On STUGs: Subsequent, Temporary, Upsurges of Grief

Have you ever come across a new word that strikes you as so good you wonder why you hadn’t heard of it before? Ive found a new grief word. STUG! Coined by Therese Rando, it just makes total sense and sounds a bit more upbeat than Grief Triggers. I’ve been STUGGED! (Subsequent, Temporary, Upsurge of Grief)

STUGS certainly aren’t much fun when they happen.

There are the STUGS that we come to expect: anniversary days, birthdays and family celebrations.

Then there are the ones that come like a bolt out of the blue. Those intense upsurges of grief that take you totally by surprise. They ambush you, triggering an upbubble of grief emotions.

They can happen at any time, and sometimes many years later. They are very common, very normal and part of the grieving process.

Whilst they can often catch you off guard, sometimes you can “protect” yourself a little.

♥ If you think that a TV program will STUG you, watch something else or limit your time watching the news. If you are worried about attending an event that has some significance to your loved one, get support. Take a friend with you and put tissues in your bag.

♥ If you read something that stabs you in the heart, allow the tears to come. As the tears flow, know that another bit of hurt is flowing out into the world. You have been touched by love.

♥ Music is highly emotive and can place us right back in time. There may be times when you want to listen and remember and times you don’t. It will also depend on your mood. Do what feels right for you.

Know that each time these things happen, you are getting to know your grief more. You are gaining an understanding of your own internal and external triggers. You are learning the art of self-protection. You are processing emotions. Each step of the way, you are recognizing and accepting more of what is occuring and in so doing allowing healing to float into the hurt spaces.

For me, grief will never be my friend. I regard it as a business associate that I don’t particularly like but have to find ways to work with. I have and am. You will too.

Maureen Hunter 2011

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Maureen Hunter

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In 2006, Maureen Hunter was working in a small country town in Western Australia. It was a day like any other. That night her 18-year-old son was critically injured in a car accident, dying five days later in hospital. That experience was to change her life forever. Working for many years as a Registered Nurse in acute care settings and palliative care, as well as losing both her parents to cancer, Maureen believed she understood what grief was. That was until she lost her youngest son. Reeling from that sudden and devastating loss, she spent a month away to process her grief and allow herself some healing time. During long periods of contemplation and reflection, it became very clear to her then that she would use her own experience of grief to help others. Maureen is now committed to doing just that through her website, www.esdeer.com. She provides comfort, hope and inspiration through her writings and Stepping through Grief resources and programs. She writes regularly on grief, healing, resilience and spirituality and is the creator of “Stepping through Grief: the 7 Steps Pathway,” a step-by-step process which helps individuals step through grief to find meaning in their lives once more. Recently interviewed on blog talk radio, Maureen shares her experiences of grief openly with others and is passionate about using her own experience to make a difference to those struggling with the loss of a loved one. She is a regular contributor to The Compassionate Friends local newsletter as well as being a phone contact in her local area for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Living in the beautiful southwest wine region of Western Australia with her partner, Maureen enjoys the magic of sandy white beaches, ocean waves and a glass of chilled white wine. She says, “In nature, my soul is stilled and I find in times of contemplation my creativity emerges. If what I write and share with others, helps them in any way, then that is what matters most to me, that is what inspires and motivates me. As I enjoy the inherent beauty of this part of the world, I know that Stuart is there with me, by my side, guiding and supporting.” If grief has touched your life, or someone you know, please accept this FREE inspirational guide with my love: “Opening the Door to Hope….Helping you Step through Grief" at www.esdeer.com/hope For more information about Maureen’s Stepping through Grief resources and programs, visit www.esdeer.com

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  • Renee Beisswanger says:

    nice brief article on grief triggers or STUGS-I love Therese Rando -and I loved the analogy of grief as a business associate that you don’t particularly like but have to work with