one that would rather use pills to tackle problems like grief
than invest the substantial amount of time and energy it takes
to have a visionary encounter with a loved one.
Many of us have known deep grief.
I have known it.
I’ve been divorced. I’ve lost a child, emotionally, to me, although not a human child.
They say the worst pain in the world is losing a child. I believe it.
We all know this; it is indisputable:
Grief after the loss of a loved one is natural. Grief is mental health.
Grief can take weeks, to months, to years, to a lifetime to live through. That is OK.
Grief is not mental illness, no matter how long it lasts.
Out of the body, the mind does not grieve, because it is reunited with Love itself.
But in the body, grief is normal.
So grieve if you feel grief.
In our culture we grieve privately, feeling that no one else can understand our grief. At the time, perhaps few can. But it is OK to share your grief, and you should with anyone who is grieving with you – they need to know that you feel the same way they do.
Don’t ever let anyone, even a doctor, tell you that your grief is unnatural.
Especially, don’t believe anyone who tells you that you need to take drugs to change your brain chemistry to get rid of your grief. You do not need to suppress your feelings of grief. That is not the way grief works.
Thoughts and feelings change the brain. The brain doesn’t create or change thoughts or feelings. So taking dangerous chemicals (and all psychiactric drugs are dangerous) to try to change our thoughts and feelings doesn’t really work. Psychiatric drugs suppress our physical responses; they don’t change our feelings. When psychiatric drugs seem to change our thoughts or feelings, it is because we think they are supposed to, and we change our own thoughts or feelings.
Suppressing grief isn’t healthy. How can you heal if your grief is suppressed? It will still be there when the drugs are gone, but we are left with the long-lasting physical side effects (and they can be severe) of the psychiatric drugs.
Time, and the love that you feel and experience in your grief, will heal your grief.
Drugs cannot. Drugs only blunt and distract.
If your doctor offers you psychoactive drugs for your grief, decline them. If necessary, look for another doctor who is willing to listen to you, understand you, and empathize with you, not offer drugs to you.
Doctors who offer drugs to you to change your feelings are as misguided – and as harmful, even though they don’t mean to be – as as any drug pusher on the street.
If you in your own wisdom think that your feelings are unnatural, then seek a friend or loved one to talk to who understands, or a counselor for therapy.
Having someone empathetic to talk to, to reassure you that you are normal, and that you will feel better, and that your loved one does still exist, and is safe and cared for, which is the truth, is comforting. You know that that is the truth in your heart, but hearing it can help.
So can hearing that you are innocent, which is also the truth. If your grief feels unnatural to you, it may be a sign that you feel guilty. Yet you are not guilty. No matter what you think you have done. Even if you think you contributed to the death of your loved one, or was not there for them when they needed you, or if you missed saying goodbye to them. You are innocent. You are not guilty. Your loved one knows that. So should you.
Of course, don’t wait for therapy but seek help fast if you think that you may hurt yourself or other people in your grief. (That still doesn’t mean that you need drugs. It just means that you need someone to talk to now. It means that you need love now. It means that you need help now. You cannot wait to heal on your own. It still will happen.)
We are told by those who know that when our loved ones die, their souls merely enter another plane of existence.
They don’t disappear. They are not gone forever. You will see them again.
There is no need to hurry the reunion, because you can still communicate with them. They are not far away. They can hear you. So talk to them. Tell them everything.
Watch for signs of your loved ones, listen for them, and talk back to them.
They are OK.
And so are you.
On A Child’s Near Death Experience
April 23, 2011
I Recommend: We Don’t Die
October 29, 2011
How to Survive Psychiatry
April 22, 2012
Grief and Bereavement Counseling (Informational only; endorsement is not implied):
Induced After-Death Communication (IADC®) Therapy
Developed by Dr. Allan L. Botkin, Psy.D. List of practitioners on website.
Grief and Near-Death Experiences (IANDS videos)
Life After Loss
Conquering Grief and Finding Hope
Raymond A. Moody, M.D. and Dianne Arcangel. HarperOne, 2001; 2002; 2009.
Dr. Moody is a psychiatrist.
Dr. Moody’s “When Loved Ones Die” (DVD), A Guide for the Grief Stricken.
Dr. Moody does Grief Counseling.
Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones
Raymond Moody Jr., Paul Perry. Villard, 1993.
Induced After-Death Communication
A New Therapy for Healing Grief and Trauma
Allan L. Botkin, R. Craig Hogan. Hampton Roads Publishing, 2005.
We Don’t Die
George Anderson’s Conversations with the Other Side
Joel W. Martin, Patricia Romanowski, George Anderson. Putnam, 1988; Berkley, 2002.
Love Beyond Life
The Healing Power of After-Death Communications
Joel W. Martin and Patricia Romanowski. William Morrow, 2008.
Hello from Heaven
A New Field of Research-After-Death Communication Confirms That Life and Love Are Eternal
Bill and Judy Guggenheim. Bantam, 1996;1997.
After-Death Communication Website – What is an ADC?
One Last Time
A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost
John Edward. Berkley, 1998; 1999.
Answers from the Other Side
John Edward. Princess Books, 2003; Sterling Ethos, 2010.
Talking to Heaven
A Medium’s Message of Life After Death
James Van Praagh. Dutton, 1997; Signet, 1999.
James Van Praagh’s website.
Reclaiming Life After Any Loss
James Van Praagh. Diane Publishing, 2000; New American Library/Penguin Putnam, 2001.
What the Dead Can Teach Us about Life
James Van Praagh. HarperOne, 2009; 2010.
Growing Up in Heaven
The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child
James Van Praagh. HarperCollins, 2011.
We Are Their Heaven
Alison DuBois. Fireside, 2006; Touchstone, 2006.
John Holland. Hay House, 2003.
The Spirit Whisperer: Chronicles of a Medium
John Holland. Hay House, 2010.
The Truth About Grief
Ruth Davis Konigsberg. Simon & Schuster, 2011.
- Believe the author’s psychology; it is right. (Ignore her materialism; it is wrong.)
“We have been misled by the concept that grief is a series of steps that ultimately deposit us at a psychological finish line… social science increasingly indicates that it’s more a grab bag of symptoms that come and go and, eventually, simply lift. … [Mourners] reported feeling more yearning for their loved ones — a condition researchers called pining — than either anger or depression, perhaps the two cornerstone stages in the Kübler-Ross model.”
Find more books on Psi and Spirituality at my Amazon Bookstore.
Articles (in chronological order):
Five Fallacies of Grief: Debunking Psychological Stages
“From the stages of grief to the stages of moral development,
stage theories have little evidentiary support”
Michael Shermer, Scientific American, October 22, 2008
It’s not too late to save ‘normal’
“Psychiatry’s latest DSM goes too far in creating new mental disorders”
Allen Frances, Los Angeles Times, March 01, 2010
Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness
Gary Greenberg, Wired, December 27, 2010
Ask E. Jean: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
“When a spouse dies, grieve as long as it feels good and right, and give an elegant middle finger to the world that expects you to ‘move on’.”
E. Jean, Elle, January 13, 2012
New Ways to Think About Grief
Ruth Davis Konigsberg, Time, January 29, 2011
- On the “Five Stages of Grief”.
- See Konigsberg’s book, “The Truth About Grief”, below in the Books section.
Living with Grief
Editorial, The Lancet, February 18, 2012 (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60248-7)
Grief: Normal, Not A Mental Illness
Jane E. Allen, ABC News Medical Unit, February 16, 2012
Grief is Not an Illness
Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2012
Good Grief: The APA Plans to Give the Bereaved Two Weeks to Conclude Their Mourning
“Britain’s Lancet calls the proposal ‘dangerously simplistic and flawed’”
Christopher Lane, Psychology Today, February 17, 2012
Seriously?? Two Weeks to Mourn the Loss of a Loved One?
Rebecca Carney, One Woman’s Perspective (blog), February 18, 2012
How Medicalizing Grief Turns Into Dollars
Alice G. Walton, Forbes, February 21, 2012
When Should Someone Be Finished Grieving?
Andy Johns, Slate, March 23, 2012
A Turning Point for DSM 5
“Will the APA Trustees finally step to the plate?”
Allen J. Frances, M.D., Psychology Today, March 21, 2012
D.S.M. Panel Backs Down on Diagnoses
Benedict Carey, New York Times, May 8, 2012
Psychiatric Mislabeling Is Bad for Your Mental Health
Allen Frances, Huffington Post, May 9, 2012
Doctors Not Informed of Harmful Effects of Medicines During Sales Visits
Science Daily, April 10, 2013
Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say
Pam Belluck and Benedict Carey, The New York Times, May 6, 2013
© 1980-2012 Cathi Carol. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 2013
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