Sunday, July 30, 2006

Grief can be Good

As I have blogged I have discovered a lot of grieving people.
They are hurting because of some severe life change.

The loss of a loved one, a fire, having a child move away, losing a job.
All of these can trigger grief as a response to the change that we have to make.

When I was in the ministry I developed a workshop on grieving based on Granger Westberg’s book “Good Grief“ .
I did a seminar at the university and at the church college on grief.
I did workshops in dozens of churches and senior centers.

From all of that and my personal grief counseling as well as my personal grief experience I believe that the ten steps Westberg gives us correspond fairly well to human experience.
There are other ways of looking at grief.
Some have eight steps and some have five stages.

But I find these ten to work well:

1. Shock
2. Emotion
3. Depression
4. Physical pain
5. Fear or panic
6. Guilt
7. Anger
8. We function poorly
9. The breaking in of hope
10. The start of the new life

Grief is seen as a process that takes us from where we were to where we will be.
It takes us from the life that was to the new life that opens for us.
It is never standard and is different for each person.
It sometimes starts before the death occurs and by the time it happens we have almost finished the process.
But for most of us the ten steps will be there and knowing that will help us make the journey.

For the next ten Sundays I will take the steps one at a time and walk through them. I hope that this might help somebody who is grieving or who will be grieving.

If you have a friend who is grieving you might tell them of this blog .

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard where the trains still run.– The people at Last Lutheran Church celebrated Bible Camp Sunday today. They sang the camp songs , accompanied by a guitar. Camp staff shared stories of what is happening at the camp. The church was fairly full as many people have great memories from their days at camp .
Eino got together with most of the town council, the mayor , and the Constable to try to decide what to do about the Hermit. They decided to go back in this afternoon and see if they can find somebody to contact. That means going through private papers and all.
Nancy says there was a bit of a commotion at the Fly Inn Bar last night. Evelyn Snyder was sitting at a table having a hamburger when Big Rudy came over and started making smart remarks. She told him to get lost. He told her she couldn’t talk to him like that and grabbed her arm. Well she swung her purse with the other arm and hit him right in the chin and down he went. Of course he was very drunk at the time. But now Evelyn’s friends are teasing her that she hits like a Bishop. I guess the only way that Big Rudy could get more humiliated is if Tommy. The undertaker’s kid was to floor him ( and that’s possible as Tommy lifts weights).

Link for today: Punk Rock Parents - Leave a comment on this blog containing the words Dr. John and get 5 somewhat silly JC points. Check your JC point total HERE.
Yesterday we drew Cindy's name. If it is drawn again today she wins what's in the prize box. If nobody wins by tomorrow we add to the box. And the name drawn today is Javangogh. Sorry Cindy. If we draw Javangogh tomorrow she gets what's in the prize box. We keep going until somebody wins and then we start with some new prize. Good luck Javangogh.
My sister Chris (she's the one that blogs) showed up this morning and we all went to Church together. It was also Bible Camp Sunday at United and the camp staff did a terrific job. The singing was great, with a little hand clapping and foot stomping ( I know that its not very Lutheran but I loved it). Pastor Mike shared a family miracle. His son was flying out in a company plane when the motor failed. The plane crashed hitting a building and then ending up on a pile of sand. Everybody was able to get out and then the plane exploded. Nobody was hurt.
After Church we came back to the house and talked. Chris rescued my old hobby horse which she had ridden on as a child and took it home with her. Thank you Christine. She brought us digital pictures of my nephews (her children and my other sister's children) . It was good for us to visit. While she was here we had a walk through to look at the house. (I hope that wasn't the result of my morning coffee) She left from her to go to my sister Dawn's. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Didnt sleep hardly at all last night -- maybe due to the trip back to Green Bay today. Now will the suspense of the drawing keep me awake for yet another night? :-)

4:43 AM  
Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Nice tips for grief. I agree with you there 100%. I do sometimes grieve but as you said experiences in grief differ with different persons. I take my grief study it and try to make it into something more productive than just grieving.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Good morning Dr. Fortress. Thank you for the ten stages of grief. I have gone through the stages and I am learning to identify the stages in others.
I checked out the prize box and the blog points and when I start my blog, I will be able to mention your name.
Today I thank God for waking me and giving me another day. I thank Him for my health, the well being of my family, my friends and for the people who may not know that others are praying for them. I also give thanks for your words that provide comfort and growth.
Thank you Dr. Fortress.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Doll House Stories said...

Grief good? only good to get out.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer. my blog was written before. I asked again.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Doll House Stories said...

Commmented on Your link of the day.

7:21 AM  
Blogger jafabrit said...

I used to do grief counseling many years ago and I think the worst thing I came across is how people would judge others on how they should grieve, or that grief has some kind of timeline. Look forward to your posts on the subject and don't doubt that many will find them helpful.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Uh...I have no friends...thanks for reminding me....OK, just kidding!

9:03 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I am very glad you are going to do this:)

9:05 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

what a wonderful idea Dr. John...i will pass that on for sure...i think it's the sort of thing that does us all good. thank you.
it sounds like a great happy time, they had in the Lutheran church...
i think that trying to find someone to call for the Hermit is not a bad idea...
i think Evelyn had every right to put him in his place...he has a drinking problem...he needs AAA meetings...
hope you are enjoying your wknd..take care and you tomorrow.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Doll House Stories said...

Goto loris minute everyone!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Doll House Stories said...

Goto loris minute everyone!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Punk Rock Mom said...

Thanks for the traffic!!! How did you find us?

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

My husband and I were good examples of how we grieve differently when we lost my dad. I had been visiting Dad daily during his illness and had known the end was coming for months. For me, his actual death was more of a release from the constant grief. For my husband, who doesn't like to deal with illnesses and didn't see my dad more than once a week, the death was a huge blow and it took him months to move through his grief.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I can promise janvangogh that suspense did not keep me awake last night(even though it would have been fun to win)- I don't even remember laying down, guess the stress of these last few weeks finally caught up with me. Dr. John, I like the idea of the ten lessons.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Viamarie said...

Thanks for sharing them. God Bless you always.

Cheers to another beautiful week!

3:54 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Dr. john -- I anticipate the sharing of the grieving process.

Off topic -- I loved your comment on Lori's Minute. LOL.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I can't wait for the next 10 Sundays! You are very inspiring Dr. John. -Margie

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a magnificent book out called, "This Birth That We Call Death" by Paul H. Dunn and Richard M. Eyre.
It shares many experiences of grief through history and from present day contributors.
The general principle is that for people of faith, our mortal existence is just the "pre-natal" to our lives in an eternal perspective.
I have lost both my parents and had an infant die just after birth. It gives me great comfort to realize that while I still have many years ( I pray) ahead of me on this earth without them, I will have the rest of my "life" with them and my Saviour.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on grief and bringing an open forum for people to share and learn.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

I think the steps on the greif counseling will be good....we took my Mom to grief counseling when her boyfriend passed away. It really helped her. And you are right...different people grieve differently.

What a nice visit with your sister! My brother and I are very close...its nice.

I am so happy for your minister's son.....and everybody who was on the plane. They were very lucky!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Cherlee's said...

Wow I'm so glad I read your blog Dr. John it seems It was meant to be. I will be back and I will tell others about your grieving info. Thanks for sharing

9:37 PM  
Anonymous tina said...

Hello, John .... I am looking forward to reading your entries on grief. Grief is something that every one of us on this earth has to experience, and we can all use some information on how to recognize and handle our emotions concerning it. Thanks for sharing. Tina

10:43 PM  

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