Page 22 - 2017 Autumn-Winter Issue
P. 22

© crazymedia /  Does Grief Really
                                Go Away?

                                by Bob Baugher, PhD

                                Of course you know the answer to the question in the
                                title. In this article I want to review many of the ways
                                that grief does not go away. When you approach people
                                who’ve not experienced a significant death in their life,
                                especially the death of a child, grandchild or sibling,
                                and ask, “How can you tell if someone is in grief?”
                                you often get answers such as, “They are crying, they
                                look sad, they talk about their loved one, they aren’t
                                themselves, they seem out of it.” OK, fair enough. But,
                                what do these same people think when these symptoms
                                are not visible? For many people, they breathe a sigh of
                                relief that the bereaved person is “over” their grief or has
                                “moved one” with their life. Several years ago I did an
                                analysis of the media (radio, TV, newspapers) and found
                                that journalists like to use terms like closure, healed,
                                accept, or recover when talking about a person who has
                                experienced a death. However, these are not terms that
                                bereaved people typically use. The media use of these
                                words only adds to the myth that we “get over” a death.
                                Because grief is such a complicated array of reactions,
                                it would be amazing if any bereaved person someday
                                totally “had closure, healed, accepted, and recovered.”
                                Several years ago, with input from bereaved people, I put
                                together a beginning list of grief reactions by classifying
                                them into five categories:

                                  Other People	
                                In this article we will look at the Mind category and see
                                how some of these grief reactions can last a lifetime. In
                                future articles we’ll examine the other four categories.
                                See if you have found yourself experiencing any of the
                                reactions listed below. If so, well, then—that’s grief.

2 2 |We Need Not Walk Alone
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