Getting Stuck in Grief
Providing grief resources is among the cremation services offered in Glendale, AZ. After your loved one dies, you can expect to grieve intensely and hard for a while, but eventually the intensity becomes manageable and you begin to move forward in the new normal of your life. Grief usually has predictable trajectory, even though how you go through that and how long it will take you will be unique to you.
However, you may find that during the grieving process, you seem to be stuck and are unable move forward in the healing process. The places are called stuck points.
Stuck points were first identified, in 1992, in a study that focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the researchers were focused on deaths that were experienced as traumatic, they found that, for deaths that were not experienced as traumatic, people also had stuck points.
Stuck points are places where repetitive thoughts circle around and around in the internal dialogue you have with yourself and the external dialogue you have with others. Stuck points make it more difficult to process the loss of your loved one, cope with it, and reconcile your experiences with it.
Stuck points essentially freeze you at a point in time where you can only go back and relive memories or events. Since you can’t make peace with the memories or events, you can’t move forward.
If you are experiencing stuck points while you grieve, know that you are not alone. It’s not uncommon for many people, as they grieve the loss of someone they love, to find at least one place in the process where they struggle with memories and thoughts that distress them emotionally.
All kinds of things can create stuck points in grieving. For example, if you were a caregiver for your loved one and they a bad fall or two that you couldn’t prevent, you may find yourself reliving those falls over and over, even if your loved one wasn’t hurt or wasn’t hurt badly.
When you relive the falls, you may go through each moment in slow motion, trying to figure out what you should have done, if you’d known, what you could have done, if you’d been closer, or what you would have done, if you’d been perfect.
As you replay these scenarios in your head, you may find that you’re more distressed and upset, both at the memories and at yourself.
This can lead to an onslaught of negative thoughts that may span your lifetime, as you begin to remember all those times in your life when things went wrong because you didn’t know any better, you weren’t close enough, or they were simply out of your control. This, in turn, can lead to genuine feelings of failure and depression.
This can lead to a rigid way of thinking that says you’re a failure. Even though it’s not true, it is quite difficult to break out of or be convinced that it’s not true.
Stuck points, however, can be overcome. The key is taking the time to analyze the repetitive thoughts and the emotions you associate with them.
Writing these down can be quite helpful. Create two columns. In the first column, identify the thought: “When I think about…” In the second column, identify the feeling that accompanies the thought: “I feel…”
When you can identify the feelings associated with what you’re thinking, then you can start to understand how to work through them. Grief counseling may help this process.
For more information about grief resources and cremation services offered in Glendale, AZ, including grief resources, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Simply Cremations & Funeral Arrangements is here to assist you.