splodgenoodles: (Default)
Today my Sol (sister-out-law) hit the nail on the head about why being anywhere other than home has been tricky since Tiger Cat died: I don't have a watch-cat.

I was wondering about that. I couldn't quite work out why but I think that's it.

Grief.

Oct. 6th, 2013 03:03 pm
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
I was just reflecting on how we grieve, and what many of us have lost in our social networks.

1. Years ago, a psychologist told me about another client of hers who was coming in weekly for help because she was going through the terrible grief of losing a child. She was from the Horn of Africa, and was flailing, struggling a lot. She told the psychologist that back home, for a loss like this, the whole community would help, and help for a long time. There would be an initial period of intense support, followed by a year or thereabouts during which people would visit every few days. It was not something that would need to be asked for. It was just accepted that loved ones would visit, maybe bring food, and just hang out. Because it was part of the mourning process. Everyone participated.

2. Also years ago: a psychiatrist told me about the mourning process in parts of the Jewish community. In the immediate aftermath, for a few days, the grieving person is not expected to wash or do anything for guests. People visit and bring food. And just hang out. The grieving person is expected to be present in the house, but is not expected to say or do anything. They can nod at any given person to bring them close should they want to, and that person would discreetly approach for whatever conversation (or lack of conversation) that the grieving person wants. Only slowly, in the following weeks and months, is the grieving person expected to start participating actively in the community again.

I think one of the critical things is that the support can be taken for granted. In both of these examples, the grieving person does not have to identify a lack and ask for help.

They also don't have to be doing anything in particular to manage their grief. Other people manage it for them by providing the space(through the expectation that they will not participate in normal life) and support (people around but without expectation of effort on the part of the bereaved). It's not about therapy as such, it's a flexible arrangement for the grieving person that acknowledges the importance of their loss.

And it's important that managing the loss is not something that a person has to work out as they go. The default option is one that gives them time, structure and acknowledgement of the experience of loss.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
There's a Dad shaped hole in my life.

The Dad shaped hole keeps appearing. It's a silhuoette and it's been appearing in my mind's eye a lot recently.

I sit and talk to someone but suddenly I'm aware of the gaps and spaces around them, that form the shape of Dad, that remind me that no one can be made to fit the shape and fill the void that opened up when he died.

I've been talking to people, looking at people, listening to people and finding myself feeling impatient because they are not Dad.

You might be funny, friendly, lovable, great, admirable, whatever, but fuck it, you aren't Dad.

It's not just other people. The silhuoette appears in the hallway, the kitchen, the front door, the disaster of the former vegie patch that he looked after for me. I've even seen it floating down the street with passing strangers.

It's a blurring of the scenery but its boundary is sharp, and its boundary forms an outline of my Dad. If I put his features over it to comfort myself, it works for a little while, but then they fall into nothing. If it's covered by other people or last years corn stalks I see the spaces that aren't filled, hiding behind elbows and leaves.





Blah.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
There's a Dad shaped hole in my life.

The Dad shaped hole keeps appearing. It's a silhuoette and it's been appearing in my mind's eye a lot recently.

I sit and talk to someone but suddenly I'm aware of the gaps and spaces around them, that form the shape of Dad, that remind me that no one can be made to fit the shape and fill the void that opened up when he died.

I've been talking to people, looking at people, listening to people and finding myself feeling impatient because they are not Dad.

You might be funny, friendly, lovable, great, admirable, whatever, but fuck it, you aren't Dad.

It's not just other people. The silhuoette appears in the hallway, the kitchen, the front door, the disaster of the former vegie patch that he looked after for me. I've even seen it floating down the street with passing strangers.

It's a blurring of the scenery but its boundary is sharp, and its boundary forms an outline of my Dad. If I put his features over it to comfort myself, it works for a little while, but then they fall into nothing. If it's covered by other people or last years corn stalks I see the spaces that aren't filled, hiding behind elbows and leaves.





Blah.

Profile

splodgenoodles: (Default)
splodgenoodles

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
89 1011121314
151617 18 192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 24th, 2017 09:15 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios