My Grieving, Pain, and Bereavement (a year and a half later)

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THIS IS NOT VERY ORGANIZED, BUT IT CONTAINS A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT I WROTE OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS, about my grieving and the pain caused by it.

See also my related guide:

"Hitchhikers Guide To ... Life (Dealing with Psychological Pain)"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/A7094496


See also, guides contributed by others:

"How Best to Cope with Bereavement"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/A616231


---- DRAFT IN PROGRESS: About Grieving and My Grieving ----


For the first full year after dealing with grieving, I found that I couldn't write or express much at all about it. Then, at the start of the next school year, I couldn't express myself enough! This post represents a collection of those writings. They will eventually be organized and formalized into a regular guide.


BLOG ENTRIES (MOST RECENT FIRST):


Blog Post[1]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: The Best Thing to do in Life

Current mood: contemplative
Category: Life
---------------------------------------

Hey, how's it going?

Hey, don't take what I wrote--when I was dealing with trauma--all that seriously.

I've been compensating for some pretty traumatic things lately. I realize I have a great ability to compensate for living through difficult things, but during my Senior year of High School, and the year after it, I experienced trauma like I'd never experienced it before.

I realize now that the best thing to do in life is to be happy. Is there any reason to do something that you know isn't going to make you happy, that will make you unhappy instead? No. But sometimes we do it anyway. Is there any reason to let my feelings and emotions make me do something that I know isn't going to make me happy, that will make me unhappy instead? No. However, sometimes we give in to the fear and the pain. I realize now that the best thing to do in life is to work through fear and pain and to do things that will ultimately make you happy.

- Peace -
James

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[2]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: The moment of truth

Category: Life
---------------------------------------

This is the moment of truth: To really do what you need to do--when you need to do it, even when you don't feel like it.

(Now I know just what John F Kennedy was thinking when they took that picture of him, when his lips were pressed firm together and his face as fixed on a feeling: unmovable, determined, overcoming feelings - and obstacles. "It is possible, but with diligence and discipline," I hear him saying.)

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[3]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: moving on

Current mood: blank
Category: Life
---------------------------------------

I wrote this to a friend of mine today, whose girl left him recently:


I'm sorry to hear that she left you and that you are lonely now. It always is difficult when something like that happens. Just remember that you still have friends who love you and support you. Things will get better, it just takes time. That's the beauty of it-- the more time you are removed from the situation, the more you can make room for your next relationship.

But take it easy. Spend quality time with your close friends, and quality time with God. Don't try to rush into a relationship too quickly, but give it time.

- Peace -
James

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[4]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: what it stinking is

Current mood: calm
---------------------------------------

I've got to realize it for what it stinking is--

depression and anger.

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[5]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: Two Days of Pain

Current mood: discontent
Category: Life
---------------------------------------

Two days of pain. After being on an artificial high for two months, I put that coping to one side (the coping strategy I used the last two months), and now I went on an artificial low for two days. The pain comes from the depression.

At least I know what it is coming from, and I know that I am not always depressed.
There was a time before the pain when I had no pain; and
there will be a time after the pain and after the depression when I will no longer be depressed from it--that I have to rely on coping strategies to ease and ignore the pain.
--> In the meantime pain-relieving headache medicines work well.

I tried giving up my coping strategies two days ago, hoping that somehow giving it up over to God would *magically* solve my problems, but I found that I could not sleep at night, did not want to go over for meals, did not feel like calling anyone or talking to anyone about this, and found myself using coping strategies to lessen the pain anyways.
Was there a problem with me?

I am content to think of the pain as merely an allergic reaction, and nothing that I can ease or get rid of by shear will-power. The same goes with depression. I can ignore it, use coping strategies to lessen the effects of it, give into it, pretend like it's not there, or face it and try to live with it--but no matter what I try, it's still there--and it's a fact that I'm going to, and have to remember.

I cannot ignore it or avoid it. I need to make all of my decisions acknowledging that it does exist.

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[6]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: TRUST IN GOD, In God We Trust
Current mood: contemplative
---------------------------------------

Makes sense, doesn't it? But trusting God with everything, and every aspect of your life is the hard part. It means letting go of how you want to do things, and letting God do them for you--taking you to places you never thought of going before, and in a fresh new way.

Our forefathers knew it was important to trust in God enough to put it on all our paper and coin money. Maybe we should take their advise ;)

Don't have "James change James", Let "God change James" - (give it up to God for Tenny and the many other people I talked to about this!)

Rely on God's strength to overcome your troubles, not your own strength.

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[7]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: the walls of life

Current mood: refreshed
Category: Life
---------------------------------------

....What will I do when the walls of life
........fall (crumble) down around me?

I wondered about this question for many years, and for many years I couldn't answer it--for myself or for my own satisfaction.


Now, I have enough information to answer it.


"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
(Phil. 3:13-14)


Answer:

When life seems to fall apart,
essentially, I will survive.
( I will find a way to survive because it is unacceptable to my body for it not to survive. The good thing is we are top-breed survivors. Every one of our ancestors was a survivor, so we've got the makeup of a survivor.)

Specifically, I will learn to rebuild. I will rebuild the walls of life that were torn down.

It's no longer a question of surviving, but one of rebuilding.

It's about -tearing down- and -throwing out- what doesn't belong, and -building up- *strong* what should -stand- *firm* in its place.

---------------------------------------
Blog Post[8]:
---------------------------------------
Subject: Religion and Psychology

Category: Life
---------------------------------------

What works, what doesn't:

Community works; being a loner doesn't.
Talking to many people works; having just one friend or councelor to talk to doesn't.
Talk therapy works, holding things in doesn't.
This works:
SmalltownPoets-IfYoullLetMeLoveYou.txt
"Sucking it up" doesn't.
Being challenged to take on new responsibilities works, only being concerned about "me" doesn't.

Religion:
Don't have "James change James", Let "God change James" - (give it up to God for Tenny!)
Rely on God's strength to overcome your troubles, not your own strength.

For you Psych. people out there:

I've been messing with my autonomic nervous system and I've figured some things out: (1) you shouldn't have to, (2) Grieving does it for you already, (3) never try to tap into the autonomic nervous system directly unless you have a severe mental illness or phobia, (4) try instead to change your environment and the conditions of your situation and your autonomic nervous system will react and change based on that.

Example: Rebuild your environment into a better one first, instead of trying to change yourself. Your autonomic nervous system will react differently based on the new environment (hopefully in a better way).

---------------------------------------



(I'm going through a time of personal change. This is an outlet for my self-expression.)



What works, what doesn't:

Community works; being a loner doesn't.
Talking to many people works; having just one friend or councelor to talk to doesn't.
Talk therapy works (just talking and talking to get everything out), holding things in doesn't.
This works:

Song: If You'll Let Me Love You
Artist: Smalltown Poets
(see below)

"Sucking it up" doesn't.

Being challenged to take on new responsibilities works, only being concerned about "me" doesn't.

Religion:
Don't have "James change James", Let "God change James" - (give it up to God for Tenny!)
Rely on God's strength to overcome your troubles, not your own strength.

Psychology:

Change Example: Rebuild your environment into a better one first, instead of trying to change yourself. Your autonomic nervous system will react differently based on the new environment (hopefully in a better way).



RECENT HISTORY: {

* (A year and a half ago) At the end of my Senior Year of High School, my grandmother (at age 92) and my childhood best friend (at age 17) passed away, leaving me grieving and somewhat traumatized for the next year (my Freshman year in college).
* Second Semester, Freshman year went much better than the first semester.
* I started First Semester, Sophomore year with a new attitude, and a new coping strategy: to keep myself busy, active, and involved.
* Two Months go by: - I'm sick of change. I'm sick of my previous coping strategies.

(* At the end of the Second month - I'm sick of change. I just want to be myself.)
(* Start of the Third month - I'm sick of my previous coping strategies. I'm sick of learning the hard way. (Again,) I just want to be myself.)

* The next week - I had a good talk with my dad tonight.
* The next week - Trent was right. That no matter what happens, God's still going to make things work out right. (Give it up for God for having Trent talk to me tonight.)

I just want to be myself.

I'm having good, long talks with friends every day now. This seems to be helping me more than anything else that I've tried before.
}



Random Stuff about Me: {

* Pain has forced me to change.
* Each day is different. I face different challenges each day. The way I'm dealing with them seems to be getting better, but it's still difficult learning things the hard way--by experience.
* Everyone's general attitude towards my grieving was--"suck it up." You try putting yourself in my shoes, and then "suck it up" and see how you feel! See what things it makes you do and makes you think. See just how messed up it makes you become.
* This song describes a *much* better way to treat someone who is grieving:

-------------------------------------------------

Song: If You'll Let Me Love You
Artist: Smalltown Poets

i don't know what to do to ease your mind
i don't have the perfect word to make it fine
i'm not so qualified for sympathy
still i am not without love

psalm number four falls on your grieving ear
yes, i believe the peace of Christ is near
and i am here in His name
you'd do the same, you'd do the same...

chorus:
if you'll let me close
closer than a brother
if you'll let me love you
we'll sit here and cry
if you'll let me love (let me love you)

never failing, ever hoping
seeking to preserve (seeking to preserve)
it always is giving
often beyond words (often beyond words)
and when there's nothing left to say
love has a voice (love has a voice)
in sorrow and in heartache
there's a greater joy (there's a greater joy!)

i don't know what to do ease your mind
whatever pain you have i'd take as mine
if you'll let me love (let me love you)

-------------------------------------------------

* Here's a poem I wrote describing the Bright side and the Dark side of life:

Candles and Ashes
Kites and Crashes
Laughter and Sadness
Glum and Gladness

Bricks and Stones
Hope and Hopeless
Heart and Heartless
Light and Darkness

Truth and Truth-less
Hope and Meaninglessness
Peace and False security
Joy and Irritability
Love and Untrusting

--> "Always look on the bright side of life."

--> Trust in Jesus, and He will carry you through. "Cast all your burdens on Him, because He cares for you." C'mon, tell me who is bigger, stronger, more powerful, able to overcome the world--God or you? And it's not you! Put your faith in Him and He will never let you down.

--> "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

}


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