Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal

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.

Gloria Horsley

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Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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