The Grieving Self

Excerpts from The Grieving Self

“The Reality of Loss: Grief’s Second Stage”

1. “Jennifer was left feeling a great loss at not having had an opportunity to say “Goodbye,” at not having the opportunity to tell Bart once more how much she loved him, and to also hear these words from him.  In addition there was anger that the doctors had missed the most important part of the diagnosis and then, when discovered, were not there to transmit the new information to Jennifer and Bart.  On a more practical level, Bart and Jennifer never had the opportunity to talk about his impending death in terms of how to access financial records, where to find important policies and records. To Jennifer it felt as though Bart had been snatched away from her with no warning.

This couple, Jennifer and Bart had raised their family in their present community, had both been professionally successful, committed members of their church and involved in many community affairs.  Jennifer had many support systems in place; however, a large part of who she was, the self she would describe up to the point of Bart’s death, was now different…not only different, unfamiliar and unknown.

2. “Throughout the first year following her death, the major holidays, plus her birthday were particularly painful.  Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday and she liked to have the Thanksgiving dinner at her house.  Since her death I have tried to be the family hostess on that day.  With Mother’s death I have lost a vital connection…to her, to my history and to the history of our extended family."

With the death of an important person in our lives, we cannot be who we were prior to the death.  I can no longer look to her for a perspective different from my own.  I am no longer anyone’s child.  I have become the family matriarch and I was not ready.”

Press Releases

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