Author Topic: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others  (Read 3909 times)

CRCmom

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Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« on: March 18, 2007, 02:47:11 PM »
What I would like to get the audience to here is How can we meet the needs of those who are grieving

What is good to say, what is not good to say.

How important is grief work to the recovery process from chemical dependency.

Reasons why other people avoid talking about grief and loss

I have a couple other topics but they are at work.  I will post them tomorrow.
LOVE AND GRACE ON THE JOURNEY,
PAULA


Rebecca

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2007, 03:17:25 PM »
I have a probationer who has been drowing his grief in alcohol for years.  Actually, he was alcoholic and when his brother died in a drunk driving crash he got worse.  He would go for a couple of years, gettting drunk and arrested then not and it was a continuing cycle.  Well, now that I am back in probation, he made it to the higher court.  He was given Home Detention.  He went to get set up and he drank the night before.  So, they called and asked what they should do. He BAC was very low so I said, let him sit it out and come and see me the next day.  He did... I did a petition to revoke and made a deal with him.  That if he goes to grief counseling and does not miss one, he will go to jail for l5 days and then on the next day, he will get hooked up for HD.  He agreed to the disposition and he has done very well in grief counseling.  Not missed one.  My point is that he has to have a consequence, jail, but he also knows that he was given the opportunity to learn methods to deal with his unresolved grief.  I went to private counseling for a year and we went to Compassionate Friends.  I think that having a place to talk out feelings, to a person that is not personally connected to our loss is the way to go.  I think it is wonderful to talk to family and friends but when they listen, they hear what they want and too often give advice.  Counseling gives options, and viewpoints that I felt were different than advice.  I think that Christian will lead you in your speech and will help you give personal history plus professional bend that you need.  Please let us know how it goes.
Remember Christian and the rest of our sons and daughters are with you.
Rebecca Jason's Mom

CRCmom

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2007, 06:41:45 PM »
Thanks Rebecca - I will remember that all of our angels are with me.  That makes me feel better.   :)
LOVE AND GRACE ON THE JOURNEY,
PAULA


MelissaCharliesMom

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2007, 08:16:18 PM »
I dont have all the answers, but here are a few things I have learned.

Dont say...they are in a better place,they are with god,god needed him/her
Not everyone has the same religous beliefs first of all, second of all there is NO better place for a loved one (especially a child) to be then right here with their family that loves them.

Dont say....you will move on, it will get easier
No, the reality is we go forward, but we do not "move on" you dont "move on" from the greatest love and the greatest tragedy you have ever experienced in your life.

The word closure is a farce...there is no closure, there is no saying "goodbye" to someone who was your entire world.

Dont say...things will get better, you can have another child.
Things will never be "better" and you could have 10 more children you love with all of your heart, but one child cannot replace another.

It is also impotant that those who dont understand this journey know that we love to hear our children talked about, their names mentioned, memories shared...to act is if they never exisisted is unacceptable and to me very hurtful.

I think last, but not least. When someone loses a loved one (especially a child) they change....I know I have and everyone I know who has buried their child is a different person now. Dont compare the death of your 90 year old grandmother to me burying my 10 year old son. The problem with the changes that take place are that they often dont include hesitation or rational thinking which often leads to a grieving parent opening their mouth and saying whatever comes to mind. I know I no longer sugar coat anything. If I dont like someone, something they say or something they have done I tell them and if they dont like it, too bad! I am no at a point in my life that I know how precious every moment is and I have no tolerance or time for stupid things!!

Again I wish you the best of luck and know you will find strength and inspiration in your heart and in the love you share with your precious son.

Tom

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007, 04:40:41 AM »
Hi Paula - I am assuming that your group is not grieving people and may be new to the depths of grief.

If it were me, and it's not, so I am just throwing these things out there to give you some ideas, here's a few.

Grief

1.   Safety is first.  People tend not to grieve unless they are feeling a bit of safety.  People don't grieve in a foxhole.
2..  Rituals help us in providing a safe way of telling our stories.
3.   Our culture has very, very few grief rituals.  Sadly grief is disdained.
4. . This lack leads us to tell our story in our own way, verbally, mentally,  creatively, practically,  Often without the help of our culture or institutions.

With the absence of rituals it leaves people to their own devices.

If you want to help someone who is grieving find out how you can help them feel safe and then to tell their story.  Use caution and respect.  Sometimes the best way to help someone grieve is to leave them alone.  Sometimes it is the opposite.  Knowing the difference is wisdom. 

I think it is interesting to note that the mind is organized and built under the principles of stories.  Some of the artificial intelligence people are trying to teach computers h ow to listen to and tell stories.  Why?  Because we are starting to realize that the story is the basis of the way we think.  It comes as no surprise to understand that our grief is then helped by the story being told and the story being understood.  Grief becomes very complicated when you can't tell the story.  Situations where there is no body or where the motive/actions of the person who died are a mystery will tend to be more difficult to grieve since the story is so murky and resists being told.  Shame is another variable that keeps people from telling their story. 

The bottom line Paula is that by telling these folks a part of your story you will be role-modeling for them how to do it and also giving them some practice in being able to listen to and hear the story of someone who is bereaved.  I think it would be a good thing for them to hear our story and to hear from you the things that have helped you to feel safe and the things that have facilitated you telling your story.  BTW that is what this board does.  It helps people tell their story.  Right?


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Karen Paul

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 06:02:29 AM »
Paula

Here are some things i found on a website that is helpful, the link is
http://www.athealth.com/consumer/disorders/parentalgrief.html:

When trying to comfort grieving parents

DO:


Acknowledge the child's death by telling the parents of your sadness for them and by expressing love and support; try to provide comfort.


Visit and talk with the family about the child who died; ask to see pictures or mementoes the family may have.


Extend gestures of concern such as bringing flowers or writing a personal note expressing your feelings; let the parents know of your sadness for them.


Attend the child's funeral or memorial service.


Remember anniversaries and special days.


Donate to some specific memorial in honor of the child. Offer to go with the parent(s) to the cemetery in the days and weeks after the funeral, or find other special ways to extend personal and sensitive gestures of concern.


Make practical and specific suggestions, such as offering to stop by at a convenient time, bringing a meal, purchasing a comforting book, offering to take the other children for a special outing, or treating the mother or father to something special.


Respect the dynamics of each person's grief. The often-visible expressions of pain and confusion shown by grieving parents are normal. Grief is an ongoing and demanding process.


DO NOT:


Avoid the parents or the grief. Refrain from talking about the child who died or referring to the child by name.


Impose your views or feelings on the parents or set limits for them about what is right or appropriate behavior.


Wait for the parents to ask for help or tell you what they need.


Tell them you know just how they feel.


Be afraid to let the parents cry or to cry with them.

There may be other helpful ideas on the site.. I'm not sure if this is too specific (being about grieving parents specifically)..

xo karen


Lonnie

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Re: Thanks for the insight on the seminar - to Tom and others
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 02:00:30 AM »
Tom: I was just thinking as you gave your suggestions, that this Grief Board has given us a chance to tell our story. And it is in telling the story, and retelling it, that we begin to heal. Finally, we feel we have someone who understands what we are going through. And as we express our grief, we become better able to help others through theirs. I have seen it time and time again on the boards. Someone will arrive so heartbroken and devastated, and yet they will soon be reaching out to someone else. And I always smile, because I know that is such a valauble part of the grieving process. Receiving and giving comfort and encouragement. Or even just allowing someone to cry or scream out the angry questions. I am never shocked at anything a grieving person says, because it is so healthy just to be able to get out the feelings in a place where you feel safe. All too soon our friends and family tire of our grief, but people who have been there understand. We are so desperate to be understood. It is comforting to have someone put words to something we have felt so deeply, but didn't quite know how to express. I have been going to counseling since right before my dad died, but I have to say that it is this place that has helped me more than anyone or anything other than God. I have been able to say what I needed to say, to let it all out without worrying that I might say something wrong or offensive. And I have received such sincere love and caring at times when I needed it so badly. This place has literally saved my life and so many others. I just wanted to thank you once again for providing a resource that is a lifeline to so many. Lonnie