Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How am I doing?

Mourners are constantly asked, "How are you doing?" Rarely do we have an honest answer. Many of us wonder which of the five stages of grief we are in or out of. Although the grief comes and goes, the wondering is constant. Am I healing? Why at some times do I feel worse now, years after losing Bob, than the first few months. If I am enjoying life more now, why does grief whack me when I least  expect it, seeing a couple whispering, listening to a song, or smelling cardomon seeds. I want to be finished with it.

Claire Bidwell Smith, a grief therapist, suggested recently in an article in the HUFFINGTON POST, that the five stages of grief are fluid.  You might stay in one stage for years and then move through the other ones quickly. "Everyone's journey of grief is different." (May 10, 2012) Although the paths are diverse, what seems to be common is that all mourners she meets are like me. They wonder, "How am I doing?"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Good Op-Ed Piece on Grief

Allen Frances is right to oppose listing grief as a psychiatric illness. Grief is the most vivid, piercing and transcendent of emotions. People grieve in their own unique ways. The problem is that we expect grief to follow the same throwaway, “get over it” ethic that drives too much of modern life.

Many people expect a funeral or memorial for the deceased to bring “closure” for the grieving, when, in reality, preparations for such ceremonies only postpone mourning. After a few bereavement days, a griever is often expected to go back to work without missing a beat. After two weeks, the mere mention of the deceased or your loss may be considered rude or burdensome to others.

Little wonder people are depressed. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grief as Depression?

Something caught my eye online last week about the stages of grief. Some said there were four, some said five, plus there were a couple of other models that were interesting. But what really shocked me was an article in the NY Times about the definition of depression being expanded to include grief if the grief lasts longer than two weeks (whereupon it becomes a "disorder".) Of course this would greatly increase the number of people 'treated' for it. Maybe the drug companies are behind this move. I need to look into this some more and hope others will too. Right now it seems as though "normal grieving"––two weeks and under––wouldn't give a person much time to get through all those stages.