Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's Woe - Time: Years of Grief

Wednesday's Woe

Time: Years of Grief

2010 Pictures, Images and Photos

Alan Pedersen of The Compassionate Friends asked this question this week on Facebook:

Are steps backward actually steps forward? A woman who is just into her second year of grief told me in an exasperated voice that she is getting worse...not better. She thought she was doing something wrong and digressing...I explained how the grieving process is a series of steps forward and steps backward...but when you are drowning in grief that is hard to understand...Did you ever think you were going backward?

Our answer to Alan's question:

Our First Year of our loss-of-our-child grief was raw, terribly raw.

The Second year was only a little bit better in that it was less "raw."

Yet, as we began coming out of some our shock, the finality that "Merry Katherine is not coming back" began to set in...

But my husband and I agree, the Third year has been the absolute worst.

We have been terrorized, hypervigilant, hypersensitive, and accident-prone: I suffered 2 accidents - a bicycle wreck, and a bad fall down our basement steps that left me with 3 broken bones... With cortisol shooting throughout our systems, we were at times fearful to trust our own minds. Both of us have been triggered badly and deeply, with PTSD bouts that maxed out our anxiety...

According to the book What Forever Means in the Death of a Child, by grieving mother/psychologist Kay Talbott

The research seems to indicate most grieving parents bottom out the third year and then move back upwards fairly steadily from that point on.

We are at our 3 1/2 year point, and we would attest to the truth of that finding - we feel we have now turned a corner and are heading out of the dungeon. All 3 years have been fairly dysfunctional - getting very little of our professional work done, having to carve out a great deal of time for our grief work. And trust me, the study "findings" did not color our "findings." We just obtained Talbott's book a month or two ago!

But we were thrilled to read it so that now we don't feel we are going as crazy as we had thought!

Yes, feeling crazy, and we are both mental health counselors...!

As someone said at this past Sunday's The Compassionate Friends meeting,

"I figured you didn't need any help because since you're a therapist, you have all the answers!"

I reminded her I am still very much a human being! Having some of the answers of walking through grief does not mean we don't have the same aches and pains, heartaches and distresses as anyone else who has lost a child!

It is one thing to help others with their life issues, it's a whole other thing for life to smack me in the face and crush my heart flat...


I am thankful to Alan Pedersen for his question. I would love for you to answer his question too.


I also invite all my blog readers to take a survey that I have posted on the left side of my blog. The survey asks questions along the lines of Alan's question. You can find the survey on the left side bar; just look for the pretty pink flowers and click... Thank you for your participation!


So, what have been your experiences with your grief over the months and years? Please respond in a comment below, or feel free to email me at Your emails can be confidential, or you can let me know if you are willing for me to share your information with our other readers, anonymously or not, according to your wishes.

As one woman responded to Alan on Facebook,

This fourth year is hard. They all are in different ways. I will always feel empty.

My feeling is that our child-loss grief will last a life-time, changing in its tone and nature over the years, nevertheless continuing until we, by God's grace, see our child again on the other Side...

Meanwhile, my heart goes out to each one of you grieving the loss of your precious child. May our God wrap His arms around you, bring you His comfort and peace, and hold you close to His heart.

pictures thanks to


1 comment:

BeckyJoie said...

I took the survey but didn't leave my name. I've suffered a great deal of grief over the years. I lost my daughter Hannah Lorissa Grace and a foster Child who I wanted to adopt but she had so much grief herself and could not attach. I lost my grandparents, my dad and a child who moved back with his father out of state and I never see him. I do know grief. Thank God I know the Tear-wiper. I think loss strengthens and weakens a person at the same time. Grief is so deep and can only be understood by one who has suffered as well. Thank God He bore our grief too!

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