MartyT

Learning, Growing From Grief

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Here's an interesting article on what psychologists are calling post-traumatic growth (PTG):

Learning, growing from grief

While the more dramatic PTSD has gotten far more publicity, a cadre of researchers has been studying the positive side of trauma and grief: that most people bounce back to baseline, and some emerge from disaster stronger and better, at least in some ways.

By Stacey Burling

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read more here: http://bit.ly/qXTItz

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Dear Marty,

Thank you so very much for sharing this article! I have not been on in a very long while for a myriad of reasons and to come back on today and read your post and this article...well marvelous!

I have always felt that there should be a new diagnosis in the DSM and that should be it ~ Post Traumatic Growth! I believe that it is possible to grow from adversity and challenges that life throws at us. I was so happy to come on and read this for I feel so alone at times with my growth despite all the adversities in my life.

I absolutley love the this new forum and thank you for giving it birth!!!!

Blessing and Courage, Carol Ann

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I do see ways I have grown since Bill was sick and also since he died. I don't focus on that too much as I do my grief work and create a new life for myself but if I look, I see signs of growth and strength.

I never thought I would make it this far....going on 18 months...but here I am. I feel tears well up as I type that. I feel greater compassion for those in pain...and have reached out to many in the past months: acquaintance going through a nasty divorce, another two dealing with breast cancer, another in a divorce....there is always someone in pain not too far away from us.

If I choose not to grow from all this pain and loss and sadness... I am wasting an opportunity that can affect my life and the lives of all those I come in contact with.

I believe our lives here on this planet are about practicing lovingkindness and growing less fearful and more compassionate. That is what Bill and I were about and I plan to continue on that path...tears and all. Someone said to me that they admired how I was dealing with Bill's death in that I do not hold back my tears, I am honest (most of the time) when asked how I am doing, etc. She said I was teaching others how to handle loss. That felt good. It is a matter of being true to our authentic selves....that is my purpose.

On the other hand, the profoundly sad part of me sometimes just does not give a hang about growing or being kind or being compassionate. Luckily that part of me does not surface on a daily basis. But she is there when my pain is unbearable.

Mary

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This is an interesting article, Marty. When I think of it, the people I've met here, and the widows/widowers I know IRL, are some of the strongest people I've ever met. And yes, I include myself, too, as angst ridden as I can be at times. I feel like I've been through the fire and survived, even as survival is still day to day. It's a strange feeling. Mary, your statement "if I choose not to grow...", yes, I've thought this often. If I can't learn/take something from this, where am I?

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