Saturday, April 4, 2009

Heavenly "Facebook" with My Child

. . . (My) soul . . . resumed talk with my loved one: I asked her questions, and she answered; she questioned me in return, and I answered . . . .

Love goes far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance . . . .

(N)othing (not even death) could touch the strength of my love, my thoughts, and the image of my beloved . . . . I think that I would still have given myself, undisturbed by (the) knowledge (of her death) to the contemplation of her image, and that my mental conversation with her would have been just as vivid and just as satisfying.

Set me as a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.
--Viktor E. Frankl, while trying to cope in a concentration camp, not knowing whether his beloved wife was dead or alive.
Man's Search for Meaning
* Song of Solomon 8:6a
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Indeed, devastating grief is ultimately resolved this way. By experiencing the presence of the lost loved one inside of us, and sensing the way they are carried within our hearts, keeping us company, continuing to advise, inspire, and find unique value in us, we manage.

We still "have" them. We see their faces, hear their
words, smile at their foibles, hold conversations with them, laugh with them, scold them, and embrace them still. In an absolute and immutable way, they still exist.

Eventually the comfort of the image
takes over for the flesh-and-blood reality. We slowly trade anguish for sweet sorrow, draw nourishment from the inner companion, and transcend the loss, thanks to the gentle resourcefulness of the imaginal realm. This is the historical reason why imagery is a powerful tool that all of us know well. We leaned on it from our baby days (playing peekaboo with our mommies, we learn they are still there even though we temporarily cannot see them). It gets us through and allows us to tolerate separation and loss.
Imagery is the blankie all of us adults get to carry around--on the inside.
(Such) imagery works so well to heal the effects of (grief's) trauma.
Belleruth Naparstek,
Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal

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The above quotes are part of my follow-up to my letter to Digger in his comment on my first post, dated February 2, 2009:

"Parents Losing a Teenager to Death - A Glimpse of Grief After Two and a Half Years"

Grieving Mother/Therapist, Angie Bennett Prince said... in response to Digger's comment . . .

"I also find I weep the hardest when I hear good gospel music, and it's like a cleansing deep in my soul." Digger

Dear Digger,

I agree! I don't know what it is about music (and particularly gospel music) that short-circuits the left brain and heads right for the right brain (and most likely, the soul), but it really does!

The book Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek reveals that the most current research in the field of psychology finds that "right-brain" activity (emotional/sensory functions of perception, sensation, emotion, movement) is the most important factor in healing trauma in a person! Staying too much in the "left-brain" (cognitive functions of thinking, analyzing, verbalizing and synthesizing) early on in one's attempts at healing can actually impede healing of trauma, (but can be very helpful in conjunction with right-brain activity after the right-brain activity has been established first).

Stay tuned, I will try to write about this phenomenon in a post on my blog soon as I think it is vital for us grievers to understand some of the most effective pathways to comfort and healing for our broken hearts!

Thank you for sharing what helps you express your grief, and the resulting "cleansing" of your soul that your weeping produces!

May God bless you and continue to comfort you in your grief,

April 1, 2009 11:59 AM

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From time to time, I find real treasures of books in my line of psychological counseling work; this book is one of those. It ushers in the latest research into the most effective counseling procedures to help the grieving person.

If you have a therapist, you might want to make sure they know of the late-breaking, revolutionary ways of approaching the traumatized in their healing work as the usual "talk-therapy" of the average therapist is
not the most therapeutic first-mode of treatment to utilize; not only is "talk-therapy" not indicated initially in therapy with a griever;
talk-therapy-only in the initial stages of therapy can actually be harmful to the traumatized griever. Attention to the right (emotive, creative) brain is critical for creating a base of safety to your emotionally-traumatized being before trying to process the left (analytical, verbal) brain to continue the healing process of integrating your severe loss and all its implications into who you are today.

May the One who someday will wipe away all the tears of His lambs, continue to comfort you in your grief,


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