A study in grief

WHAT IS GRIEF?

Grief is the natural reaction to loss.

Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people due to a loss, particularly of someone or something that the person had a strong bond with or affection for. Although, grief can also be for a relationship that has ended badly, a healthy lifestyle after a terminal illness, or other losses, such as a family home or a job.

FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF:

Denial

Denial is a conscious or unconscious decision to refuse to admit that something is true. This is natural as grief brings sudden and intense emotions. It’s a survival instance to ignore these feelings.

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2020 LINGERS

“Trauma in a person, decontextualized over time, looks like personality.

Trauma in a family, decontextualized over time, looks like family traits.

Trauma in a people, decontextualized over time, looks like culture.”

-Resmaa Menakem

LOCKDOWN & QUARANTINE

Depression & Anxiety

The Office of National Statistics in the UK has found that rates of depression have doubled. Fatigue, anxiety, a lack of cues, and fewer social interactions all play into the rise of depression and anxiety.

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Loving Those With Mental Illnesses

Beware of Spiritual Bypassing

SB is the use of spiritual ideas to avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and societal problems. Basically, it’s the use of religious words, theologies, or cliches to invalidate or avoid addressing the actual issue.

When spirituality and religion are used to compensate for challenging traits such as low self-esteem, social isolation, mental health issues, social issues like racism or sexism, or other emotional issues, they corrupt the actual use of the spiritual practice.

Some examples include:

  • “It doesn’t matter who is president, Jesus is always in control.”
  • “Everything happens for a reason.”
  • “I don’t see color.” & “All Lives Matter.”
  • “Try focusing on the positive!”
  • “Don’t be anxious, just trust God!”
  • “Rely on God and you won’t be so tired.”
  • “You shouldn’t feel lonely. God is always with you.”
  • “Have you prayed about it?”
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The Time in Between

photosI found this photo on Pinterest and I’m pretty sure the credit goes to these guys. It seems to perfectly encompass what I feel these days. The time in between.

Slow motion. Blurred. Still and alone.

There’s this weird period a lot of us go through where we’ve finished college or school or whatever it is but don’t have our next step lined up yet.

If we’re lucky, we get to live at home with good parents while we figure it out. Or maybe we have a significant other we move in with. If not, it gets a little harder.

We apply to jobs, ones we really want but don’t get, and ones we don’t want but need. We apply to entry-level positions and we reach out to any connection we might have. We scour LinkedIn and Indeed and job search sites. Continue reading

Neighbors

19731899_10209655775657971_5749092506553919200_nHanna smiles, standing with one arm tucked under the other. She sips from her large coffee mug, smacking her lips at the slight bitter taste. The sun climbs up in the sky, beaming down on their small town. The people on the street outside all stay bundled in large jackets, bracing themselves against the cold wind.

A young mom pulls her front door shut behind her, herding two small children to the car. Hanna raises her hand, waiving at the woman through the window. She’s greeted by a wide smile and an enthusiastic wave.

Hanna watches the car drive away, her throat suddenly feeling tight. The house looks relaxed, as if it were yawning after it’s crazy family leaves for the day. Hanna looks down the street to see an older boy riding his bike to school, fighting the morning wind. Hanna sighs and takes another long sip from her coffee mug.

A cat rubs against Hanna’s leg and she bends down to pet the animal’s soft fur. “Good morning, Georgie,” she greets. “Did you sleep last night?”

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HERS.

14352270_951674774956083_3263135980559809627_oTherapy. Doctors. Endless conversations. Even a hypnotist once.

“You’re in shock.” “You’ve experienced great tragedy and loss.” “Trauma plagues you every day.” “You need help.” “What you’ve experienced follows you every day.” “You’re demons will never leave you.” “Broken, you’re broken.”

Broken. Broken. Broken.

I don’t remember what it’s like to have a normal beating heart. Most people don’t think about it. The way your heart thumps in your chest. Most normal people don’t realize every pump of blood being surged through your body. Continue reading

his.

14324224_951674698289424_6069276409962481787_oIt was a Friday. Which Friday doesn’t matter. Any Friday. All Fridays. Every Friday.

Every day.

Pounding. That’s what I remember before anything else. The pounding in my head. It was like all my memories, all my desires, all my relationships I had stored away, were thrashing around in my head, fighting to get free.

I needed someone to talk them down.

I need peace. Continue reading