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 Category:  Self Improvement Non-Fiction
  Posted: March 24, 2019      Views: 93

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Part 2 - Telling Your Story
"Grieving Hearts Heal 2" by HealingMuse

The most effective “quick healing” for the early stages of grief that I have seen clients experience is simple:  Telling their story to someone who will listen non-judgmentally.  Non-judgmentally is the operative here and is very important for the healing process to occur.  (Research reflects that the single-most quality of a talk therapist’s client progression and satisfaction – the most helpful aspect about the therapist – is simply that one be capable of listening without judging what the client says.  This does not mean one has to agree with what is said, simply that judgment is not verbalized, or even felt, as people do feel others’ responses and reactions.)

For example, I worked with many elder clients, whose husbands of many decades had recently passed away.  These dear souls would come to my office in tears, broken spirits, not knowing how to cope.  Most would eagerly begin by telling their story – whether their husband had been ill for a long time, whether the death was unexpected, if there were things left unsaid between them, or issues unresolved.  Clients would tearfully go on to share about where they were and what they were doing when they received the news that their loved one had passed on, or if they were bedside holding their beloved’s hand at the time.

It is important during this process to not judge yourself.  Ambivalent emotions are quite common during grieving.  Emotions are neither right, nor wrong.  They simply are, and to express them fully is cathartic.

Most clients, after one session, just telling their story, were genuinely laughing and joking when they left an hour later, with a heavy burden seemingly lifted from their hearts and souls.  This does not imply that they were somehow magically “fixed,” only that this is a big piece of the healing puzzle, and one that often occurs very soon following the loss.

Please know that even a protracted, debilitating or painful illness, when death is obviously imminent, does not prepare loved ones for the shock of the finality of death.  I always told clients, “Well, your loved one was a major part of your life for (however many) years, navigating that person’s absence is not like turning off a light switch.”

So, it is perfectly normal to reach for the phone to call your departed loved one, even when you consciously realize they can no longer be reached by phone.  Heck, my dad passed away in October, ten years ago.  He was an avid, although thoroughly disgusted, Cubs’ fan.  Every year on opening day – of the televised spring training and regular season games, I would make my best effort to spend the day with him but, when I couldn’t make it in person, I would always call to tease him about whether he was already resolved to the “maybe next year” mindset (as hope for a winning season).  So, even being fully conscious of his demise, some five months after-the-fact, and being a professional psychotherapist working in the bereavement field, sure enough: on opening day, I caught myself reaching for that phone. 

Be gentle with yourself…



Author Notes
Thank you for reading, everyone. I truly hope this is helpful information for those whose hearts are hurting.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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