Pick Me Up – March 15, 2019

Our daily “Pick Me Up” is our gift to you for when you need inspiration or something to brighten your day.  I’ll be using my photos and quotes that I love.  Sometimes we’ll use graphics that friends send to us.  No matter the source, we hope you enjoy the end product.

Hugs, Cee

The Dog

Here is my first story I ever wrote about grief.  I was six years old and in the first grade at the time.

Here is the translation for those of your who need it.  I was known as Patti at that age.  My father was a forest ranger and we lived in the woods.

The Dog

Lady was a little dog.  Lady only a year old.  She got lost in the woods and got a bullet.  She had to go to the veterinarian. She had to die.

I remember getting Lady as a young puppy.   Someone we knew had a littler of puppies and my sister and I got to pick her out.  One day in the fall she just never came home.  About a week later there was this faint sound at the door and it was Lady who had been shot by a hunter.

My father took her to the nearest vet, a long drive away.  The vet had to put her down.  She was too injured, and had too much infection to recover.

Somehow I instinctively knew how to write about the death of my dog.  I am lucky.  I was able to process this loss.  I was able to share it with my teacher and that allowed me to close my own grief process, much the same as the Grief Recovery Method teaches.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

“F” word #1 – Forgiveness

The following article was written by one of the co-founders of The Grief Recovery Method (GRM), Russell Friedman, on August 16, 1993.  You can find this article on GRM’s blog.   This is the first of three articles he wrote.  They will be posted here on the next few Saturdays.

I am one who has a hard time with the word forgiveness.  I tend to think like the rest of the world and believe forgive means to condone a specific act or person.

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This article is the first of a trilogy where we will probe some of the myths and misinformation about three words that are very important when using The Grief Recovery Method. The words are FORGIVENESS, FEAR, and FAMILIARITY. FORGIVENESS is the subject of this article.

It is almost a pleasure to write about forgiveness rather than talking about it. There is no subject that provokes more argument, more rigidity, or more pain than the idea of forgiveness. In fact, if forgiveness were not such an important stepping stone to successful grief recovery, we would not bring it up at all.

Forgiveness is one of the least understood concepts in the world, and is especially problematic in English-speaking countries. Most people seem to convert the word forgive into the word condone. The definitions in our Webster’s Dictionary illustrate the problem.

FORGIVE ….to cease to feel resentment against [an offender].

CONDONE…. to pardon or overlook voluntarily; esp.: to treat as if trivial, harmless, or of no importance.

If we believe the two words to be synonymous, it would be virtually impossible to forgive. The implication that we might trivialize a horrible event is clearly unacceptable. However, if we used the top definition for forgive we would be on the right track.

For example, a griever might harbor a tremendous amount of resentment against the person who murdered his/her child. That resentment might create and consume a lot of energy, that in turn might mask the pain and sadness about the death of the child. As long as the griever stays focused on the murderer, they may find it impossible to grieve and complete their relationship with the child who died. The resentment, or lack of forgiveness of the murderer, gives more importance and energy to the murderer than to the child. Successful recovery from the pain caused by loss requires that we focus our energy on completing our relationship with our loved one who died. By not forgiving the murderer we almost guarantee staying incomplete with the child.

Grief is the normal and natural emotional response to loss. It is essential to correctly identify the loss – the death of the child – so a process of completion can begin. The example about the murderer and the child can be applied to the perpetrator and the victim of any kind of event.

If the death of a loved one was a suicide, you might need to forgive them for taking their own life so that you could then complete what was emotionally incomplete for you when they died.

Forgiveness is not our objective. Forgiveness is one of the tools we may need to employ in order to complete the relationship that ended or changed, due to death or divorce or other life circumstance. The subject of forgiveness is massive and carries with it many, many beliefs, passed on from generation to generation. We offer this article and the following questions and answers to help you determine if the definitions that you were taught are helpful or if they need some updating.

QUESTION: What if I have built up a resistance to the word forgive. Is there any other way of approaching the issue?

ANSWER: We recently helped someone who couldn’t even say forgive. She called it the “F” word, which inspired this column. We gave her the following phrase: I acknowledge the things that you did that hurt me, and I am not going to let them hurt me anymore.

QUESTION: Is it appropriate to forgive people in person?

ANSWER: An unsolicited forgiveness will almost always be perceived as an attack, therefore it is almost always inadvisable. It will usually provoke a new issue that will create even more incompleteness. The person being forgiven need never know that it has happened.

This article was written by Russell Friedman on August 16, 1993.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

Didn’t know before…

I know for me, forgiving myself is one of the hardest things to do.

The definition of forgive is “to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”.

My illness has caused a lot of damage in our lives.  We’ve lost our home, cars, jobs, friends, everything… almost.  I wonder at times how I didn’t lose Chris.  Chronic illness effects every part of your world.  I blame myself for all of it and I struggle to forgive myself.

Is it right to blame myself?  Chris says no, because I didn’t do anything to cause my illness.  But it’s hard not to feel responsible. It’s hard for me to forgive me.

I am learning through my training as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist that I was only judging myself for a lack of knowledge and experience in new or different situations, none of which needs forgiveness.  There is nothing for me to forgive because I did nothing wrong.  I didn’t set out to create an “offense, flaw or mistake” as the definition of forgiveness states.

Sometimes we just have to let ourselves off the hook, to let go of the past.  Sometimes things just happen.  It’s no one’s fault.  It just is.

I’m learning to love myself more, and that feels good.  It makes me smile.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com