Grief: Beware of the Theories 11

Grief: Beware of the theories (11)

I know that many doctors and counselors will tell you of the stages of grief and that you must go through them and when you do…you will be just peachy to a point.  What they don’t figure into the equation is that we are all different and we do not all fit into a box.  I tell you that from my own experiences, from talking with numerous people who many of them tried it the way they were told to and who did not feel much better.  We all work differently even though we do all go through stages to a certain extent.  People can make all the blueprints they want to make yet the building collapses because they missed something or there was strain upon a part. 

I am not saying that going through “stages” won’t help people because many people have been helped.  I surely won’t say that talking to a doctor or counselor is not a good idea. For some it is a life saver: for some it is not.  I will however say that if you are a Christian and get a good Christian counselor they can also help you spiritually.  When looking to find something that helps you use what works, and discard what does not work. 

When people try to put the people grieving into a box and tell them that they must do something or else they won’t get better they, in my opinion,  can cause great frustration upon the people that are grieving.  Now although many out there believe in the so called “stages of grief” and how you should feel at each stage when the stages don’t go as they might tell you they should you might then feel that you must have done something wrong.  Now these people who teach the “stages of grief” are very well intentioned and believe all of it…and it could very well work for some, but it does not work for everyone so there so called myth had some flaws for many people.

Actually the stages of grief began to come into play for those that were terminal and themselves dying.  It was to help them deal with their own humanity and the emotions.  For some it worked: for others it did not.  For some it perplexed them and caused a negative effect. Now having said all this many are still using it and what I will say is if it works for someone…use it.  If it doesn’t work then make adjustments to what does work.

The way of thinking and emotions come and go.  Feeling change all the time.  There is no point that we stop feeling something and because of that the same circumstance we go through our feelings can change many times over.  They also can be different with each person over the person that they are grieving for.  Sometimes it occurs because each person had a different relationship with someone.

What is helpful for you might not be helpful for someone else that is grieving the same person. If you have ever taken a trip you begin by planning for it and get it all started…then you go somewhere and do something.  You can take a car, plane, train, bike, boat…but you do something and plan something.  Sometimes you have an absolutely great trip, while other times your plans do not go as you expected them to go. 

For me and my grief in one circumstance I could be going along just fine then wham!  The feelings, the tears, and at times I thought I was dying from the pain of the grief that came upon me.  Other times I dealt quite well with the grief.  It was like different cycles came and went.  It is like being at the beach and walking along the shore on the water’s edge.  Oh, how beautiful it is….a nice peaceful breeze, small waves crashing down and it is very peaceful.  There are seagulls overhead, the smell of the ocean gently calms you…then out of nowhere a huge wave comes and knocks you off your feet, or the tide pulls your feet down and you think you are going to fall.  Life is like that and it is okay.  Feelings will come and go. 

Grief affects us.  How can it not affect us when someone we love dies or goes away and we don’t get to spend that time of our life with them.  We get emotional!  Take a moment a child who goes away to college or to another country for education or a job.  They have been around you every day and then they decide they want to go out and do something somewhere else.  You can take both parents and both parents can see the situation totally different.  You can be even very happy for your child yet the pain of not seeing them is grief to you.  Maybe both parents that see things totally different in the situation don’t see the other’s side and that is okay people.  We are different.  One might very well be joyous the child is going out and doing something while the other parent is feeling that empty nest syndrome.  It takes time to get used to someone we love not to be there with us and for us.

When we grieve it is very powerful indeed.  It can hurt us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Grief is more demanding than any other emotion it seems.  It seems to tear our being apart and demands we live with it even though all we want to do is pull the covers over our eyes and wake up from a bad dream.  It is not easy to say goodbye to those we love.  Grief has a way of getting into every crack of our being and demands we feel whatever it dishes out at the time. 

The good news is that there are many ways in which we can deal, and we can learn what helps us and what doesn’t help us and discard those things that don’t.  We can not make it through life without grief of some kind.  Some people are very emotional and hurt so deeply they feel like they can’t breath, while others, on the outside, seem to do okay.  I am telling you that pushing your grief down without dealing with it…that grief will come out at some point and you will have to deal with the core of your grief in some way even if it is years later.  Grief needs to be dealt with.  When it is truly dealt with then we can, at some point, make it through and one day wake up and the memories are good and there are times of some sadness, but they get further apart and then on another day you can make it through a whole day without pain. 

There is no quick fixes to get through your pain, but there is help in doing so.  You can make it through and I am telling you that the best one to run to every day is God.  Maybe right now you somehow blame God for your loved one dying…God understands your pain.  But God loves you and He loved them.  We don’t know why someone dies and someone doesn’t.  Why someone was in a place at the wrong time, and someone got diverted.  Someday we will get our answers.  Someday we will understand but not just now.  There seems to be so much injustice in this world but we are not of this world if we are true Christians.  We are just passing through this world and it can be very hard.  Don’t give up.  I will keep writing and when you try things look and see what helps you.  Use those things, but really people when we put God first each day and give Him our problems and pain it is way better than going it alone.  

Theories are a good place to start…the stages of grief as they are called, but don’t get caught up there and not try other things if what you are doing doesn’t seem to help you.  Use whatever means helps you.  Doctors, Counselors, friends (they mean well but sometimes make things worse), and Christian counselors and pastors.  Use what helps you deal with your pain.  You are unique and you your pain can’t be kept in a box.  Do something each day to help yourself get better.  

See you soon.  


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