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grief

Making Bad Connections Between Two Separate Things When They Don’t Make Sense

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is unfortunate that some people when bad things happen in order to explain unexplainable things they make connections that make themselves feel really guilty when they actually might not be so. Unfortunately, bad things happen over which we seemingly have no control.  This especially happens when someone dies unexpectedly.

From an early age people often makes inaccurate connections between when something bad like this happens and something that they have done unfortunately when they did not know that the unexpected would happen.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgThis especially happens when someone is grieving and did not know before the person passed away that the person would die unexpectedly.  Perhaps there was a family celebration that was not so happy because someone’s feelings got hurt.  Being that we often have great expectations for such occasions, this often happens when things don’t meet our expectations and our feelings get hurt or we get mad about something.

Most people know that this will often blow over and be forgotten before the next big family celebration.  Then something bad happens and the person blames his or herself for it happening or for not having treated the person who dies unexpectedly right!

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

A person’s sudden passing is upsetting enough without adding the factor in that one of the persons doing the grieving feels that he or she had a part in it which they now regret.  The origin of this problem is often that the person who feels bad would rather they had something to do it rather than it happened for no reason or if by chance a person is not on good terms with the person who passes unexpected and now wishes that he or she had not been that way considering what happened later even though he or she didn’t know that would happen at that time.

It is important to forgive yourself like you should or would do for other people.It is, even more, important to do so if you realize that you had no intention to hurt the person that passed away as you thought this person would be around to make it up if necessary.  Don’t blame yourself for something over which you have no control!

 

How You Grieve Can Not Be Predicted Nor How Long

How you grieve can not be predicted nor how long.  Also it can not be avoided or it will cause irrevocable damage.  Grief over the loss of a child can cause relationships to fail especially when  communication shuts down.  Grief can’t be easily avoided or ignored.  A person can grieve for any loss or impending loss such as the loss of a job, having a child leave home, etc.

The longest I grieved was five years (and it’s really not over yet.) and the deaths were unexpected and tragic.  I never have forgotten my dear, dear, friend (who was like a sister to me) who was pregnant and her toddler daughter who died on the way home for my friend and her husband to tell both sets of grandparents she was expecting.  Shock is hardly the word for how I reacted.  They have always been in my heart and mind and I marked the occasion for several years on my friend’s birthday.rp_3704705698_7d71898ce1_m.jpg

There are several stages of grief and a person does not go through them in any particular order.  This statement was made by Dr. Elisabeth-Kubler Ross herself at a workshop I attended.  Different sources on the internet say different.  They say that people progress through these stages in a particular order.  Actually a person can bounce back and forth between them.  A person may think that they have completed a certain stage and then he or she goes back through one of them again.

The stages are:  denial,  bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance.  Denial is not being able to accept the the loss has happened or that the impending loss will occur.  Such as “No, no, he or she can’t be dead” or not accepting a diagnosis of terminal illness.  Pretending that a spouse who leaves is not gone for good and is going to come back when he or she returns to their right mind are other ways that a person can deny that a loss has or will occur.  Bargaining  is making a deal with God or other sources of power that the person will not die or some loss will not occur if the person who is doing the bargaining does some particular thing.   A person can be angry at the person or situation that caused the loss or at the deceased for leaving them alone.  Depression occurs when the person   realizes that the loss is permanent and the person left behind doesn’t know how they can be able to stand it.   Realizing that life will go on after the loss or that no matter what a person does the loss has or will occur is part of acceptance.

What is dangerous is that people who are grieving will isolate themselves and not encourage anyone to console them.  People in different stages of grieve often clash and harm rather than help each other.  People who grieve can project their anger on to others and even go so far as to seek revenge.  Many people who grieve feel helpless and unable to cope.  They can even become irrational and impossible to reason with.   Many deaths are just senseless and can’t be rationalized in any way.  For example, a random killing by a person bent on killing someone and doesn’t care who it is or a death or deaths from an auto accident killing whoever happened to be there at that place and time such as in my girlfriend’s case..

For example, years after my father died I got to see his death certificate and found that he died from multiple bed sores which was probably the fault of the nursing home.  My father had dementia and was irrational and unreasonable at times.  He remained a strong man and my mother could not handle him.  We grown children all lived away from home and she relied on neighbors and other family members to help her with him when he became aggressive.  For over a year after my father’s death, she couldn’t be reasoned with because she continued to constantly blame herself for putting him in the nursing home.   We all thought that she should have given up taking care of him by herself years earlier.  Now I know why she wouldn’t listen to us when we tried to talk to her.

The Value of other Points of view

Kubler-Ross-Collage
Kubler-Ross-Collage (Photo credit: Peta-de-Aztlan)

History can benefit from including other points of view than just that of the writer.  This is where being involved in debate as an activity in school (where people practice taking both sides of an issue) can be a help to a person going out into the world.  It also helps to have the experience of living in a certain society that is not your own especially if it is in another country.  If you can’t do that then taking a job that you have never done before especially one that you perceive as undesirable or training for a career which involves a “boot camp” experience, can change your mind about a lot of things.  You might find out that people in these types of jobs or careers have some very valuable qualities that they develop by working in these fields.  Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (a psychiatrist who pioneered in the area of death and dying) once spoke to a woman in a hospital whose job was considered a necessary adjunct to patient care, but not requiring any medical training or nursing skills, and found that this woman had a profoundly moving way of being there for dying patients which Dr. Kubler-Ross deeply admired.

When working with people as individuals or groups, taking the perspective of an academic studying them from an objective stance and viewing them as something to be studied, but not people who have everyday “normal” lives, can leave out certain variables that are crucial to the understanding of how and why these people do things.  I used to think (maybe I learned this in school) that people in ancient cultures were primitive compared to our civilization now.  I shuttered at the thought of living in such barbarous times.  As I learned more and gained more perspective, I found that people in those cultures had valuable information that was lost over time and would be valuable to us in the present.  Also some of them had a more peaceful giving nature than most of us have now.

Kubler-Ross on Death

Kubler-Ross on Death (Photo credit: mtsofan)

 

 

 

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