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Five Steps


teriw

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In a video I watched in my Grief Share group, one of the men identified 5 steps that one must take to overcome grief and begin to live again. This man had lost his wife some years ago to cancer, and some years later had married a woman who had also lost her husband -- both are part of the show.

I was personally struck that I was still on Step 1. Although I am trying to do Step 4, while doing Step 2. I'm curious how others feel about these. Unless I missed something, they didn't suggest that these happen independently from one another.

I would be especially interested to hear from those who are two years or more in their grief.

Step 1: Accept that your loved one has died and won't return.

Step 2: Give real relief/release to all of the emotions you have about your loss.

Step 3: Store memories of your loved one, but make room for yourself to move forward.

Step 4: Separate your identity from what it was with that person.

Step 5: Reinvest in life fully with what God has called you to do beyond the relationship you lost.

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Dear Teri:

As I may have told you before, I rarely read posts in the Grieving forum, but I make it a point to never miss one of yours. While poignant, they are always beautifully constructed and full of uplifting thoughts that speak even to those of us who are not currently in a grieving process. To put it another way, I love the way your mind works. Aloha,

Ned

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Teri,

I think that alot of people in the throws of grief will reach out to find something, anything, to help them process thru everything they are feeling and thinking in hopes that something that has worked for another may work for them. In the end, I don't believe that there is a right or a wrong way to get beyond your grief. Nor do I personally think that one HAS to quit grieving to get on with their life and live again. I will forever hurt over my loss, no matter what happiness I find in the future. It bothers me that someone in a support group suggests that one MUST go thru 5 specific steps. These 5 steps would never have worked for me. My first step happened before Bill ever died; I accepted that he was going to die and I would eventually be alone on this earth without him physically by my side. I don't know why your post stirred something inside me, I guess I am just really irritated with so many people that proclaim to have the answers for how to get to the other side of the river. I may just sit right here on this bridge for the rest of my earthly life. Bottom line for me was to just wake up every day and find something to smile about. Many days the only things I found to smile about were in Frank's Joke Forum. I sure do miss Frank!

Maybe I've finally lost it, I'm clearly rambling...I just don't think there is a right or wrong way. Hell, it's been more than two years and I still sign cards from "Beth, Bill and the Boys" - I guess I need to work on Step 4!

Good luck working thru your pain and loss. My prayers are with you.

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Beth,

I don't think you're rambling. I understand what you're saying completely. You're right, no one HAS to go through any specific steps. Grief is a completely individual process.

But I am interested to hear what others have done that have walked this path ahead of me -- particularly those who seem to be thriving (the definition of "thriving" being relative, of course). For me, to not try to reach that point again is a betrayal of all Bill fought for and of all we did together. At least that's how I feel today. Ask me again tomorrow... :?

How to get there? I don't know. Maybe I think too much...

Thanks for posting your thoughts.

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I think our grief is different in terms of the gravity of our loss. Someone who may have had a distant relationship with their parents will experience loss much differently than I have.

Those who have loss spouses, children, parents, etc...all of those losses and the emotional weight of that loss is different dependant on circumstances and the enormity of the love felt for that lost love one. Each loss just as important, but felt differently by each individuals circumstance.

For my part, as someone who lost parents relatively young and only 3 years apart, I can say with certainty with each loss, I didn't follow any of those steps in order.

I do relate to those stages though, and went in and out of them (sometimes more than one stage at a time) at different times in my life.

I can stay that those stages were not independant of each other for me and depending on the day, annversary, even the type of day I've had, I may still go in and out of a few of those.

Thriving, (relatively speaking) for me, are small steps and successes I achieve on a day by day basis.

There may come a time when my new "normal" becomes comfortable and I am continuously moving forward..but I'm not there yet.

I remember as a child seeing my dad watch a war movie or be reminded of his parents (in a creepy way, he lost both like me, by his 30s too) get teary eyed at remembering those he lost in Vietnam, or his parents, etc...

Was that him regressing into a "stage" of grief, or is that just a natural way of life for those who have loved and lost?

I think my grief can be summed up in one word. Loss.

That loss will be a part of my life always. It won't rule my life or prevent me from thriving, but it's a part of me that will always be there and for me, I know it will return at times and just doesn't fit into the conventional stages of grieving. And for the record I really rebel against those stages when most people simply don't fit into that box. LOL

I hope that made sense. I'm writing from a hotel with Rick and the kids snoring in my ear.

I love your posts too Teri. Maybe sometimes we do put too much thought into things, but that makes us who we are. For me, I overanylize quite a bit and I try really hard to control how I feel or how I'm SUPPOSED to feel or how I think others want me to feel and I think and seek out solutions and answers that just aren't there yet.

Sometimes we just have to "be" and make the best out of how we are "being" a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to my first grief group. I hope it helps me to open up my mind a bit more to this whole grieving business. It's so much easier to live in denial. LOL

(((hugs)))

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