Tuesday, October 27, 2015

There comes a time

We know that there are five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance) but sometimes people speed through the first three and get stuck in a depressed state. And that stops them from getting to acceptance, which is the way out of the grief we feel from loss.

Well, just google "how to beat depression," and you get almost as many answers as if you had looked up ways to beat the Las Vegas crap tables.  Everyone has their ways to do it. Get up early and go for a swim!  Sleep late and get plenty of rest! Set goals and work toward them every day!  Let life come to you as fate has it unfold! Laugh a lot! Be serious more often!  

You see the point...when someone has suffered a loss, the climb out of the blues can be steady, a step or two every day, and then on the next-to-last landing, you get stuck.

We have a friend who is currently fighting that last hump toward getting over a sad, sad loss, and it's tough to know what to say or do sometimes.  And while it's tough for me, a guy who likes to get things done and move on to the next, to know that I haven't come up with the perfect magic word or phrase to help out, that's only a tiny fraction of how hard it must be for that person in their utter unspeakable grief and agony.

That's the key thing to remember...it's their nightmare to get past, and you do the best thing to steer them to professional help, and then let the qualified people do their thing.  Saying, "Snap out of it," or, "It could be worse," or "They're in a better place, you know" is not helpful.  

You may or may not like Joe Biden the politician, but Joe Biden the man has said some mighty things about dealing with a loss.

For those who came to him after he had learned of the death of his wife and daughter, and years later, of his son, he said, "I have to tell you. I used to resent people. They'd come up to me and say, 'Joe, I know how you feel.'" To claps and laughter, he continued: "I know, right? I knew they meant well. I knew they were genuine. But you knew they didn't have any damn idea."

And this hopeful note, at the 2012 TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar:
"There will come a day, I promise you and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later.. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come."

I guess all I can add to that would be the old axiom: If you're going through hell, keep going!

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