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What I Learned About Resilience in the Midst of Grief

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https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_i_learned_about_resilience_in_the_midst_of_grief

greatergood.berkeley.edu

What I Learned About Resilience in the Midst of Grief
"A policeman is on his way to see us," my husband told me with a look that said it all, before adding, "they rarely bring good news." With that one phone call, and the subsequent visit from Craig (a man I will never forget), our lives changed forever.

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Losing a Loved One

Extreme grief, like losing a loved one is normally handled by an individual's support group of friends and family in stereotypical ways.

There seems to be a 'support gap' in which p...

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Choose Life

The key is to choose life, and not lose the ones we have, to what we have already lost.

Accepting the good and deciding to shift towards life during matters of death is an effective psycholo...

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Resilient People

Studies after the 9/11 terror attacks showed that experiencing positive emotions created a buffer against depression. Resilient people can work out ways to include hope, love, humor, pride, insp...

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Rituals Are Important

Participating in rituals returns a feeling of control to the bereaved, and people who practice rituals are reported to be feeling lower levels of grief.

Even small acts that make us think of...

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The journey through suffering

The five stages of grief are described as anger, bargaining, denial, depression, and acceptance. Yet, when a tragedy strike, we already know how bad things are. What is most needed is hope.

Suffering as part of life

We live in an age where many feel that they are entitled to a perfect life. But at some stage, everyone will face a tragedy.

When tough times do come, resilient people seem to recognize that suffering is part of every human life. Understanding this stops you from feeling discriminated against when trouble comes.

Directing your attention

Resilient people typically manage to focus on the things they can change and accept the things they can't.

Don't get swallowed up by your troubles. Don't lose what you still have to what you have lost.

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Experiencing Grief

Experiencing Grief

Everyone has to experience grief at some point in life. It is an evolutionary trait that is present in mammals in general.

There seems to be a certain purpose for this int...

The Five Stages Of Grief

The stages of coming in terms with grief are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

These widely accepted stages are considered rigid and obsolete as modern psychologists update the understanding of grief.

The Attachment Theory

It focuses on the psychological connectedness of grief, looking at the quality of bondings that are made during the course of our lives.

Grief, and even the behaviour of babies in the absence of parents suggests it is not just a mental experience, but has physiological effects, like raising the level of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies.

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The shared rituals and their importance

The shared rituals and their importance

Rituals give us a feeling of going beyond the ordinary, of turning events into something special and meaningful. And shared rituals are essential to humanity, as they provide us all with a sens...

Adapting shared rituals

While going through difficult times, we are all losing, more or less, the shared rituals we used to have with others. But that is not actually such a bad thing.

Instead of thinking about what was lost, we could think about what we still have and figure out ways to make the most of the time spent at home, like staying more with our family or getting in touch again with old friends by calling them.

Making new rituals

It’s not that difficult to create rituals online. Focus on:

  • Asking people to bring to their online gathering something symbolic to share, to create a sense of connectedness.
  • Marking the moment as something special by having someone provide an opening statement.
  • Creating emotional highs by using music or something else with high emotional resonance to augment the experience.
  • Having a distinct ending that includes an emotional peak, because people tend to remember an event better that way.