There is an unspoken taboo in our society: a taboo against trauma. We expect normalcy from ourselves and from each other, and when life does not cooperate, when accidents, separation, illness, old age and death intrude, we try to hide from them as much as we can.
If we do react, we hope it is short-lived and we try to keep it private. We value our routines and grow intolerant if grief intrudes.
Mourning, if it needs to exist at all, should show discretion, we think. We have lives to be lived, after all. Mourning is messy, unpredictable and unbecoming. We act as if we would be better off without it.
The problem is that this is totally unrealistic. Trauma happens to everyone. Who could be spared? By denying it, by soldiering on as if it is not happening, we further traumatize ourselves.
via The Taboo Against Trauma | Maria Shriver.
[Exploring Life] It is with a heavy heart that I find myself writing about this tragic loss; Andy Blackwell, a vibrant young man of twenty, suddenly and unexpectedly died in an accident. Andy is the son of one of our friends. Although I only had the pleasure meeting Andy on a few occasions, I was immediately impressed by his exuberance and love of life; his spirit was both unique and uncommon. Even though I did not know him as well as I would have liked, I feel compelled to write a tribute to the life Andy Blackwell… [Continue reading…]
There has been a great deal of talk about categorizing “Complicated Grief” as a mental disorder – even though it is not clearly defined. I wonder if this leads to the possibility of taking a pill for grief – an uncomfortable thought…
In an age when activities like compulsive shopping are viewed as disorders, the subject of grief is especially sensitive. Deeply bereaved people are often reluctant to talk about their sorrow, and when they do, they are insulted by the use of terms like disorder or addiction. Grief, after all, is noble — emblematic of the deep love between parents and children, spouses and even friends. Our sorrows, the poets tell us, make us human; would proper therapy have denied us Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”?
Diagnosing a deeper form of grief, however, is not about taking away anyone’s sorrow. “We don’t get rid of suffering in our treatment,” Dr. Shear said. “We just help people come to terms with it more quickly.”
via After a Death, an Extreme Form of Grieving – NYTimes.com.
Spiritual Landscape of Aging: Dark Night of the Soul – 2
[Exploring Life] Dark Night fo the Soul-1 explored the basic nature of the spiritual phenomenon referred to as a dark night of the soul. Our soul does not always offer us comfort; at time our it will surround our sense of being with a profound, life-changing call to attention. It is perfectly normal for us to feel the mysterious inner working of the soul, pleasant or painful; sometimes it will lift us out of our somnambulism and demand our absolute attention. A dark night of the soul is a period of time in our life of intensive authentic artistry that transforms the nature of our spirituality, presence, priorities, beliefs, and direction in life.
via Spiritual Landscape of Aging: Dark Night of the Soul – 2.
An important insight, which unfortunately often goes unnoticed:
I’m sure most of us know of people whose parents have been ill and ‘at death’s door’ for a very long time and when we hear the news of their eventual deaths, it comes as no great surprise. Often, the wonder is, How could they have lasted so long?
When that person is YOUR mother or father, however old, their dying is a shock. In fact, I would say that the oftener an elderly parent has diced with death and survived, the more it can seem like they are invincible.
via The Shock of Losing an Elderly Parent | Social Bridge.
The Nature of Grief
[Exploring Life] The death of a loved one transfigures the ways in which we create a sense of meaning and purpose in life. In the aftermath of a significant loss, we suddenly find ourselves in a painful and unfamiliar emotional terrain; every breath we take is imbued with the felt-meaning of grief and bereavement. The profound sadness that surrounds our sensibilities shakes us out of the security and comfort of our daily routines. When we grieve the loss of a loved one, we begin a journey that is both sacred and deeply transformative.
via The Nature of Grief.