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This is one of a series of articles supporting
Lesson 3 in the Break the Cycle! self-improvement course. This
lesson aims to educate readers to healthy grieving basics so
they can spot and complete unfinished mourning of major
Typical survivors of childhood trauma (Grown Wounded
Children - GWCs) never learned these basics, and risk
psychological, physical, and relationship problems from
This Lesson requires
major progress on
- reducing psychological wounds.
Lesson 3 exists because my clinical research and experience since 1979
with almost 1,000 typical adults and some of their kids suggests that
percentage of troubled people and families suffer from incomplete grief -
and they don't (want to) know it or what it means.
this apply to you and your family?
This article assumes you're familiar with...
All families (like yours) need
healthy-grieving knowledge and
(adult beliefs, values, and rules). Members of typical
are at special risk of incomplete grief because of their psychological
and major complex
A value is a personal or group opinion about something's nature or
worth. A vital part of any person-al and family grieving policy is the key values
that adults hold about bonds, losses, and healthy mour-ning. Most of us adopt
and live from the grief
(and other) values we saw our childhood caregivers and hero/ines model without much
Our American culture has generally discounted the importance of - and
for - healthy grief, so most people are only vaguely aware of their grieving
values. Their semiconscious
values powerfully affect whether family adults and kids have the inner and
to grieve well that they urgently need.
This worksheet offers an effective way to identify and assess your
grieving values and where you got them, so you can make conscious choices
about the values and discuss them with key people. Have you ever tried
to define your "good grief" values before? Do you know if they're healthy
or not? What are the young people in your life learning about losses and "good grief"?
Your Values About Grieving, and Where You Got Them
Use this worksheet
Your key beliefs about feeling and expressing
the emotions that follow major losses (broken emotional/spiritual
these beliefs are yours (authentic) or someone else's (adopted).
It's important that
your values and beliefs about mourning be yours, rather than - say - your
mate's, your parents' or ancestors, or your religion's.
Change these questions and/or
add some to fit your situation. Invite important others to answer them too, and
share the results non-competitively. Pick a quiet place, and give yourself undistracted
time to reflect on each item.
Note your thoughts and feelings as you proceed, and whether
not, try to
or risk distorted responses to this worksheet.
right or wrong answers here - just helpful self-awareness and insights...
+ + +
Key: Circle the symbol that fits your main current belief best:
T = "True - I agree," F = "False - I disagree,"
= "I'm not sure," and D = "it depends" (on what or who?).
As I start, I'm
1) I define "grieving"
2) I believe healthy grieving is a learned skill . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . ( T F ? D )
3) I usually mourn my losses thoroughly and healthily now . . . . . . . . . .
. . ( T F ? D )
4) The main time people need to grieve is when a loved one has
died . . . .
. ( T F ? D )
5) Three people who's actions most influenced my childhood beliefs about
and expressing strong emotions are: ________________, ________________, and __________________.
6) I can cry
when appropriate, without major guilt, anxiety, or shame .
. . . . ( T F ? D )
7) I learned early that
females should handle grief by
8) If I get
angry, key people around me...
9) The important people in my life are each
supportive and encouraging if I need to cry in front of
them ( T F ? D )
10) When the woman who parented me felt deep
11) In the home/s I grew up in, it was always OK for
everybody to feel
and express irritation,
anger, and rage ( T F ? D )
12) This has affected my ability to feel
anger now by:
13) Some things or feelings I associate with
14) When I got very
sad as a child, I
When I get
sad now, I
15) Grieving ends when
16) I now have at least one person in my life with whom I can
share my deepest feelings: ( T F
? D ). If "true" - who? _______________________________
17) When the man who parented me felt deep
sadness, he ...
18) I'm usually comfortable enough to honestly show my
intense anger to the key young people in my life these days ( T F ? D )
19) My normal reaction to a major personal
(broken bond) is...
20) My [mate / mother / father / child(ren) / ex] and I usually share all our
important thoughts and feelings promptly about our key
( T F ? D)
21) It's totally safe for me to really let my
anger out now with my household and family members: I steadily feel sure no one will get
(too) hurt, or blame or reject me. (T F ? D )
22) When the woman who raised me felt intense
23) As far as my (partner's / ex's) ability to mourn well,
24) When I got very
angry as a child,
25) I get really
someone always represses intense feelings,
27) The most impactful
abstract losses in my life have been: ...
28) My closest friends and family know
each of these
losses now, and what they have meant to me. ( T F ? D )
29) The loss that's most painful for me to recall is...
30) What I learned about grieving from watching my key relatives is...
31) I usually guard against great
32) When someone near me gets really
33) I'm usually empathic, encouraging, patient, and
supportive with all important
people in my life who
need to grieve major losses. ( T F ? D )
34) When the man who raised me felt
anger or rage,
What I do is...
35) I can clearly name the major abstract and tangible
losses each of the children
in my life have
experienced. ( T F ? D )
36) Images or feelings I associate with
37) The main message I got about mourning from the
culture I grew up in was:
38) The "policy" about grieving in my
current family is...
39) When loved ones feel deep
40) I learned early that males should cope with major losses by...
41) People in my life who have had the hardest time mourning are...
42) If I'm blocked on grieving a major loss now, it is...
43) If I let myself feel my full
44) When it comes to saying final goodbyes, I...
45) The way to tell if a person is
if theyre grieving is...
46) When I try to understand and accept major losses, my faith
in a loving
47) I mourn my losses completely and healthily over time. ( T
F ? D )
48) I was undistracted, honest, and thorough in doing this worksheet.
( T F ? D )
49) I'd be "better" at mourning i...
50) A new awareness I have is...
51) I want to share what I've discovered here with...
in order to
52) Something else I want to do now is...
Right now, I'm aware
Thoughts / needs / goals...
see how you do on this quiz
about healthy-mourning basics,
review these Q & A items
about "good grief,"
study and discuss
Lesson 3 here
research summary about "complicated"
grief. Could it pertain to someone you know?
+ + +
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get
what you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not - what
you need? Is there anyone you want to discuss these ideas with? Who's
answering these questions - your wise resident
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