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(Re: I'm no me AceBasin's post from another site)


"Appreciating the small joys is wonderful, but both my doctor and psychologist have repeatedly told me that people generally should feel more than "small joys" by nine months, and if they don't please seek medical, not just "counselor" help, because nobody should be going through grief and depression at the same time. There is certainly no replacement for a deceased spouse, and perhaps the once in a lifetime "big joy" but both have assured me that major improvements are usual and expected, and if there are more than occasional grief waves by that time, and no frequent and consistent enjoyment of life, experienced and qualified medical treatment is critical."

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WHAT??? You've asked for a response, dear Kay, and here is mine (although I think you know already what I would say to this):

I think this person needs to see a qualified mental health professional who is clinically trained in thanatology (death, dying and bereavement). Clearly this "doctor and psychologist" don't know what they are talking about. 

See

Seeing A Specialist In Grief Counseling: Does It Matter?

Are We Medicating Normal Grief?

Bereavement and Snorting Seaweed

Grief and Depression: Are They Different?

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Grief

What I've Learned from Grief

What Is Complicated Grief?

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Thank you so much, Marty.   I will pass these links on.  Of course a lot can change in interpretation between him and them, and back to us again, but I begged to differ on this subject.  I was just curious if I was way off base and if everything I thought I'd learned over the years was amuck...my gut reaction tells me he's seeing a doctor and a therapist who are NOT trained in grief and what I've learned is sometimes they can do more harm than good.  Be that as it may, I wouldn't put that proclamation on them without having firsthand conversations with them myself.

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Well, methinks I need to read about Bereavement and Snorting Seaweed.

(nothing funny about grief, not even this).  I did not finish reading it.  Marty, you know so many places and blogs.  I think I could stay in front of this computer all day......and that is about all I do. 

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Marg, I also decided to read  Bereavement and Snorting Seaweed.  I did finish it and posted a comment there, for we lost our 10-year-old son in 1999. It really struck a chord with me that "trained" people can be so clueless. And yet we can't really blame them, can we? How can one possible know about this and anything remotely right without experiencing it? 

Marty, as always, thank you for your thoughtfulness, knowledge, insight and continued support of us here.

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Dave, I'm so sorry.  You and Karen and I think maybe Autumn all have lost children.  This grief is horrible, but I don't even want to imagine the loss to all of you that have lost children.  I so hope I go before my kids.  I am not that important and children have a life to live.  Young people have a life to live.  I had to quit our grievance meetings because it was not just for widows.  I left each meeting more depressed than when I started them.  They say grief and depression are not the same, but they sure are siblings. We hurt enough and I so don't want to reach the pinnacle of grief you all have felt.  My dad was 64 when he passed.  My little Mammaw's oldest son.  She was 84 at the time.  She was okay up until that time but her mind left when my dad left.  I know Rose Kennedy said we develop scar tissue, but I don't even want to write anymore about it.  Again, I am so sorry. 

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Marg, thanks for your compassion. That is one thing that is definitely not lacking here. As much as each of us can, we all have and share that. Like you with your daughter and granddaughter, many of us with kids and grandkids are watching them go through their own losses and pains. Somehow, some way, as we share the pain, though, we seem to strengthen each other in some small ways.

And let me say that your word salads comfort and inspire me. Thank you.

And now I'll sit back down.

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10 hours ago, Marg M said:

:wub:  Don't know how to do Marty's heart.

Me neither.  Copy and paste.  ♥ :)

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  • 1 month later...

Again, response appreciated to Ace Basin's post from another site:

http://forums.grieving.com/index.php?/topic/11385-5-surprising-truths-about-grief/#comment-154132

5 Surprising Truths About Grief

From the AARP website (quotation follows):

Losing a husband or wife is a devastating experience that many of us will have to face.  About 40 percent of women and 13 percent of men who are 65 and older are widowed, according to latest census figures. Until recently, very little sound research existed about how we live on after a loved one has died. But in the past decade, social scientists with unprecedented access to large groups of widows and widowers have uncovered five surprising truths about losing a spouse.

We oscillate. For years, we’ve been told that grief comes in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. If we were to diagram those stages, the emotional trajectory would look something like a large capital W, with two major low points signifying anger or depression, and the top of the last upward leg of the W signifying acceptance. But when psychologist Toni Bisconti of the University of Akron asked recent widows to fill out daily questionnaires for three months, vast fluctuations occurred from one day to the next. A widow might feel anxious and blue one day, only to feel lighthearted and cheerful the next. In other words, we don’t grieve in stages at all, but oscillate rapidly. Over time, those swings diminish in both frequency and intensity until we reach a level of emotional adjustment.

Grief is not forever. One of the most important new findings has shown that for most of us, grief is a severe — but self-limiting — condition, not a permanent state. In one study of older men and women who had lost spouses, George A. Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Teachers College, Columbia University, found that the core symptoms of grief — anxiety, depression, shock, intrusive thoughts — had lifted by six months after the loss for 50 percent of the participants. Smaller groups took up to 18 months or three years to resume normal functioning. Loss is forever, but thankfully, acute grief is not.

Loss is harder for men. For years, clinicians have been operating under the assumption that women grieve harder and longer than men. In 2001, psychologists Wolfgang and Margaret Stroebe (a husband-and-wife team) decided to examine all the existing research and came to the surprising conclusion that, after taking into account the higher rate of depression in the overall female population, men actually suffer more from being bereaved. We might be under the impression that widows despair more, but that’s because there are many more widows to observe.

You don’t necessarily need counseling. Often, well-meaning friends and relatives will urge you to attend a support group, or go to see a grief counselor. Although taking such steps might make you feel better, it’s certainly not a requirement for healing. According to a 2008 survey, most grief seems to go away on its own. Counseling can be helpful, however, for people whose grief has already lasted a long time and who are likely suffering from a condition called "complicated grief."

Humor can heal. In 2008, psychologist Dale Lund of California State University surveyed 292 recently bereaved men and women 50 and older, and he found that 75 percent reported finding humor and laughter in their daily lives, and at levels much higher than they had expected. Other research has shown that being able to draw on happy memories of the deceased helps you heal — those who are able to smile when describing their relationship to their husband or wife six months after the loss were happier and healthier 14 months out than those who could only speak of the deceased with sadness, fear and anger. As hard as it might be, try to focus on good memories and feelings about your relationship, as it is the positive emotions that can protect your psyche and help you find serenity.

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

"complicated grief."

This was interesting Kay and thank you for putting it on here.  I actually do not think I need therapy for my grief, just my complicated life and the many afflictions age and grief can bring to a psyche that has been beat as flat as the snake in the B.C. Comics.  I think I am handling my grief as well as anyone can handle their grief.  And, those complications and afflictions that are added onto the grief kinda tips the scale where it is lying flat on the ground, which is what probably everyone feels.  

Going to "GriefShare" and asking why the men were not included, I was told by more than one person "oh a man usually gets remarried" so they were not included.  They obviously did not know what they were talking about and I happen to know Baptist men grieve as much as Baptist women.  

And, that is what we are here for.  I usually am up by myself first things in the morning and try to get on the computer.  Don't know why, but mornings are when I will have anxiety attacks if my mind is not busy.  And mornings were not mine and Billy's "time together."  He was a night person, I was a day person, but we evolved over the years to what we were.  Just as we on this forum, we will evolve also, now the grief, well, we will always bring it along for the ride.  

ADDENDUM:  I've said it before and I will say it again.  I am a professional at chronic depression.  I can even remember strange feelings as a child, that were depression, but with a dad that was probably bipolar, a mom that probably had a personality disorder that neither could help having, it was only "normal" for me to have feelings that were not shared by others.  I never felt "different" but I know my heart went out to teenage girls, just from being a teenage girl that hated school, tried to beat myself in the head with a hair brush from frustration (only to be fussed at for breaking an expensive brush).  As for grief and depression not being the same, they sure are twin sisters with identical DNA.  In fact, I think they are Siamese twins.

You know the story of people who have had their leg's amputated, they still have phantom foot pain, as if the foot is still there.  And the pain cannot really be explained.  Well, I have phantom Billy pain, he has been amputated, but the pain never goes away.  I can learn to walk with the prosthesis, but the foot will always hurt. 

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Kayc, excellent post....I found this week, as it was the two year anniversary, that I spent more time consoling the kids .....Like it was stated, this Grief will never leave us, and it shouldn't.......but I can now live with it,  and function somewhat normally,...I tell everyone the same, celebrate the life, remember the person.....I still need more purpose to get my Journey  moving, and I think things are getting more focused.....

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The parts I bolded from the above quote I find questionable, those are the parts I wanted response to.

@MartyT

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23 hours ago, kayc said:

Grief is not forever.

Just the opposite is true. Grief is not an illness from which we will recover; rather, it is a gradual process of transformation. It may seem that when our loved one died, a part of us died, too. Every aspect of life is different and forever changed, and a “new normal” must be found, as we learn to integrate this loss and live in a whole new world without the physical presence of the one who has died. Grief is an adaptive response that is not bound by time. It never really ends; we don’t “get over” grief. It is something we learn to live with over time, as we gradually adjust to the physical absence of the one who has died. Grief softens and erupts less frequently as time goes on, but it can revisit us at any time, and in varying intensity, whenever we are reminded of our loss.

 

23 hours ago, kayc said:

Loss is harder for men

There is no research to support the notion that loss is harder for men. In their book Grieving Beyond Gender: Understanding the Ways Men and Women Mourn, professors Kenneth Doka and Terry Martin challenge the notion that everyone experiences grief and mourning in exactly the same way, regardless of gender. The authors suggest instead that differing personality patterns will affect how each person individually expresses, experiences and deals with grief. The way we mourn is as individual as we are: some males mourn in intuitive, feeling, or more traditionally “feminine” ways and some females mourn in instrumental, thinking, or more traditionally “masculine” ways.

 

23 hours ago, kayc said:

You don’t necessarily need counseling.

Studies indicate that most people -- between 80% to 90% -- manage fairly well without any formal intervention or therapy, but we've also learned that effective mourning is not done alone. It helps to learn what reactions are normal and therefore to be expected in grief, and to be with others whose losses are similar to our own ~ if only to obtain the sort of validation that says "What you are experiencing is understandable and you're doing okay."  Loss is a part of life and people have been mourning significant losses since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, friends and family members may be finished with our grief long before we are finished with our need to talk about it, and unexpressed feelings can become distorted. It is important that we find an understanding, nonjudgmental listener with whom we can openly acknowledge our feelings and experiences, express and work through our pain, and come to terms with our loss. If friends and family aren’t as available as we need them to be, or if our need exceeds their capacity to help, we are wise to consider attending a support group or seeking help from a bereavement counselor. And nowadays, thanks to the Internet, we can find such support in an online forum such as this one.

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Not all relationships are equally close. Seems to me that a lot of the participants on this site, like me, had formed a complete union with their spouse, becoming a single being. I think the closer the relationship, the harder the readjustment.

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1 hour ago, TomPB said:

Not all relationships are equally close. Seems to me that a lot of the participants on this site, like me, had formed a complete union with their spouse, becoming a single being. I think the closer the relationship, the harder the readjustment.

Exactly. There are tons of marriages out there where the couple simply co-exists or stays together despite everything. There are people who lose a spouse that aren't affected very much because the love and connection wasn't there. There were married for all the wrong reasons. Those on this, and other, grief support forums lost their soulmates. Lost the person that meant everything to them. Truly lost 50% of their being.

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Eagle-96.....I agree, that is what constitutes Grief, 50% of you is now missing......This change lasts forever, you adapt after time passes,  either willingly or by necessity...we call it a Journey but it is also a combination of  learning new " life learning skills" and being in a life boat alone.......It does change as time goes on, good and bad....that just means there still is Life inside of you......A bit of a ramble, strange feelings sometimes........

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You wonder sometimes about peoples "feelings" and they honestly are not compared to the majority on here.  We all lost something that cannot be replaced, but my friend had not been gone a week and her husband was on his honeymoon. (His mom said he got lonely).  Then, I had a cousin that was married for years and years.  He died and the next day she had everything of his out of the house, thrown away, given away, burned.  Then she went hunting.  And, we had someone come on here awhile back from another country, and I cannot sit in judgement, but I got the feeling she was not sure, but it sounded like she was glad he was gone.  I kinda feel Billy would have found someone else.  I don't feel bad about that.  I am almost positive my dad would have found someone else, and soon.  Again Marty to remember  "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"   Guess we cannot judge.  I've already gotten out of the frying pan into the fire once, I won't again.  (But it was a lovely fire).  

Addendum:  Also, a close family member lost her husband and had a date with the funeral director after her husband's funeral.  Sounds like "The Golden Girls."

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39 minutes ago, kevin said:

Eagle-96.....I agree, that is what constitutes Grief, 50% of you is now missing......This change lasts forever, you adapt after time passes,  either willingly or by necessity...we call it a Journey but it is also a combination of  learning new " life learning skills" and being in a life boat alone.......It does change as time goes on, good and bad....that just means there still is Life inside of you......A bit of a ramble, strange feelings sometimes........

It's kind of like we have been in a terrible accident and have woken up out of a coma to this new life. We open our eyes and everything has changed. We have to re-learn everything we used to do with ease. Like the person with the injury we have to learn to walk and talk again. We have to learn to do life again.

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4 hours ago, Eagle-96 said:

It's kind of like we have been in a terrible accident and have woken up out of a coma to this new life. We open our eyes and everything has changed. We have to re-learn everything we used to do with ease. Like the person with the injury we have to learn to walk and talk again. We have to learn to do life again.

Right. But medical advances have made some amazing recoveries from accidents and physical trauma possible. There's no prosthetic for a lost other half. 

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Thank you, Marty.  My quotes were taken from someone's post borrowed from something posted by AARP.  Not everything that is out there is accurate, the challenge is sifting through the accuracy, and like anything, we have to check it out for ourselves.  Even though many make it through grief without a grief counselor, I wouldn't want to tell people they don't need one as how do we know what they need?  How much better to let them know what's available and let them decide for themselves what to pursue.  We can't always know what's best for other people but some people are literally crying out for help, I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from seeking that help.

And as for the "Loss is harder for men", I'd like to see a study with statistics backing up that statement before lending any credence to it.  Men may grieve differently than women, but I wouldn't assume "harder".

As for the "grief is not forever" part, they haven't met me.  I don't think everyone grieves forever, but when you have a relationship that is so entwined and deep, you do continue to grieve, although it evolves throughout your journey as you continue to do your grief work.

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Yes, Kay, I agree. As Marg has reminded us so often, one size does not fit all. There are as many ways to "do" grief as there are people who are struggling with it, and I think we are wise to find and learn about whatever support may be available, both locally and on the Internet. And certainly to make sure the information we find online is accurate and reliable. See, for example, Finding Reliable Grief Information and Support On The Internet 

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