Baby Barrett Updates

Adrian Abraham Barrett

My journey, from the womb to the world…

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Good Grief Charlie Brown…

Daddy found the following on the internet today while reading about the grieving process. He used to roll his eyes at stuff like this, but apparently he was never in a situation where he felt it was necessary:

1. Pay attention to your thoughts. Make the decision to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, say “I am thankful for having medical insurance” rather than “this insurance company is such a hassle!” Repeat over and over as necessary!

2. Stay in the present. Focusing on the challenges of the past or on what might happen in the future can rob your joy today. What are you grateful for right now? Clean clothes? A loving family? Food on the table? Start with the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

3. Take five minutes each day to meditate on one or two things for which you are thankful. What blessings did your day hold? A meaningful moment with a loved one? A beautiful sunset? A word of encouragement given or received? A job well done?

4. Begin a “gratitude journal.” Write down one different thing that you are thankful for each day for three weeks. Notice how much happier you feel. Then, keep going.

5. Share your blessings each day with your family- especially your children. Ask them what their blessings were, too. An attitude of gratitude is contagious!

We are already going through the stages of grief which can come in any order and can last anywhere up to a year:

Shock
Some people experience shock after a tragedy, saying things like “I feel numb” and displaying no tears or emotions. Sometimes there is denial. Gradually you become aware of what has happened, and you are able to express your emotions. Other people never go through a prolonged stage of shock. They are able to express emotions immediately.

Emotional Release
At some point a person begins to feel and to hurt. It is very important not to
suppress your feelings. Suppressed feelings often surface at a later time in
unhealthy ways. Shared feelings are a gift, and bring a closeness to all involved.

Preoccupation with the Crisis
Despite efforts to think of other things, you may find it difficult to shift your mind from thoughts about the situation. This is not unusual and, with time, should not be a problem.

Symptoms of Some Physical and Emotional Distress
These distresses may come in waves. The most common physical distresses are:
• Sleeplessness
• Tightness in the throat
• A choking feeling
• Shortness of breath
• Deep sighing
• An empty hollow feeling in the stomach
• Lack of muscular power (“It’s almost impossible to climb stairs” or “everything I lift seems heavy”)
• Digestive symptoms and poor appetite

Closely associated with the physical distresses may be certain emotional
alternations, the most common of which are:
• A slight sense of unreality
• Feelings of emotional distance from people – that no one really cares or understands
• Sometimes people appear shadowy or very small
• Sometimes there are feelings of panic, thoughts of self-destruction, or the desire to run away or “chuck it all”

These emotional disturbances can cause many you to feel you are approaching insanity, but these feelings are actually quite normal.

Hostile Reactions
You may catch yourself responding with a great deal of anger to situations that previously would not have bothered you. The feelings can be surprising and very uncomfortable. They often make people feel that they are going crazy. Anger can be directed at the doctor, the nurse, God, sometimes even at a loved one.

Often, there may be feelings of hurt or hostility toward family members who do not or, for various reasons cannot, provide the emotional support the grieving person may have expected from them. Anger and hostility are normal. Do not suppress your anger. However, it is important that you understand and direct your anger towards at what you are really angry, namely the specific tragedy itself.

Guilt
There is almost always some sense of guilt in grief. You think of the
many things you feel you could have done, but didn’t. You accuse youself of negligence. These hurts pop up in grief. Guilt is normal and should pass with time.

Depression
Many grieving people feel total despair, unbearable loneliness and hopelessness; nothing seems worthwhile. These feelings may be even more intense if you live alone or have little family. These feelings are normal and should also pass with time.

Withdrawal
You may tend to withdraw from social relationships. Their daily routines are often disrupted as well. Life seems like a bad dream. This is normal and will take some effort to overcome, but the rewards are worthwhile.

Resolution and Readjustment
This comes gradually. The knowledge of the situation is still there, the love is still there, but the wound begins to heal. You begin to get on with life. It’s hard to believe now, but you will feel better. By experiencing deep emotion and accepting it, you will grow warmth, depth, understanding and wisdom.

Published by Baby Barrett, on April 2nd, 2009 at 5:17 pm.