Monday, April 9, 2012

Basics Of The Grief Process

If you've read a bit about grief you've probably noticed key words like denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Those are the purported five stages of grief when someone is dying, as put forth by psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying, 1969. There is a difference between the grief of someone who knows they are dying, and someone who is mourning the death of a loved one, but Kubler-Ross's book was the source of today's common perceptions and misconceptions about grief. Grief can be very different for the Christian, but I think it's important to have a basic understanding of current thought, too, so we can examine where we're at and understand this fallen world.
People often think that these stages of grief are rigid phases one must go through one after another, but it's better to allow for some variance and flexibility. Each individual is unique and mourns at their own pace, with their own combinations and synonyms of "the stages." Grief is a variable process. I recommend the Christian book Grieving: Our Path Back to Peace by James R. White for a good explanation.

For a quick summary, however, I found a video clip for you today that addresses briefly outlines the journey and answers this question: I have heard that grief is a process. If that is true, then what are the phases of the process and will I ever be done with the grieving process?

You'll have to click on this link but it will be well worth the travel. You'll find a six-minute video featuring Dr. Henry Cloud with a good summation of the grief process. Christian psychologists Cloud & Townsend address many issues on their website, so you might find a lot more to interest you, too, if you visit their homepage.
I urge you to view this video. And then delve into this storm--become a student of your own grief. Learn about the process, recognize the phases or feelings of this letting go and surrendering experience.
Dr. Cloud talks about surrounding yourself with support structures and people who can hold you up. As he says, grieving is meant to be within community. That's the purpose of WCP, to reinforce and hold you; its one of a variety of places from which you can draw strength and support.

If you have a Facebook account, I've set up Lifeboat, a members-only widows support group. If you'd like to try it out, send a friend request to me, Ferree Hardy. Be sure to message me, too, with the word LIFEBOAT, and I'll add you to the group on Tuesday or Friday evening.

Whether you find helpful information, role models, one-on-one correspondance, or climb aboard Lifeboat, feel free to take what you need from Widows Christian Place. Also find friends, a church family, a grief support group and a few good books.

Like Cloud says, find a time, a place and people to grieve with who will provide relationship and support. And then, lean on them all and grieve, my friend. May the Lord fill you and make you whole again. ferree

1 comment:

  1. Ferree--I have joined a Grief Share group at a nearby church. I have NO support system--no widow friends that can relate so this group is helping. thank you. Judy


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