Dealing with grief

numbered silver balls 

 I imagined a silver ball bouncing around inside the weekly lottery machine. I knew that it was unlikely that someone else could associate that image with feelings of grief and yet, it was the best metaphor I could come up with that explained the unpredictability of my emotional patterns when I mourned for my near and dear ones who had passed away over the years.


Today, grief is seen as a psychological problem that has to be overcome. The grieving person gets time off work for the funeral, is often handed a prescription for an antidepressant, and is then given membership for a bereavement support group.


It was pointed out to me that there \was a right way and a wrong way to grieve and if I chose the wrong way, it would be my responsibility to seek treatment, either by taking medication or starting a course of psychotherapy.


I didn’t think that I believed in rituals, but I realized that the traditions I turned to while mourning gave me a sense of control over my grieving process and in time, helped alleviate my grief somewhat. Playing a favorite song, walking along the beach or watching a sunset evoked fond memories and brought on a cathartic cry, which was usually helpful.


Frankly, from my experience of grief after losing far too many near relatives, three in traumatic ways, I didn’t think that my grief needed to be treated. I truly believe that grief is a part of the human condition similar to fear or anger. Maybe grieving deeply  was the price I had to pay for loving so deeply.a burning candle


4 thoughts on “Dealing with grief

  1. Morguie

    Each grief experience is uniquely different and individual to the griever. There is no such right or you deal with grief is your distinctly unique grief-work. However, the mental illness possibility becomes very, very likely for someone who hasn’t exhibited any sign of moving from acceptance to mourning as is the usual progression. Some people become dissociated from reality and quite possibly suffer from dissociation personality..they undertake an uncharacteristic attitude and behave in un-characteristic even unrecognizable ways that people who knew them no longer find them to be the person they were in the past. Some literally drop out of all habits, traditions, social circles and run away…I knew a retired highway patrolman whose daughter was killed in a tragic accident caused by a drunken and drugged driver. He manifested odd mannerisms, talked incoherently, seemed overburden with guilt which wasn’t his to own…he became so overwhelmed in his life trying to find a coping method to help himself, that one day, he just … left. He had no regard for any of his loved ones, wife or other kids. He was finally heard from…in a distant isolated Rockies location far from his California life. He is an excellent example of someone who has become mentally ill with grief as the causative trigger. It is good to observe someone who seems not to be able to accept or begin to work through grief in a reasonable time frame. That does not mean that someone who has made those advances but continues to actively grieve is up to be suspected of this same mental illness or to be extraordinarily perceived as showing signs of any abnormal response problems.

    No one will grieve your loss as you do. Each is highly unique, and their own.

  2. suzjones

    I agree. Grief should not be ‘treated’. I have lost far too many loved ones in my life and each grief experience was different. You adapt and you change. I don’t believe there is a wrong way to grieve.

  3. Pingback: Dealing with grief | Marie Abanga's Blog

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