Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Dr. Phyllis Kosminsky, the author of Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal. Dr. Kosminsky says, “I wrote it because people were coming in and asking me if they were grieving in the right way.”. There are many stages of grief, and that’s talked about in depth, but it can be confusing. People in grief will look at stages and see them as consecutive, but that’s not the case. This can be particularly frustrating in the second year when you think you “should” be progressing, but suddenly find yourself back in an early stage. Stages aren’t linear, but people expect them to be since that makes sense and is comforting. Unfortunately, grief doesn’t work that way.
“The second year is often harder than the first,” she says. Still, her patients have found that any year can be difficult. The sadness may not go away entirely, but grief acuteness can linger. When this happens, there’s usually an obstacle or block. It is the therapist’s job to help patients identify those blocks. Sometimes it’s lack of forgiveness. Dr. Kosminsky says there are often difficulties in accepting some truths.
Taking Down Hurdles
“I will not accept the fact that this person has died” means living in a land of perpetual refusal, which can make it difficult to make positive changes in your life. Death is a reality, and it’s a tough one. If patients aren’t willing to face that, they won’t get on the path to healing.
The most difficult parts in life involve a lack of control, and losing someone you love is a big one. She doesn’t aim to say, “This person has died, deal with it,” but rather tries to help someone in grief figure out their fears and find ways to address them.