Processing Grief and Loss

As I often find myself working on Grief Recovery myself from being alienated from my four girls after being a family violence victim and hospitalized for family battery and depression. The grief of the battery was enough not to mention having to live with the grief of being separated from four girls overnight after being a voluntary patient at Peachford following my visit to Northside Hospital Emergency Room. Even though justice has been served time and time again in our case  I still grieve as my ex husband has lived to lie, make excuses and hate. Teaching my four girls hate for me to spite the fact that there is NO hint, suggestion, implication nor accusation as to any wrong doing as a mother nor as wife. Not ever that has been brought to my attention in 20 plus years.

Recently working on grief in my own life. I have this worksheet to share from Peachford.

Myths about loss/grief

Don’t feel bad

Replace the loss

Grieve alone : Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone

Give it time

Be strong for others

Keep busy

Don’t speak ill of the dead

Truths about loss/grief

It is normal and natural to expect sadness at loss

We are taught and socialized not to talk about loss  We’re told Don’t burden others

We need to feel and be heard

It is natural to be angry at God/Higher Power

Others don’t know what to say, they feel uncomfortable or afraid of our feelings

they were taught the same myths you were.

Others don’t know how to deal with the loss either : they change the subject or intellectualize grief They say You’ll find somebody else. Be glad you have another child.

How do you know when grief is unresolved?

You are unwilling to think about or talk about it.

Your fond memories turn painful.

You focus on only the positives or negatives of that person.

You feel fear when thinking about the person.

Recovery:

Think about what you want to be different, more, or better in that relationship. We grieve because our relationship with the person we’ve lost is incomplete. Discover how the relationship is incomplete : What do you wish you had said or had not said, what do you wish you had done or not done, what do you wish that person had said or not said, what do you wish he/she had done or not done? Construct a time line, think of times when things were left unsaid or undone; don’t leave something out because it seems trivial.

Write a goodbye letter

Include amends. Say I’m sorry for the things you did or did not do or say, even with someone who has harmed you.

Include forgiveness. Say I forgive you for the things that person did or did not do. Cease to feel resentment this is something you do for yourself Do not do this to someone’s face.

Include significant emotional statements such as I love you, I’m proud of you, I hate you, I’m ashamed, I miss you

Say goodbye. You are saying goodbye to the pain not the memories.

Read your letter in front of healthy, supportive others. Visualize your lost person before you start and again before you end. If you begin to cry, talk through your tears.

Grief Recovery is complete when you can enjoy fond memories without them leading to painful feelings.

It is clear that I still carry grief in my life. The loss of four girls overnight and a battle against the State left me very uneasy and even given justice has been served many times over for me and my girls no reunification process has taken place as I am left prayerful everyday for our full, open and loving relationship we once shared as mother and daughter’s. Moving this mountain one day at a time for over ten years now never leaving not a single one of my children out in 20 plus years in and outside the courtroom.

1993 Art C. Arazuo, M.D. Maryanne Watson Ph.D.

1. Write and talk about what was said and done at the time of the loss. Give explicit details.

2. Write and talk about the importance of this person / place / thing in your life.

3. Write and talk about the impact of the loss, describe what you thought about and how it affected or changed your life – things you do or don’t do since then.

4. Write and talk about your feelings – sadness, anger, fear and how you would like to say goodbye.

5. Write and talk about and correct distortions.

Grief Recovery from Peachford Hospital worksheet and notes taken from classes.

As above I have written and spoken about my grief over the years at The Covington News, Word Press and facebook. I never imagined I would be able to share my grief but the Lord our God has blessed me endlessly with the opportunity to leave behind a lasting legacy for my children and grandchildren. The legacy that they will see once old enough to realize it exists and is there for the taking knowing how much I truly love and cherish all five of them. And have never taken the law into my own hands no matter the pain, grief and agony I have suffered.

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