The Masculine Side of Grief Series
Lesson Three: Grieving With Practical Action ACT Step Two
1. “The reason I’m here is because of you, Dad.” – Michael Jordan, Soul & Science Lesson
This Soul & Science Lesson recounts how Michael Jordan dedicated his champion-winning year to the memory of his father. After his father’s tragic death, he spent the next years consciously honoring his dad’s wishes and work ethic, such as pursuing professional baseball. In your opinion, what are the best methods to gather and record the wishes and admirable qualities of our loved ones that have passed away? What are some ways we can used these details to show gratitude and celebrate a life?
2. “There is a difference between grieving and mourning. Grief is the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. Mourning is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside yourself. In other words, mourning is grief in action.” - Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Reflect on mourning practices that are common within your family or community. How do these differ from grief practices? How does the quantity of grief support opportunities compare to mourning opportunities? What ways could “mourning” be supported or encouraged?
3. “By creating a living memorial, some parents [who have faced the loss of a child] find the strength to get out of bed every morning and a reason to stay tethered to the everyday world. They take the waste that is their deep grief, and they reshape some of it into fuel, into energy, into meaning. And maybe, even, into endurance.” - Kenneth J. Doka, College of New Rochelle
Reshaping grief into energy is a process determined by the survivors’ internal timeline. What are ways that you, as a caregiver, family member, or friend can both respect the current emotional state of a grieving individual but also encourage the transformation of pain into inspiration and endurance? What kinds of statements, encouragement, or support could most help with that healing process?
4. “The concept of Post Traumatic Growth calls attention to the potential for positive change and transformation after experiencing stress and trauma.” The ways these transformations can manifest include:
Changed view of oneself and an awareness of the potential for the ‘new’
A different perspective and philosophy of life
Relating to Others
A deeper understanding of who your “true friends” are and on whom you can rely in times of stress, trauma and grief
A greater sense of compassion and empathy for others
Changed priorities and values about what is important in life and what isn’t
A deepening of the spiritual aspect of your life
- ( Post Traumatic Growth After Grief and Loss - The Grief Centre)
How can an awareness of Post Traumatic Growth affect your ability to communicate with an individual experiencing loss or define your own relationship with grief? What ways can you support changes in personal strength, appreciation of life, or spiritual change?
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