Grief - Irrational, Unpredictable and a Rollercoaster of a Process!

I was a young nurse, working on a night shift in a Psychiatric Admission ward.

The police brought into the ward a lady who was laughing hysterically.

We administered a dose of Valium to no effect and the doctor drew up another dose and she collapsed like a rag doll into a deep sleep.

After putting her to bed we returned to hear her story.

She had woken up to find her husband had passed away in bed with her.

She calmly got up, rang the doctor and put the kettle on and got the biscuits down.

The doctor arrived, made his arrangements and was surprised at her calm manner.

The funeral parlour workers came to pick up the body and the doctor ended up drinking tea and biscuits with them with her offering more tea and nibbles.

The family came and stayed with her and started to worry about her calm acceptance of what had happened.

The days passed and people were saying:"she is handling this so well!" She dressed nicely and presented herself well, but it just wasn't adding up.

The morning of the funeral, she dressed and made herself up - people said she looked beautiful.

At the service, not a tear.

At the grave side, she stood tall and calm watching her husband's body being lowered into the grave.

Everything looked like a walk in the park until the minister picked up some dirt and slipped and fell into the grave.

She burst out laughing.

She laughed and laughed and laughed.


For the rest of the day.

And all of the night.

Until the police came and brought her to hospital.

And, when she woke from her Valium respite,

She cried and cried and cried.

Grief is a funny old thing.

We have the power to postpone it, we try to contain it, we even try to avoid it in many many ways.

My theory around grief is that you have one of two choices:

Long suffering or short suffering.

You choose to shut it all down and try to contain it, you are choosing the long haul. It doesn't hurt as much, but it hangs around and effects your life for a lot longer. Some cultures embrace this path and put in place all manner of structures and customs to support this process.

Short suffering is allowing your feelings to be. It hurts, it's irrational and unpredictable - it doesn't look good! People who choose this path usually are self accepting and patient with themselves. Some cultures embrace this path and put in place all manner of structures and customs to support this process.

Sooner or later we will have to face grief in one form or another.

I hope you give it the respect and awareness it deserves.
Email Mike...

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