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Old 04-09-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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I think grieving has a life of its own and needs no justification. One hopes that one doesn't "act out" but sometimes this happens.

Being upset is another story. We all get upset over things and being upset is way different than grief. For me I can handle the upsets. It's the grief that just blew me away.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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Children deal with grief differently than adults. They have unresolved anger about being "left". And often act out physically. I did grief therapy with kids for many years. It was volunteer work, that helped me too.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Hmm, I don't agree. Grief comes out in fits and starts after the main part is over and sometimes can manifest as anger or just an inability to cope with minor things going wrong. Those who dealt with a death like a rock may fall apart later and those who aren't good at showing sadness may be just fine at showing madness.

Recently I have lost my mother and my beloved grandmother and while I"m mostly over crying about it, sometimes I'm shocked at how angry I get about minor things and my coping skills are getting less with each major event in my life. Add to that hormonal changes and you have an explosive combination. Let's put it this way--the way I am now, I would probably be reacting much the same way as this woman did with her dd and it would have nothing to do with hating my dd or being angry at her inaction, and everything to do with the stress and the loss and the grief. I'm just unable to cope with things like that now.
First, I am genuinely sorry for your losses.

I also feel that this behavior comes from the same source, which would be an inability to cope with stress. And when you lose people dear to you, stress and having issues coping is perfectly understandable.

It's not that I've never had problems coping of my own. I once broke down crying during a work review. The review went perfectly fine and I even got a nice raise. But at the end of it my boss asked me a question about my newly adopted blind feral kitten. She basically asked if I regretted adopting him...and I burst into tears. I'm not a person who cries easily and this just came completely out of nowhere. It really wasn't about my cat but a build up of stress from my mother being ill and needing so much care.

But while that moment of emotional upheaval was humiliating and I'm sure very uncomfortable for my boss to witness, it didn't directly impact her. It wasn't a situation where we were both experiencing the same traumatic event and my reaction was overwhelming hers to the point where she had to care for me instead of herself. When you're in a situation where you are impacting other people, you have some duty to them as well. If rolling on the floor is how you express grief and it helps you cope, that's fine...but perhaps not in front of your children who have grief of their own.

And while the inability to cope with repeated stress is very understandable, I can't justify getting angry at others and treating them poorly for it. This is not anything against you, stepka, it's jut that I've dealt with this my entire life. It goes back to my question of behaviors being justified because the person 'wasn't in their right mind'. My mother had very real reasons to be stressed. Her health is very poor and there are no good treatments for her conditions. She feels sick and scared because her memory is fading. But if she screams at me when she feels stressed, that just means I feel stressed...and eventually I'm going to get the point where I can't cope with that repeated stress either. So does that justify it if I scream back or treat her poorly or refuse to help her? Or does only one of us get to be 'not in her right mind' at any given time?

I guess the question is where is the limit? Is any behavior justified if it occurs while very stressed or grieving?
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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No. All behavior is not "excused" while grieving. And who can "quantify" grief? My cat died...I am "grieving". Some people would not validate that as "real" grief. But, to the person experiencing it, that may be as significant as losing a child. It may be difficult to understand or even validate that...
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
No. All behavior is not "excused" while grieving. And who can "quantify" grief? My cat died...I am "grieving". Some people would not validate that as "real" grief. But, to the person experiencing it, that may be as significant as losing a child. It may be difficult to understand or even validate that...
It's not difficult for me to understand at all. I lost one dog due to a horrific circumstance (to this day I cry instantly in ten seconds when I think of it and it's been seven years) and I lost my other dog in 2008. They truly were like my children.

As to quantifying grief, I once knew someone who said should and feel should never be said in the same sentence. There is no quantifying grief. I'm grateful I got past most of the grief I had to deal with since 2008 and next death around I'll try to do better. But I won't beat myself up over things either because I didn't handle things well.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:51 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post
Interesting timing of this thread as the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is currently debating this very topic for the, soon to be released, DSM V.

Is Grief a Mental Illness? | Brain Blogger

You guys have figured out that grief reaction is predicated on many factors, culture, upbringing, personality, environmental factors etc, etc.

Why can't the APA figure this out?
Oh they'll come to the exact same conclusions that we did after they throw a few million dollars of govt grant money at it.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
Oh they'll come to the exact same conclusions that we did after they throw a few million dollars of govt grant money at it.
I would not bet on that if big Pharma is behind them in this. A pill for everything, you know.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:15 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
The thing is, I do feel a great deal of empathy. I'm just feeling it toward the children or other people who aren't getting the chance to feel their own grief. That's the point I keep bringing up that no one is really fully addressing.
No, I heard you. And I felt for those children whose pet had died. That was my mother--always taking every chance to demonstrate the sobbing and grief and making everything about her while we children were not permitted to cry/mocked and called names for crying.

It was that mother's role to see to her children and how THEY were feeling--sure, she can shed tears, too, but to seize the loss of the family pet as an opportunity to focus her children's attention on HER? Again, if I had witnessed this, it would have been hard for me not to kick her if she rolled my way.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:18 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,196 posts, read 50,480,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
It's not difficult for me to understand at all. I lost one dog due to a horrific circumstance (to this day I cry instantly in ten seconds when I think of it and it's been seven years) and I lost my other dog in 2008. They truly were like my children.

As to quantifying grief, I once knew someone who said should and feel should never be said in the same sentence. There is no quantifying grief. I'm grateful I got past most of the grief I had to deal with since 2008 and next death around I'll try to do better. But I won't beat myself up over things either because I didn't handle things well.
I lost my first cat in a house fire 15 years ago, and I still think of him and can feel the sadness, even though I've got four more now.

But the OP's point is that there's a difference between grieving and using grief as an opportunity to act out for attention.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I lost my first cat in a house fire 15 years ago, and I still think of him and can feel the sadness, even though I've got four more now.

But the OP's point is that there's a difference between grieving and using grief as an opportunity to act out for attention.
Yes...I have no issue with grieving deeply for the loss of a pet. I cried every night for a year after my cat Nic died and I still can't think of him without tearing up instantly. He was my 'soul cat'...we just fit together. JJ, my current cat, is basically my kid. He's needed a lot of care and attention because he has medical problems. When I lose him I already know it's going to just completely rip me apart.

It will sound creepy, but one of my favorite things to do as a vet tech was preparing euthanized animals to go home with their owners. I would wash them, dry them, comb them, glue their eyes shut...the goal was to make the animal look like it was sleeping. It was one last thing I could do to help make the process easier for the owners.
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