The Stages of Grief, according to Winnie the Pooh

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Mitch Carmody of Heartlight Studios spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association of Death Education and Counseling 2015 about the death of a child. He lost his own son when his child was just nine, and he says the biggest help in addressing your grief is not to forget. It’s common in American society to want to put things behind us, but the first year of grief is just the beginning. Grief can often act like an infant, and it can take just as long as a person to mature. In the first year, grief is an infant that needs to be held and hugged. It can easily take a lifetime to develop.

Some people can stay in trauma their entire lives, he explains. Others may reach autonomy after a few years. Even five years can be new, he says. “You’re a five year old in your grief…I’m a 27 year old in my grief,” he shares. He’s personally reached “college age” as a griever, and at this stage wants to help people. People, especially in grief, can relate to Winnie the Pooh characters. Those personality profiles make it a little simpler to work with and help those in grief.

The Age of Grief

Identifying who you are in terms of Winnie the Pooh can also help those in grief figure out what will aid them best. “We have to educate the Tiggers in the world,” he says. He’s a strong advocate of The Compassionate Friends as well as Bereaved Parents USA or your local church. Seek out groups that provide support and resources, no matter how fresh your grief.

There’s no way to understand how someone in grief feels, but sympathy is key. Finding a supportive network can help “mature” your grief, understand it, and learn how to handle it on a day to day basis in a healthier manner.

 

Mitch Carmody

More Articles Written by Mitch

After suffering many familial losses from a young age and ultimately with the death of his nine-year-old son of cancer in 1987, Mitch Carmody, has struggled with the grief journey and how grief is processed and perceived in this country. He published a book in 2002 called “Letters To My Son, a journey through grief." The book has now reached the bereaved in every state and 7 other countries. From the book’s success he now travels locally and around the country lecturing on the grief process and/or conducting workshops on surviving the loss of a loved one. He has also conducted a variety of workshops with The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents USA as well as a sought after speaker for many keynote presentations. As a trained hospice volunteer, he has also helped many loved ones and their families through the dying process. Mitch has published several articles in national bereavement periodicals, is a frequent contributor to TCF Atlanta On-line and currently a staff writer for Living with Loss Magazine. Through email correspondence on his website he council’s the bereaved on a daily basis. Since the death of his son 19 years ago, Mitch has dedicated his life to helping those individuals and families whom are trying to navigate in the uncharted territory of death, dying and the bereavement process. Through his compassionate insight and gentle spirit he will touch your heart and hopefully give you tools to aid you on your journey Mitch lives in rural Minnesota with my wife of thirty years, he enjoys riding my horses, gardening, writing, helping others, giving blood monthly and creating works of art. He is also a proud first time grandfather to the daughter of their surviving daughter Meagan. To learn more about Mitch and his work, go to: www.HeartlightStudios.net. Mitch appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Letters From My Son.” To hear Mitch being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley042706.mp3 Mitch appeared again on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing the Holidays, Helpful or Hurtful? To hear Mitch interviewed by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley122508.mp3

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