Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Complicated Grief: Is It Ever Truly Uncomplicated?

Having struggled with mental health most of my life, and then running into circumstantial challenges and major losses have all been a real eye opener. You get to see what your limitations are and how your body, mentally and physically responds to it all. And sometimes, you'll feel God's subtle hedge of protection, guarding you from things that you just cannot do alone. It's that type of inner strength you never knew you had. It's actually the inner strength you never had, because it was God's strength while in the midst of our weakest moments. That strength didn't belong to us.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” --2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

People Will Try & Comfort You

Any time someone would say, "Well, it does get easier with time," while referring to the loss of my mom, I just nod my head (without arguing) and mentally say, "But it doesn't." Another one of my favorites: "Take it day by day," yeah yeah yeah. This is not AA, this is not some sort of recovery group for addicts---this is the loss of a loved one you're talking about. I get that people mean well and they try to say comforting words the best to their ability, but sometimes, it comes off as these lame clich├ęs and platitudes that everybody else uses. Sometimes, the best thing is to just be silent and listen to them, even if they're doing one of those ugly cries. Comfort them with silence and a hug. That's it.

Death of a Loved One Can Cause PTSD

As I was watching a Facebook video on my phone about this young child having this rare disease that left her hospitalized all the time, I found myself in another world---in my own archives stashed behind my mind that I never really noticed was there. I heard the sounds of her machines that were supplying her with medication as well as keeping her vitals. It was a constant 5 second low beeping sound. My mind automatically took me back to when I was sitting with mom. Her face drooping on one side from an apparent stroke we had no clue about. Her body looked so uncomfortable, as they kept trying to prop her up as if she was alive and well. But that beeping noise. As the video finished, my flashback to that day wasn't done. Telling Mom my goodbyes, and how I loved her so much....I wasn't done. Playing with her hair and holding her lifeless hand...I wasn't done. Hoping she'd open up her eyes and miraculously, telling me that she feels better for some reason...I wasn't done. Flashbacks, and more flashbacks came rushing into my mind, until I was paralyzed with anxiety and debilitating grief.

As I went to sleep, I dreamt about my mother and I being together again. When I woke up 10 hours later in the guest bedroom, I realized it was 7am and I had to get up. She was fresh on my mind. I only intended to sit in the guest bedroom to grieve for a little while, not to sleep there all night. But something took over, where God comforted me in a way no other person could do. If you know me at all, you know that my sleeping habits are terrible. I either go to bed at 4 am or I wake up every hour. This was a straight through nonstop sleep---the type of sleep I used to get when I was a child.

You Got This

The one thing I never want to do is to burden others with my ongoing bereavement. God is truly the only one I go to when I'm grieving or need to talk. He either gives me messages of clarity or simply just comforts me in ways the human mind cannot even fathom. When I write about my grief, it's not to complain or whine or to vent---it's so that maybe someone out there who is grieving as well may find some relief in what I've found. And the one thing I've found that is the most consistent thing in my life is God's continual comfort and love. It's so true---He won't give you anything you can't handle.

"No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." --1 Corinthians 10:13

The 'weak' moments seem unbearable, as well as developing the patience for God to protect you from the overwhelming sadness, but it's something you have to go through. It's a process of purging and healing, purging and healing...and little by little, with more purging, there is more healing. Once you feel that sense that something within you had died exactly when your loved one died, you'll start to feel this sense of aliveness---this raw and unadulterated energy surging through your entire being. Perhaps it's more of a connectedness, or a spiritual awakening that lets you know that your loved one isn't too far away. Sometimes, people develop spiritual gifts that can help them through their journey with bereavement. Some may dream of their loved ones, while others can actually hear and sometimes feel their presence. This is something to be careful about, because remember, there are such things as "familiar spirits" ---demons trying to mimic your loved ones so that you'll keep returning back again and again. You'll know the difference---you'll feel the difference. In the Bible, it tells you to "test the spirits" to see if they're from God. Once you do---the familiar spirits will vanish. You didn't entertain them by noticing or engaging them.

Relying On Mediums to Contact Your Loved Ones? 

Stop trying to contact your loved ones through mediums and other sources, especially Ouija boards. That's a phone call to hell. I fell into these traps a long time ago when my Dad passed away back in 2012. I went to this psychic in Provincetown, MA. It was a tiny little basement shop that he had going on, where some man in an Elvis-like suit came out to greet me. He took me behind the beaded curtain to a table that had little candles and a bunch of Tarot cards placed in the corner. This man told me things he couldn't have possibly known. He was spot on and I even felt this sensation of hope! I started to tear up with happiness, but to only realize, that the only messages I was receiving were all from familiar spirits. The devil is extremely intelligent and knows every single detail about your life, even the little locket you have tucked away in your left pocket. They reel you in by telling you things that will amaze you---but it's all magic---literally magic. Black magic. It's all used to lure you into a world that you may not be able to get out of. It can open portals that may not be able to close again, so you want to be more cautious in your weakest moments.

Grief Support Groups Can Do More Harm

In my experience, grief support groups can do more harm, because it's triggering most of the time. By hearing other people's stories, you can develop the same level of sadness, or "think" you "should" be at their level of sadness, when in fact, grieving is a personal and individual journey. The one thing I really noticed about being apart of a grief support group was that I was absorbing so much sadness in one spot. There's something to be said for being around people who are carrying heavy burdens. It's good to reach out and help others while they're suffering, but while you are suffering, it would be more beneficial to surround yourself with those who are veterans of grief, or at least, more positive about their outlook on everything. The best source of help besides going to God, is to see a grief counselor, or a therapist who can get you through your worst days. They can show you coping mechanisms that'll help you with your process. I always felt this heaviness every time I walked out of a grief support group. Call me an empath or maybe I just absorb too much---it was all too consuming. The negative energy had rubbed off of me and I became more depressed walking out of there than I did walking into the group. This is just my experience. Some people have had positive ones, so take this with a grain of salt.

Stages of Grief

Boloney! There is no such thing as the "stages of grief." There is no levels to which a person goes through the same thing as someone else. Yes, we will feel denial at some point, and even anger, but to tell people that level 1 is this...and level 2 is that....is utter b.s. in my personal opinion. I didn't reach the "set" stages of grief. I felt some of them, while others I felt nothing at all. I was never in denial---ever. I saw my mom die and yes it happened. There was no thoughts of, "She didn't die!" If they're talking about 'denial of grief'---utter b.s. as well. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the "stages of grief." It's like the 12 step program for alcoholics. I don't believe in it, while many do. It's convoluted with "should bes" and "never should bes" ----it's a messy and complicated way to try and help you recover. My suggestion is: feel every emotion you can. Purge it out. Cry it out. Talk it out with a professional and most of all, go to God with everything! I mean, every single little inkling or feeling you may be experiencing.



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