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Mental health issues are always top of mind for us. With school shootings, domestic violence, and suicide, there is no shortage of people with mental health problems. This typically brings to mind the most common mental health issues: depression, anxiety, and PTSD, but there is another that we all experience. That is grieving.
It is estimated that most people will experience about 40 episodes of loss during their lifetimes. Those are losses that result in grieving to the point where it disrupts your life. The losses include a huge variety of situations. The most common are death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, even death of a pet but can be anything that leads to grieving.
The problem for most people is our society does not handle grief well. Well-meaning friends and family say the wrong things hoping they are the right things to say. Everyone wants the grief stricken to “move on” or “heal with time”. As we know, time does not heal all wounds. The reality is that no one is comfortable dealing with grief. Those who are grieving often feel guilty. “I didn’t tell him I loved him before he died” is a common lament. It becomes the unfinished business that is never reconciled. And then there is the problem of keeping a deceased loved one on a pedestal, as if that person were king. Their greatness lives on and so does the grief that goes with it. Some people live their entire lives with unresolved grief because they do not know how to work through it. Common examples you hear is “She never got over his death” or “He couldn’t move on after she left him.” It is sad how often we see people struggling with grief.
If you look back you can think of many times you have lost and grieved. During that time there were mixed emotions. You can recall the good times and the bad. Overall, the loss may have left you empty and feeling sad most days. Grief takes the form of depression and/or anxiety and becomes our mental health problem. The strength of our mental health is dependent on finding solutions to grieving.
Working through grief is a skill that is not difficult to learn and is available to everyone. The Grief Recovery Handbook by John James and Russell Friedman tells you everything you need to know. Not only is the book available, but also Grief Recovery Outreach Programs for those who wish to attend a more personalized session. James and Friedman have helped thousands of people with their Grief Recovery Method. They started their journey at a place where others end up at some point, dealing with loss. Over the years they have fine-tuned the Grief Recovery Method to cover all types of situations.
There is help for grievers, a group that includes all of us at times in our lives. Everyone would benefit from reading the book or attending one of the Grief Recovery programs. The process has changed so many lives for the better. Let it change yours.
What is your grief story? Tell me what you think of the book.
James, J. and Friedman, R. (2009). The Grief Recovery Handbook. New York, NY. Harper Collins
The website is www.griefrecoverymethod.com