Author Topic: Be Brief With Grief?  (Read 2966 times)


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Be Brief With Grief?
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:58:23 AM »
Even though we know that bereavement takes time and that everyone grieves in his or her own way and at their own pace, we are pressured to be brief with grief.  The expectation may be overt, subtle or unconscious -- "Aren't they over it by now?"  Here are five reasons that our society supposes grief needs to be short-term.  First, we want life to be filled with pleasure and satisfaction, not sadness and discomfort.  We also want to be in control of our lives and therefore would rather not dwell on things we are helpless to change.  Another reason is that we prize winning but degrade losing.  So sympathy for others can quickly become judgment if, in our opinion, someone is choosing the victim role.  In the fourth place, we are very busy: work hard, support families, pay mortgages.  The existential questions, theological reflections and personal introspection just have to wait until we get around to them.  But delayed grief is not erased grief.  Finally, we focus on the now and the future and not the past and certainly not on the painful past.  And so we accept the same grief counseling that Shakespeare's bereaved Hamlet got from his uncle Claudius, the suppositious King of Denmark: "This must be so.  We pray you throw to earth this unprevailing woe."