Thursday, April 20, 2006

I've been working on grief lately. I've been reading a lot about it, and trying to figure out what I do and don't understand about it, and how it does or does not pertain to me. This is what I've come up with so far, tell me what you think:
Grief is not restricted to "death", but to loss. Loss of a dream, loss of health, wealth, and possibilities, as well as to actual people.
It is cyclical, but not all that predictable.
There is a pattern to it, but not everyone experiences the stages the same way or in the same order.
What causes grief in one person, may or may not cause it in another person.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, nor no magic length of time it takes to complete.
The best analogy I've come up with is that grief is like a Slinky. It winds around and around. You move through it circularly, while incrementally making upward progress. You don't know what is going to slow or speed the process up the Slinky, nor what is going to catapult you right off of it, forcing you to start at the bottom again. The newer the slinky, the more tightly wound, the easier it is to be jolted off. The older it is the more stretched out. There are bigger gaps between the circles, and the Slinky has lost a lot of it's tension. Hanging on is much easier, but the journey isn't over, you're still on the Slinky.


Anonymous said...

you might be dindterested in reading necessary losses by judith viorst (sp)

kario said...

I think this is great, Carrie! Have you read the book "Tear Soup"? I can't remember the author, and it's usually found in the kids' section, but it's a wonderful way to look at grief as an individualized process.

Karen said...

Wow, Carrie. I've been thinking about grief/loss all day. (I had a couple of moving off-blog comments on my last entry.)Loved your slinky analogy. It fits . . . in a "Whoa, I'm falling off the steps again" kind of way! Great post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Grief is often presented as depression. We grieve over many things, big and little and they may or may not have to do with the death of a person. I liked your analogy.
P.S. there is nothing wrong with eating a whole cake. It can be done in minutes or stretched out. I prefer the dig-in and get it over with method. (Pertains only to chocolate cakes!)

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