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Confrontation


teriw

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I'm afraid this is going to get convoluted, but here we go.

Several months ago I bought a book called, "How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies" by Therese A. Rando, Ph.D. I'm sure some of you have read it. I've heard from many people that it is one of the best resource books on grief. It's "matter of fact" and a bit clinical. Although I've read a few excerpts from the book within a grief group, I couldn't read it until now (it was too real).

The past two weeks, I have felt an intensity in grief and was physically sick from it -- I mean, really sick. It's happened before, except that I didn't know what it was. It all made sense to me this time, because of the way I cope and process. It was another piece of denial chipping away -- this time a large chunk, and also a major release of pure sorrow. It affected my waking hours obviously, but the subject of being separated from Bill was entering my dreams almost nightly. It's like he kept showing up to say "goodbye" in all different ways. I felt assaulted with the awful reality. I can honestly say that in the past couple days since I went through the physical sickness (which happened a week ago -- on the 9 month mark), that the intensity has started to lift. I feel lighter, and have been able to get a new surge of strength and resolve. I've even started taking some baby steps to start really "living" rather than just coping.

With perfect timing, I picked up this book again. Among other things, it explains what she calls the "confrontation" phase, which is "a highly charged and emotional state in which you repeatedly learn that your loved one is dead and in which your grief is most intense, with reactions to your loss being felt most acutely." It was such an "ah ha!" moment for me. I later realized that I was not only confronting the loss of my soul mate and my best friend, but in a new and deeper way than previously, I felt the loss of my marriage and our future. I know I have a long way to go and many more "confrontation phases" to face. But I got through this one, and the glimmer of hope is a bit brighter than it was before I went through it.

The book also devotes a lot of space to explaining why grief is so unique to each person, and why people are often so unhelpful and seemingly insensitive in their responses to people who are grieving. (We can all relate.)

I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm recommending it anyway. It has given me such a deeper understanding of grief in general, and why I'm reacting the way I am at different times. And why some people might not "get it" at all. It talks about "secondary losses," different types of relationships, and other reasons why grief is so individual.

I can't remember who said it here -- I think maybe Debi (Wealthy), that you can't go around it -- you have to go through it. Understanding what it is you're really facing, I think, can help keep you sane as you take each step.

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Wow.

The confrontation quote really struck a nerve with me. I feel like I have been in a constant battle with 'everyone' around me. Maybe it was instead the constant confrontation within me...confronting the loss on yet a different level or inresponse to a different situation each day.

You've certainly given me something to think about. I pray you feel a gentle breeze of peace today. Thanks for sharing this!

Kelly

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Hi Terri,

Thanks for your recommendation. I think I probably need to get that book, because I don't feel I have even accepted Beverly's death yet. My mind will not let me go there, or only in very small doses. I miss her so much, but I prefer to think of her being on a trip. I know...denial.

Thanks again for the tip. Maybe that will be my project this weekend.

Love to you,

Bobby

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