Friday, June 27, 2014

GRIEF AND LOSSES

Losing someone or something may result in some certain kind of behaviours, manifestations and experiences that are generally painful and life-changing. Different kinds of people respond to loss in different ways that are usually not subject to the control of the victim; at least at the initial process. GRIEF Grief, according to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary is defined as: “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement; also : a cause of such suffering”. It is the intense feeling of sorrow after experiencing a loss; especially the loss of someone. The feeling of grief goes beyond ‘sorrow’ itself. It can manifests itself in various unimaginable ways. There is no grief greater than the other. Grief is Grief and it is unique to every individual experiencing it. Besides loosing someone, people grief over other kinds of losses and situations. For example: ▪ Divorce or relationship breakup ▪ A Miscarriage ▪ Loss of a friendship/Relationship ▪ Loss of health ▪ Losing a job ▪ Loss of financial stability ▪ Loss of a dream and ambition ▪ Death of a Pet ▪ Retirement ▪ A loved one’s serious illness ▪ Loss of safety after Trauma ▪ Loss of freedom ▪ Lose of a home As mentioned earlier, regardless of the cause of the grief, It is still what it is – Grief!; Without discounting the extremities and multifacetedness of the grief usually experienced by people who have lost someone who is considered dear and precious. Grief is a process that is usually expected to get better with time. However, this thinking in isolation is incorrect. Grief can only get better with consciously taking steps to do positive things/acts towards recovery, and even that does not guarantee a full recovery or complete restoration. Note the word ‘positive’ – that means you have to check the ecology of your actions and decisions by weighing its impact on your envireonment – the people around you. Those positive actions will certainly exclude self destructive acts even if it gives you a temporary relief and escape from your present reality. Grief, I can tell you has a mind of its own. That is why most of the time you never see it coming, it is usually unplanned and unprepared for. It can manifest in the most unlikely places and situations as long as there are triggers. Unfortunately, even the triggers are very unpredictable, you can never completely tell what is capable of triggering that overwhelming feeling of grief. For example, someone who has lost his/her spouse may start manisfesting grief when the spouse’s favourite team looses a match. It is not so much of the team loosing but a trigger to the feelings of loosing the spouse. There are so many factors that can affect the grieving process and how you grieve: - Spiritual Faith: your religious convictions can help deal with the process of grieving. It is a good source of support and solace for a grieving soul. Spiritual acts such as prayers and meditations have the capacity to lighten the weight of the grief. Nevertheless, Grief itself can make you question the very foundation of your belief system. It can either make you completely fall out of faith or make you more grounded in your faith. Having a strong faith provides cushion when grief comes. - Support System: Friends and Families are a good source of inspiration, support and comfort during the grief process. It always helps to have genuine and positive people around you especially at the initial onset of grief. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, some people may handle their grief better by staying away from a lot of people; but there has to be a balance. You need to keep a few people you can trust around and also make out time to be alone for a time of sobriety, retrospection and reflection, especially on the object of your loss and your experiences of being without. Joining a group of people who share the same experience can also be therapeutic in dealing with your and the resultant grief. Professional Counselling and Retreats also provide great resources for coping wit grief. - Coping Mechanism/Strategy: Coping Mechanisms for dealing with grief are the conscious acts and decisions taken to help deal with grief. The adopted coping mechanisms should be conscious, positive and constructive. Negative and destructive coping mechanisms are illusions because they are very temporal and often lead to a destructive end. Coping mechanisms can be visiting the spa, exercising, studying, talking about your grief and losses, writing etc. whatever makes you feel better and ecologically appropriate. Some of these mechanisms may only be transient, what is more important is that it provides soothing for that period. Finding a happy moment during grief is a blessing…. Embrace it! Elisabeth Ross Kubler on her work on ‘Death and Dying’ stated The Stages of grief’ as highlighted below: ▪ Denial — As the reality of loss is hard to face, one of the first reactions to follow the loss is Denial. What this means is that the person is trying to shut out the reality or magnitude of his/her situation, and begins to develop a false, preferable reality. ▪ Anger— "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"; "Why would God let this happen?"
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People can be angry with themselves, or with others, or at a higher power, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a person experiencing anger from grief. ▪ Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if…"
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow undo or avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Other times, they will use anything valuable as a bargaining chip against another human agency to extend or prolong the life they live. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…" People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example "Can we still be friends?" when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it is a matter of life or death. ▪ Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die soon so what's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
During the fourth stage, the grieving person begins to understand the certainty of death. Much like the existential concept of The Void, the idea of living becomes pointless. Things begin to lose meaning to the griever. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and sullen. This process allows the grieving person to disconnect from things of love and affection, possibly in an attempt to avoid further trauma. Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the 'aftermath'. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It is natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the person has begun to accept the situation. Oftentimes, this is the ideal path to take, to find closure and make their ways to the fifth step, Acceptance. ▪ Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event. This stage varies according to the person's situation. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief. This typically comes with a calm, retrospective view for the individual, and a stable mindset All these feelings are very real during grief, however it is in no predictable order. Any of these feelings can creep up at any unpredictable time. Grief is a roller coaster ride and does not come in any sequential stage. In my personal journey with grief and my experiences with others as they grieve, I have observed that not everyone goes through all these processes depending on the individual and the circumstances surrounding the loss. Some would never experience denial of their loss and some also would never come to terms or accept the loss of their loved one. It is possible to negotiate and bargain with the reality of the loss by making adjustments to a new normal of living without…. But not accepting the farthest justification of the loss by any slight chance. How long does one grieve one’s loss….? Are there any justification to how long you grieve a spouse of 40years or 5 years? A child of 25years or an 6 months old fetus? The loss is a single time occurrence but the aftermath may take a lifetime. The grief process may never end, it may live for as long there is life and can actually even become a part of its victim.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

MY TRUTH

Truth is the opposite of lie, an embodiment of honesty, sincerity, openness, clarity and simplicity. Nothing is clearer nor simpler than the truth. Needless to say, the Truth is guided by perception and convictions, which is based on personal intuitions and value judgement; It is highly probable and widely differing according to as many situations, personalities, context it is subjected to. Truth is Subjective, Sentiments laden and peculiarity disposed. Hence the Truth is Personal.

This leads us to the topic of what is the standard and guideline for truth? Is it Historic (Events/Occurrences), Religious (Spiritual), Circumstantial (Time Requirement)or Innate (deeply embedded in the soul of man).

The Truth is Historic because given past experiences, events and occurrences, one can predict the future. This is so true to a huge sense. Economically, Politically, Financially. It is so true that even the existence and survival of world powers have been hinged on the predictability of past indices and behaviours. Major successes have been attained as a result of being able to evaluate correct the historical events and make future predictions based on these findings.
Relationships have been 'somewhat' accurately adjudged by considering the behavioural patterns of persons involved given the circumstances.
Even Traditionally or say I, spiritually, the extent of someones progress in life can be determined by the individual ancestral precedences so to speak.
Against this backdrop, one can unceremoniously say that Truth can be found in history. However, more often than not, certain unexpected occurrences have occurred that have shaken the very essence of every belief system,scientific reasoning and psychological theories. The Unpredictability of these certain isolated occurrences make their implications extreme and far reaching due to lack of preparedness. This, therefore is what inherently renders the 'so called' Truth inconsequential.

The Religious dimension of Truth: This dimension I will say proffers the strongest argument because RELIGION IS A MATTER OF CONVICTION. And no system is worth believing if the element of conviction is missing. Conviction remains grounded even when facts are unreliable, Conviction gives power, meaning and life to the abstract and intangible. Often we hear comments such as 'I can't explain it but i just know', 'It's what i believe and its not open for discussion', 'I just don't why I love him/her'. Conviction is very powerful, stronger than blood (family ties) itself. Conviction is what leads people to die for a cause they believe in....talk about suicide bombings. Nonetheless though, conviction can be an offshoot of brainwashing...(lol).
Anyway, my point is this - with millions ok, say thousands of religious beliefs and doctrines that are very well differing in dogma which essentially makes the message that is, the Truth fragmented, conflicting and complex. Giving the nature of Truth (simplicity, clarity); Religion does not provide the awesome basis for Truth.

Circumstantial Dimension: I love this one because it is embedded in human nature. This dimension describes the context of Making commitments and promises as a matter of time requirement. You love someone today and stop loving tomorrow: does that invalidate the initial feeling of love? The answer is NO because you felt what you felt based on the circumstances and happenstances as at that time. Taking those situations away may change the feeling in a different direction.
We are all guilty of committing to something and end up not fulfilling it not necessarily because you intended that from the onset, but things changed afterwards. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and it becomes simply impossible to meet up and other times flimsy things like 'forgetting' 'changing one's mind for no plausible reason'. Does that now mean that that the intents were false? Hell..NO! Nonetheless, it predisposes the person in question to being perceived as having no credibility and lacking the appearance of Truth. Therefore, Circumstantial/Time requirement does not provide a plausible vantage ground for Truth to be rooted. Action Speaks Louder than Words, they say.

Lastly, The Innate Dimension: This simply says - The Truth is within. When nothing else adds up, you will find the Awesome Truth in the deep and quiet place of your heart. It is that personal Truth that no other person knows but you. It is the personal Truth, the one that liberates.
In the face of trials, temptations, against the odds, after all is said and done, the only surviving Truth is the none that resides in your heart, the one you found by yourself. That there, is your spring of strength when push comes to shove. The innate Truth is there within every man.
There is no generalizing this type of truth. It varies for every individual and circumstance and there is no parameter or yardstick to measure it. That which is the Innate Truth to one can be falsehood to another and even that which is generally falsehood by every reasonable standard can be Truth for another. What you call your Truth is where you find your rest and sanity. That is my Truth.
Here is an example of a very ugly lady; I mean ugly by Evey definition and all physical sense. But If she thinks she is beautiful and that transcends into her perception of herself, than that is her Truth and the Universal Truth.
The innate Truth draws its strength from a more spiritual place. It is the only Truth that allows you to create and recreate.
However, the Innate Truth begs the question of Justification; which is entirely another topic for learned philosophers and ideologists (I could care less). Based on all the disparities, The innate is most ideal.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life is Sweeter With People

I dedicate this post to all the people who have been a part of my life at some point or the other. Some of u I met as a matter of destiny and for some it was just Time and Chance, some I didn't have a choice and for some I had a choice. The journey has been Not such a long one but you are the ones who put the drama, episodes and adventure in it. It was not all good all the way, some were good and leaves with me the fond memories of time past, some were not so good and was distasteful; but in general, there was something in common...you taught me to be better, to appreciate the little things of life and to know that Friendship is refreshing. Relationship is the energy that fuels the world.
I remember my days as a child, growing up then was infused with mixed feelings... I was relatively sheltered within the scope of my environment/neighbourhood. Kids could run around, play football around the yard, yell, scream and all. You know that kind of neighbourhood where you know the names of everyone on your street and can identify them with their faces. Anyway, i never really had the free hand to explore within my environment. But I do remember some things which continually bring smile to my face. My childhood friend Ngozi...we were square holes in round pegs, even as children, we knew that and we formed our clique. she was my best friend as a child, we did everything together, pre-school was fun with her, we exchanged lunchboxes, went to school together, sat together, ate together and left together. I think once we kissed....butterfly kisses, what u would expect from 4 year olds. It's about 25years now, And I have not laid my eyes on her but she remains in my fondest memories. God bless u Ngozi, wherever you are and whoever you have become.

I was always the favourite of the teachers and that meant automatic animosity with my classmates, but it all went well, having the teachers by my side made me somewhat untouchable.... You can hate but you can't hit me. But something happened! My class teacher beat me up so much because he felt I did not deliver his letter to another female teacher. (well, actually, those letters were love advances. Once, I opened one of the letters...Uhm! Yes I did...and so what?). Bottomline is, I got beaten up seriously because the lady never responded and so he felt I never delivered any of his letters.
I do not want to start to analyse the scenario; so all ye deep thinkers, please save your pondering, analysis and argument for things in the present.

Right now, I'm having torrents upon torrents of my experiences with people that i have met and known over the years... Bla...bla ...bla
And then, I grew up, and my eyes became open to so many things. The devices and schemings of humans are limitless. Some were obvious, some unassuming...but I learnt and I am the better for it. I am not ostracising myself from these humanly ways, I think I could have been a better friend to a few people...hey, I'm not playing the victim alone here. I must have been a villain too at some point.

Every experience was worth it, Now I understand that friendship is a part of living, and true friendship is hard to find. If you don't find one,outside of you better half, then just love the ones that you have, relate and deal with them individually based on who they are, but most importantly be tolerant and not judgemental, enjoy every moment you can share with them...because those might be the lighter notes of your life.

To my best friend and my husband... Knowing you is the highest point of my life. From the day I said I do, every experience with you has been the bedrock of my world.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's a year and seven months.

..but my inconsistency always seem to get the part of me. Especially when i'm having a ball, i almost always forget about most other things, coupled with the fact that there's more than one person to think about now, as a matter of fact i can say 7 more to think about...How does one even start to juggle that? There is my babies to think about and all relevant others. (Sighs)... Anyway.. lots and lots of excuses.

I am more result oriented and productive when i'm in a melancholic state... i get the drive and inspiration to make a better me in some form of depression...,yay! weird...i know. It's unbeleivable how much i realise what potential is in me and figure out how to harnes them. My creativity is also at its highest then.

A lot has changed in my life in the past few months. I've had to change from that care-free, easy go-lucky girl that i was to a woman who has to think and care abt so much and nothing. and suddenly being exposed the spotlight of conformity to the numerous powers that be; and constant evaluation and re-evaluation.

I am a woman now! and i don't want to be a bee as is 2nd nature to womanhood. I don't always want to be doing something, i don't want to be picking and cleaning and criticising and instructing and carrrying and organising and all the activities. I don't want to loose myself in the expectation of being a woman.

I can't find my passion and creativeness; my multifacetedness (whatever!). I am loosing my restlessness...

I want it now and i want it then.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My last piece was inconclusive…
Due to series of events in the past weeks, the story doesn’t go on and on.
All I can say is that -
I found out that amidst the unlikeliness can be sincerity and love.
The ones we think don’t deserve our love are the ones that truly deserve them.

Ciao!