Blog: Riding the Waves of Grief

On grief, resilience, and healing

Where grief and fear meet

Grief contains a tumble of emotional and psychological effects. Ask anyone what they are and they will list off Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s favorite five: denial, depression, anger, attempts to bargain away the unwanted change, and acceptance. There is little argument about them, although they certainly do not seem to visit all grievers universally or equally. I see a glaring omission from that list. In my experience, there is no part of grieving as powerful as fear. Becoming able to identify it and choose how to answer it takes away some of its punch. My clients have plenty to say about fear. In fact, it seems to permeate many aspects of grieving, including the following: Fear about emotion Reg

Grief improving: I thought I forgot how to laugh

At our first session, Nancy (not her real name of course) told me that at first, right after her dad died, she was speechless. “I don’t know if there was nothing to say, or if it just would have taken too much energy to try,” she said. “I wasn’t interested in a world where he wasn’t, I know that.” Since she was now talking to me, that had changed. I asked her when her ability to talk came back. “For six weeks or so, I had nothing to contribute. I could form words, I just didn’t care to. My brother would poke at me, asking questions, trying to get a rise out of me, but I just stayed out of it,” she said. Finally, he let me have it. He told me, yelling, right at the table in the middle of a bi

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© 2017 by Carolyn B. Healy. All rights reserved.

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