcast here addresses the bigger question of loss and closure and how retaining a loved one in your heart and mind as a psychological family should not be considered a pathology.
A poem by Donna Carnes who's husband was lost at sea and never been found is called "Walk On" I think it says it all for those of us with grief.
“You walk on
Still beside me
Eyes shadowed in dusk;
At each day’s end.
I have to laugh
Open-ended you remain
Still with me
After all these years
Of being lost.
I carry you like
My own personal
As I put on my lipstick, smile,
And head out to
Death and Grief In The Age of FB, IG, and Twitter
This Death and Grief in the Digital Age from The Social Work Podcast. I found this interview with Carla Sofka, Ph.D. a professor of Social Work at Siena College. Dr. Sofka has been writing about the intersection of technology and death and grief for a very long time.
One Sofka concepts she speaks about is STUG (Sudden Temporary Upsurges of Grief). This happens when Facebook or Twitter reminds us of a death anniversary or a memorial page.
I think death is able to come out of the closet. Even though hospice has been around for a long time there's still a lot of situations where people are very reluctant to talk about death; very reluctant to talk publicly about their grief because it's still very awkward and uncomfortable. And I'm not sure that awkwardness or discomfort is ever going to totally go away, but technology is certainly giving people different options to talk about it in ways that seem to be more comfortable.
Those of us on Twitter or FB or Instagram are ones who are comfortable and can help others. We are their connection to memories and understanding. That is why today and beyond we need our voices to be loud, sincere, supportive, and there for others.