Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Intuitive VS Instrumental Grieving

This topic was brought up last night at our first summer grief support meeting.

The kids and I started going to a new one that was run by the organization that put on their summer camp.  I thought it would be a great way to continue with some of their camp relationships, and also help us again deal with the loss of Barry.  We are attending two groups this summer; one here in town, and this other one.  I haven't yet decided if we will go to this new one come fall, as it is a half hour drive (on a good day w/ no traffic), and it doesn't get out till 8PM at night.  I'm not too sure I can handle that on school nights.  We'll have to see how well it goes. So far I like the group a LOT, as this one actually serves me too, and not just the kids.

So...  Intuitive VS Instrumental grief

I'm right down the middle.

Intuitive is  dealing with your grief by getting quiet time, thinking, talking with others, writing (ME) and such things like that.  I find it very therapeutic to write sometimes, like I am doing right now.  It helps me process my feelings about Barry's death by getting them out and in the open.  As my friend Jason said, I have this knack to make people feel my emotions.  I'm very good at articulating and expressing myself with these words I am typing.  Talking also really helps me, which is where my girlfriend Christy comes in.  She is also a fellow widow, and we discuss it quite often.  It  helps to have that sounding board, well, one that knows exactly what I am going through even though we grieve differently.

Exploring the Instrumental grieving process was really eye opening for me, as I realized I am really like this a lot too. This is when you do activities that keep you busy, help get rid of adrenaline/aggression, distract you.  For me, this is a prime example of me wanting to go to the range to shoot Barry's guns (which I'll be doing soon with Jason I think), and keeping extremely busy to keep my mind off things.  I've also had this incredible urge to start running! I really think this will help me too, as I am literally craving the feeling of my feet pounding the pavement.  I am starting in the fall when the kids go back to school, and I really can't wait to do it.  I think to some people that instrumental grieving might seem like a bit of a cop out, but it really isn't.  It helps to keep busy so you are distracted, and not dwelling on things.  In some ways, I think I sway  more to this side than the other, which is funny considering I never thought I'd be this type of person before Barry died.  I am always busy it seems.  I don't like to keep still.  We are always going somewhere, or doing something.  For example, yesterday we started the week with our grief support last night, today the dog had a  Vet appt, and we had dentist appointments all afternoon.  Tomorrow the kids and I are headed to a neighboring city to do a bit of shopping, and look at bikes and possibly go to the beach.  Thursday we have another grief support meeting.  Friday is my dirty thirty party, Saturday I am going out with my good friend Greg, Sunday we will find something to do, and next Monday again I will be at Midas and headed to the grief group again.  We have something every day, and I crave that.  I need that.

What is important to remember though, is that everyone grieves differently.  Even in families, every person is an individual and grieves differently.  My son M is intuitive with his grief, he is very quiet with his grief, likes to write letters to his dad and so forth.  I haven't quite figured out the other kids, but we're a pretty good mix of both I think.

3 comments:

Rina the Mama Bear said...

*hugs*

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I never did a support meeting.. However I did go thru those two aspects u mentioned... I remember still keeping the house up right after my husband was gone.. My friend told me I was in autopilot, which at the time I felt like I was... It did keep me distracted but as u know there are some down times and it all comes back...Glad u and the kids are getting support...

Gerardo said...

Good post! It's good that you are examining the ways you are grieving. It definitely helps in the long run. ^ years ago I had nothing to help me. no support groups, no family members to understand, no friends who understood, nothing. I don't know what category I fell into, nor do I really remember much of my first year. I apparently blocked it out. I do know that I immersed myself in video games. I was all alone with 1 year old twins, and luckily my mother helped me with watching them long enough for me to get a job. But that's all I did, work, deal with children, video games, barely sleep (I have had insomnia for the past 6 years, nothing helps), and then I'd start the cycle again the next day. So, for me, I guess you could say I was forced to keep my grief internal for the most part. I guess that's what happens when you live in a small city.

The one issue I had was when others would tell me how I should be grieving. How did they know what I was feeling? How could they possibly know how to handle the situation that I'm in? Eventually I just started ignoring a lot of those people. Honestly, I would say keeping busy IS a very good way to grieve. And you are doing a great job at both methods. You are barely a year in and you are actually smiling and having a good measure of fun already. I was nothing like that in my first 2 years.

Stay strong!