The TIME Approach to Grief Support (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 9)
The Book Stop Blog is featuring excerpts from The TIME Approach to Grief Support by Edmund Ng and WinePress Publishing.
John Bowlby, a pioneer in attachment theory, once stated, “The loss of a loved person is one of the most intensively painful experiences any human being can suffer; not only is it painful to experience but also painful to witness, if only we are so impotent to help.”8 Hence, grief is intense anguish or acute sorrow that can be so painful that the grieving person often looks for ways to escape from it rather than experience it as a process.
Many will resort to their work and get very busy with it in an attempt to forget their loss. Some quickly will throw away all of the belongings of the deceased or move out in their effort to erase the memories of their loved one. Others will try going shopping to “shop their worries away” or traveling for a change of environment. People who do these types of things may get temporary relief, but the pain of grief will not go away.
Medications also can hinder grieving. One elderly man was so frustrated with his grief following the loss of his wife that he began to shout aloud to vent his emotions. Concerned with his shouting, his children brought him to see a psychiatrist, and he was given a heavy dosage of anti-depressant drugs. The drugs caused him to have wide mood swings, and his shouting became worse. He was like this for a long time before he was referred to us. We advised him to seek his doctor’s consent to phase out the drugs, and only then did we begin to support and guide him in moving on in his mourning process toward full recovery.
Some other reasons the bereaved do not grieve are:
1. They lack knowledge of the mourning process.
2. Our society wants them to rush through their grief.
3. They lack the emotional and practical support to help and guide them.
4. The pressure of their work leaves them with no time to grieve.
5. They are fearful of losing control of themselves.
6. They want to put up a brave front because they are afraid others may think less of them.
It is important to recognize that grieving is not a sign of weakness. Our Lord Jesus wept over the death of His good friend Lazarus (John 11:35). A wise saying goes like this, “Trying to force oneself to be brave will not heal the heart. It is forever true that when the storms of life are ravaging, it is the tree which bends with the wind that survives.”
To Continue Reading
The first excerpt in the series: