Successful Grief Recovery: How to.

When I first read EKR's On Death and Dying decades ago, I was elated that someone would bring such an important subject out into the light. But I was skeptical of her methods. Indeed, now there is much criticism for her unscientific approach. The 5 Stages of Grief taught in Psyc 101 are good food for thought, but they're certainly not the final word. You might find a book on grief to help. To be honest, I flipped through some books at the bookstore, but never actually took one home. The 'conscious dying movement' may be helpful to some CALS. Also, while you might think our churches and pastors can help a PALS through the final days, or help a CALS recover, I found no reason to believe that. But if you're already active in a church, perhaps you might find comfort in continuing that. I attended a church a few times with my daughter. I enjoyed the time for meditation. My daughter continued for a year. More on that in a moment. I joined a 'widows and widowers' group and found people who recovered well and remarried and were happy. We played trivia at a bar. When I researched grief recovery through therapy, I found that some people focus so much on their therapy that they become pathologically incapable of getting rid of the grief! Still, I recommend seeing a therapist a few times. I did, and it helped. A very few people I've met don't ever seem to recover for the rest of their lives. I got the impression that those who didn't recover were already suffering from emotional problems from childhood, even before they lost their loved one. It's a case of buyer beware! What works for one may be detrimental to another. Personally, in my own 'research' (Sample size of 1), I found that my own recovery went well. I think that's because I was deeply involved in every aspect of my PALS care 24/7, planned and did all final arrangements, including the obituary. I organized the funeral and memorial, and gave the eulogy. In short, I took charge of the entire process of caregiving and ensured it went as my PALS would want, then I took charge of my family's recovery. I introduced my kids to counselors (the counselors said they were fine and saw them only once). My daughter went to church a lot (That was a mistake. They taught her that ALS was curable through prayer, and mommy would be going to Hell because her faith wasn't strong enough to cure the ALS.). And I took my kids across the world for a vacation (that definitely helped us all). I have, for many years, been taking an anti-depressant for a minor case of military non-combat PTSD. I see a shrink monthly for the refills. At the beginning, we talked about losing my wife, and it helped. But now we chat lightly about nothing much at all. My PTSD symptoms are all gone, now, so we're tapering off the medicine. So that's all I think I know about grief. Your mileage may vary.


Atsugi's picture

Thanks for reading, Poppies. (I accidentally deleted your comment.)

You're right. She picked Elton John's romantic song, 'The One' for our wedding:

When stars collide like you and I
No shadows block the sun
You're all I've ever needed
Baby you're the one

I did not fall in love at first sight. But I grew eventually to understand that she was the very rare person who could put up with me and help me grow. She was my personal angel.

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