" Grief Work... we all must face"
I thought I would post some pertinent information on Grief Work for those of you who are interested in seeking information to help yourself.. As I have said many times before I'm neither a professional or a "know it all" I just have an objective train of thought on these matters..
Please feel free to read on in my findings....
Grief is an inevitable part of life. For a rare few, it could be a relatively quick journey lasting a period of several months; for others, a journey that may take years to complete. Working through the grief levels is frequently referred to as "grief work." And is utterly dependent on one's own unique relationship with the loved on that has passed on.. that alone will dictate where and when you are ready to move forward in your 'Grief Work"
Although the grief experience is intensely personal, there are some fairly typical levels of bereavement. These range from initial shock, to anguish and despair once the realization of the loss sinks in, to eventual acceptance. Within each stage are specific emotional and psychological tasks which must be worked through completely before people can move on to successfully complete the tasks of the next level.
Although these levels are generally a predictable part of the mourning process, grief doesn't always move in a straight line. The levels tend to flow together and fluctuate, so it's not always possible to tell which level people are in. Emotions see-saw, and overwhelming feelings pass and then return. Moods wash in and out like the tide. Just when people think they are "over" it, a sound, smell, or image can send them back into emotional turmoil. This back and forth movement may occur over a period of months, or even years.
Although varying from person to person, it's not unusual for the active levels of grieving to last full years or more. But understanding the levels of grief you can see that you aren't alone in your confusion, turmoil, and pain, and that things improve as they progress through the levels. It can also help aid you to complete the necessary grief work, which includes:
•facing the reality of loss
•working through painful memories
•experiencing the full range of emotions associated with loss
•coping with the situational and lifestyle changes resulting from the loss
•adapting to the loss, and reconfiguring their own life
The Levels of Grief;
The goal of grief work is not to find ways to avoid or bypass the emotional turmoil and upsets brought by loss. Instead, its goals involve working through the tasks and emotions of each level of grief.
Level 1: "Acclimation and Adjustment"
In this first level, the tasks largely involve dealing with the initial emotional shock and disorientation often brought by death:
•adjusting to changes brought by the loss
•functioning appropriately in daily life
•keeping emotions and behaviors in check
The 2nd level: "Emotional Immersion and Deconstruction"
Although the initial impact of the death has passed, emotions are often deeply felt during this level. Those grieving face and have to deal with the changes that the death has brought, and often challenges to their beliefs about the way things should be. This level incorporates the most active aspects of grief work. It's not that this stage is any more intense than the first level -- in fact, it's difficult to imagine that anything could be more intense than the period immediately following a loss. But during this level, people are likely to become deeply immersed in their feelings, and very internally-focused. It's also quite common for those grieving to undergo a "deconstruction" of their values and beliefs, as they question why their loved one was taken from them.
The tasks associated with the next level include:
•contending with reality
•development of insight
•reconstructing personal values and beliefs
•acceptance and letting go
Level 3: "Reclamation and Reconciliation"
In this final level many issues about the death have been resolved, and those grieving more fully begin to reclaim and move on with their lives. This level is generally thought to be one marked by "recovery" from grief. But the loss of someone close leaves a permanent mark on people's lives in the sense that things can't be restored to the way they were before the death. However, people can begin to rebuild, creating a new life for themselves and re-engaging with the world around them. As this stage ends, the bereaved become reconciled to the death itself, and the changes it's brought to their lives. Perhaps most important, they begin to live in the present, rather than the past, re-establish who they are in the world, and plan a future. The primary tasks of this level are:
•development of social relations
•decisions about changes in life style
•renewal of self-awareness
•Acceptance of responsibility
The Whole Process of Grief Work
Until recently models of the path were based on the idea that everyone goes through the same sequence of levels in the recovery from grief, and at relatively the same speed. Unfortunately this is not the case but we do all face a path of progression that have many similarities..
Four Grief Work Tasks
Recognizing the Loss:
Accepting the reality of the loss is the difficult work here. Initially the loss may be denied or minimized. Then it may be intellectually processed. The emotional recognition and acceptance of the loss is the most difficult to achieve, and involves a full recognition that the lost person will not return.
Releasing the Emotions of Grief:
The pain experienced at the loss of a loved one is composed of many intense emotions including sadness, despair, anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, shame, jealousy. When a person who is integral to one's life dies there are other losses which also follow. Being able to weep over the losses and to express anger and other uncomfortable feelings is part of the healing process. Initially, these painful feelings may be omnipresent. Eventually they become more periodic, surfacing at unexpected and expected times during the day. Their unpredictable nature can create as sense of being out of control and often the leave the sufferer with the experience of being on an "emotional roller coaster." Eventually they become less frequent and may become intense mostly during anniversaries, holidays, and special events.
Developing New Skills:
This work involves the need to take on new roles and make new kinds of contacts in the world. Making a new set of friends, finding a support network, relating to others in a new way, taking on new roles in the family, and becoming more independent may all be part of this process. Underlying this work is the work of incorporating the experience of the loss into one's identity. The opportunity for personal growth and development is perhaps most clearly seen in this part of the grief work.
Reinvesting Emotional Energy in the Present:
As the other types of grief work are achieved more energy is available to be released into the new life that the bereaved person has created. This may result in new relationships, closer relationships, investment in work, or even in investment in an activity that is in honor of the dead person, or stems from the experience of loss. The work of this phase as being able to say a final farewell to the dead person. This does not mean a giving up of memories, but rather a release from a central attachment to the lost loved one so that there is more room and energy for engaging in life in the present.
For some this will mean integrating their experience of loss into a larger acceptance of human mortality. Individuals at this point in their grief work will sometimes report feeling increased energy and better ability to enjoy their present lives without guilt and fear.
I thank you for taking time to read my post..
As Always I wish you hope and peace in your Journey.
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.
I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...
Last edited by cal821 : June 23rd, 2012 at 11:00.
when we meet real tragedy in our lives we can react in two ways--either by losing hope and falling into self destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength
turn your face to the sun and the shadows always fall behind you
Last edited by hazelharris : April 20th, 2015 at 18:18.
feeling their touch
Hazel as you know this past couple of weeks have been hard, felt like i was getting worse instead of better, what has happened is like he was saying to me, don't be sad love, i'm not so far away, look to the future not backwards, i know what awaits you, hold on tight my love, i'm waiting for you.
hazel my friend, darren is waiting for you too, a day in heaven is a thousand yeras here, before we know it we'll see then again darling.
thanks for that chrissie i have been reading about chemo depression today i didn't have a computer when darren was ill and with the wicked things being said when darren went off depressed i understand more than before these people know nothing of what cancer and the treatment does do you know what they call it chemo brain it goes with our widows brain
some don't understand the hell we went through and some don't want to know and put their evil interpritation on it all
i'm so glad you felt close to giuls last night and can feel the love from him in this way to know his love is always there and wants you to feel happiness in your life again he would wish this for you as he loves you if you were in heaven and looked to giuls as he struggled without you you would do exactly the same send the power of your love down to comfort him
we have to live this life as best we can gather all our experiences in the years we have leftl the sad happy and wonderful things that we will encounter along the way to tell them it all when at last we fall into their arms again love hazelxxxx
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