29 July 2009

Losing My Child: Living In and Through Grief (Pt 7)

So, another set back occurred today...oh joy. We received notice on this past Saturday, that the life insurance check from my son's passing was in the mail. Well, today we received it...YAY!!! Then we opened it, and found it was made out payable to my SON'S name. Well, long story short, it was a typo and the insurance company is reissuing another check ASAP. My hope of using it to kill some of the surrounding debt before the end of the month, has been thwarted. So, I must patiently continue to wait...not one of my strong suits...lol.

OK, to continue in the look at the booklet Good Grief, we come to the seventh stage, which is the feeling of anger and resentment. Supposedly this stage will come after the depression, so I guess I have not been through this as fully as I could be, but I still relate to many aspects of it. While admitting that neither anger nor resentment are good or healthy emotions, they are nonetheless still common for most people, and therefore important to move past them.

When in this stage, we tend to become critical of everything related to the situation. I found this to be the case somewhat, when it came to the whole "what if" scenarios. I found myself questioning and casting blame on doctors, types of treatments, etc. What could have caused this? Who is to blame? What was done wrong, and by whom? These are areas he directly addresses in this chapter. No real solution is given, except to attempt to move from this quickly.

Stage eight is to resist returning to normal activities. I guess to a certain degree I have experienced this. It has to do with feeling like only we remember the great loss we have had, while others around us have returned to life as usual, so we seek to keep the memory (of pain) alive, leading to further depression, and a lack of desire to get on with life and try to get past it. We become too comfortable in our grief, and find it less painful to experiencing new situations in life.

One of the things he touches on in this section, is how people who surround the grieving one tend to make every attempt to avoid the issue...avoid bringing up the lost love one, for fear of bringing up painful emotions. He says that this tends to have the opposite effect, in that it makes the griever think everyone has all but forgotten the lost one. We should be open and free to discussed the one who has passed...to keep the memory alive, and to live and relive the joys of their lives. I often try to bring up my son in conversation with the family, and my other children do not grasp this point, and always think we should not speak of him. They do not bring him up, thinking it will make mom or dad cry again. But we really need to continue living, speaking, and remembering him in our normal conversations.

Stage nine is when things begin to clear up, and the dark clouds begin to break up, and a ray of hope begins to shine through. An example is given of the typical "Hollywood" little old lady who has lost her husband years earlier, and has become a recluse basically. She has kept her husbands belongings exactly as they were, and sits and ponders the memories on through the years, never letting anyone in, or seeking to experience life any further. This is what can happen if we do not move through the stages to reach the days of hope and life again.

Stage ten is to begin reaffirming reality again. We will never be able to return to our old selves again, with great loss comes great changes in life. But we should and can continue on in new experiences, and often, those of great faith will be better suited and able to assist others through similar issues due to their experience. So, in the end, we should come out different, but in ways, better than before.

I pray that I find my way through all of the steps and to this outcome myself. I appreciate those who have continued lifting me, and my family up in prayer during these times. I feel without it, we would not have made it this far. May God continue providing strength to us each minute of each day until I see the clouds break and the sun shine through once again.

This is the end of the examination of this little booklet, and I will return to my continued reading of the R.C. Sproul book Invisible Hand for my personal study on this issue further.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7