Page 25 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
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behavior. When a person is confronted with the question, brave enough to fight against their own brains. Of course,

when you were face-to-face with a person in grief, why in this is asking a lot.


Denial—The amount       meaning, some reason for existing.                                                 how to help. These rare
of pain you have                                                                                           people are precious

experienced since the                                                                                      humans who have

death of your precious                                                                                     been able to do what

loved one is immeasurable. The people around you can           few have dared to do—they have stayed with you through

only imagine how much you hurt on a moment-to-                 your painful journey. Despite the fact that their brain has

moment basis. Their brain will not permit them to even         been pleading to reduce their pain and your pain, they

truly attempt to imagine how excruciating the pain has         resisted the strong temptation to use Defense Mechanisms.

been. Instead they will look for clues that suggest your       When was the last time you really thanked this special
pain isn’t “that bad anymore.” For example, when they see      person for all the many little acts of kindness they have
you laugh, they may convince themselves that things are        done for you? It doesn’t have to be a gift, or money, or a
getting better—that the old you is coming back. As the         big kiss (but it could be). As you finish reading this article,
weeks turn into months and then into years, the person         ask yourself, “What little thing can I do for this wonderful
may deny that the pain of the loss can, in an instant, still   person to convey how thankful I am?” Death has taught
return with a vengeance. They may find it hard to believe      you that you don’t have forever, that tomorrow is not
that, even years later, your heart skips a beat when you       guaranteed, and that people we care for can be taken from
suddenly see a similar-looking person. Because these           us in an instant. So, don’t wait. Call, email, text, mail a
folks are not living your nightmare (not that you would        card, or personally deliver a note.
want them to), they don’t understand how crazy grief can

be. Because they’ve not walked your path nor lived your        And when you do it, you can rest assured of one thing:
story, they cannot understand that grief is not a “getting-a-  your brain will thank you for it.
little-better-each- day” voyage but instead a roller coaster

journey of ups, mostly downs, with dark tunnels and out- Dr. Bob Baugher is a Psychology Instructor at Highline College in Des
                                                               Moines, Washington where he teaches courses in Psychology and Death
of-control feelings.
                                                               Education. As a trainer for LivingWorks he has trained more than 1,000

That One Amazing Person—The people around you may be people in suicide intervention. Dr. Baugher has written several books and

well-meaning, caring individuals. Unfortunately, as we’ve articles on grief and loss. He has been invited to give workshops at TCF

seen for many of them, their brains get in the way of really National Conferences for the past 20 years and has been the professional

helping. What we need is something that will convince          adviser to parents and siblings of the South King County (Seattle) Chapter

people who claim they wish to help us to stay with their       of The Compassionate Friends for 30 years.

own pain, to not be tempted to make sense out of a

senseless situation. What we need are people who would be

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