Grief Counseling

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How many times have you heard a person talk about getting closure? The conversation usually goes something like this: “It is good that they are having a funeral service in a few days so the family can get closure.” Or maybe something like this, “Now that they have made it through the first year without their loved one, they should have closure.” We should note that the second year is actually often more difficult emotionally than the first year. We will talk more about the second year grief in the coming pages. Our society likes to have things neat and clean. Things should be done orderly, follow a step by step agenda, and have a proper timetable. When things don’t fit in the mold that society offers, then it is most often assumed that something is wrong. The same is true for a person in grief. Society will allow you a short time grieve and cry. It is expected after the loss of a loved one for a short period of time. However, if it goes on too long they will reject the person as carrying on with their mourning for too long. Every culture is a little bit different when it comes to the expression of grief through tears. In the United States we have a melting pot of cultures with a variety of different traditions surrounding grief. However crying or any public display of emotion is generally frowned upon. We have little tolerance for emotional outbursts. Even too much celebrating after scoring points in a ball game will earn you and your team a foul. Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness. This is a cultural myth in our country. Crying is a reaction to something that triggered emotion or physical pain. Some people cry easily and tears can be a sign of joy or pain. Other people perhaps were raised to never cry o... ... middle of paper ... ...our mind and it is nearly impossible to not imagine a pink elephant. In the same way, a business can tell its employees to not think about their personal problems while at work, but it is nearly impossible. That is almost like trying to stop the wind, or hold back the ocean. Your co-workers may suggest now that the funeral is over; the divorce is finalized; or the loss is past and you have moved on that you should now be over it. You have closure now. The world doesn’t want you to ever express sadness or grief with few exceptions. The process of grief is not something that has a clear start and stop point. You can’t say, “Here are the five easy steps to grief recovery.” The process may have many stops and starts. About the time you think you have finally moved on, you may catch yourself in a memory hug and shedding some tears. It takes as long as it takes.

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