Posts tagged “bereavement”

As people around the world celebrate International Pride Month, it’s a great opportunity to shed light on some of the issues facing the LGBTQ community in terms of grief and loss. 
From the very beginning, many people report the loss of identity that occurs when questioning their sexuality or realising that they have an identity other than the heterosexual one that is usually expected by their parents and the society at large. Furthermore, there may be a loss of hopes, dreams and expectations when realising that marriage and starting a family may be made much more challenging by regulations that do not yet support non-heterosexual couples. 
Loss of identity faced by LGBT
 
 
Is recovery from grief really possible? 
 
This question is often the topic of debate, as those who have suffered a loss know that their lives will never be the same again. It has also been said that we do not recover from grief, but rather that we learn to live with it over time. 
 
So...what is recovery? 
 
When we refer to recovery in the context of the Grief Recovery Method, we refer to the set of action steps that allow grievers to heal the pain that they are experiencing as the result of a specific loss. We also discuss the myths that our society continues to pass down that can compound the feelings of sadness and isolation that grievers are already experiencing. 
recovery from grief
Is grief really the “price of love”? 
 
There have been many positive developments in the dialogue people are having about grief in recent years. This is an improvement from earlier times when grief was only discussed in private or not at all. 
 
The increase in discussion around the topic unfortunately does not mean that misinformation surrounding grief ceases to exist. In fact, the wealth of information at our fingertips and the speed at which material is shared on the internet mean that misinformation tends to spread more quickly than ever before. Since this can contribute to the isolation of grievers and eventually lead to unresolved grief, we think it is important to continue spreading awareness of the myths surrounding loss and bereavement. 
grief, bereavement
When you speak to people, do you minimise your heartaches? 
 
“I know I should be grateful, but…” 
 
“I know it could be worse, but...” 
 
“I know I haven’t really lost anything, but...” 
 
It seems universal that we downplay the struggles in our lives because we are taught to be grateful, stay positive, or that someone always has it worse than we do. We see it every day in our Grief Recovery programmes – people who are grieving but aren’t giving themselves permission to grieve. 
I remember vividly within days of my husband Kevin dying being asked about his stuff. Honestly! You would imagine that there would be a whole host of other topics people would ask about before this, but no. Everyone wanted to know "have you done anything about the clothes yet?" 
If you are reading this and grieving yourself I bet you will have immediately noticed that these possessions which sat next to his skin have been de-personalised. THE clothes, not his clothes. "The Clothes", as if they are wild animals which left untamed & uncaptured will riot around the house (ie your life) out of control.  
So having lived this, discussed this with dozens of other grieving people and read hundreds of accounts of dealing with these wild beasties here is my suggested way to go about it:  
Clothes after a bereavement
 
One of the most common questions we get asked is "What is the difference between what you do and Cruse?" 
There are lots of points of difference, here and in the video Carole Henderson explains the top five key ways that the Grief Recovery Method and Certified Grief Recovery Specialists are different to Cruse and Cruse Bereavement Support Workers. 
This week I’m exhibiting at the National Conference in Pregnancy and Infant Loss, designed for professional services to collaborate, to ensure high levels of bereavement care. From working with experienced professionals, as well as bereaved parents, it’s clear that pregnancy and infant loss is still very much a taboo subject. 
 
At the frontline of parental grief, how can professional services be best equipped to support parents who have lost an infant? Currently mothers get very little support, and fathers are more often than not completely forgotten. 
 
In my experience many parents who have suffered the loss of a child don’t feel able to move beyond initial grief. The idea that you’ll “never get over” the death of a child is a common piece of misinformation, potentially leading to parents seeking out information and emotions to match. In addition, couples can become angry with each other, as inevitably we all grieve in our individual ways, and one might “be strong” to support the other but then be perceived to “not loved our baby like I did”. By providing initial support to parents and equipping them in early in their grief, professional services could have a positive effect on the long-term recovery from grief. 
 
The Grief Recovery Method was created when John James lost his three-day-old baby. While a lot has improved since then, there is still a long way to go to get the recognition for the emotional pain of any infant loss, no matter the age or gestation. 
 
The reason we will be exhibiting at the conference is to introduce professional services - midwives, ambulance services, funeral directors, police officers, and anyone else who comes into contact with these parents in the short- and long term - to the Grief Recovery Method Certification Training that we provide. We give staff and volunteers the tools to help clients appropriately, and already work with a number of organisations. The training covers a mix of classroom training, practical experience, learning materials and ongoing individual support. 
 
I get asked this question quite often so I thought today would be a good idea to answer it. You see today is an anniversary. It is 6 years to the day since my much loved husband Kevin died following a short battle with skin cancer. I found The Grief Recovery Handbook in the year after he died and taking the actions detailed in the book was transformational. I think you already would have guessed I found it useful, after all here I am now running Grief Recovery UK! However did it mean I was instantly cured? No of course not. 
Is it possible to recover from grief? this blog answers the question
In the last post I talked about one of the myths about Grief, the idea that time heals. This time I thought I’d share a question we get asked regularly at Grief Recovery this from Sharon is typical: 
 
“Do we ever really “recover”? It is almost four years since I lost my husband to liver disease. The holidays are still difficult to bear. He would have just had a birthday on which I did not have a good day. I can’t celebrate my birthday anymore as he died on this day. Don’t we just deal with it more so than recover from it?” 
 
Our Reply: 

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