Stepfamily Realities 29 & 30 - Grieving

        For personal and family health, all stepfamily members need to thoroughly mourn major personal losses from (a) prior divorce/s or adult death, and (b) stepfamily mergers. Previously-single, childless stepparents usually lose prized quiet, privacy, and home-control by choosing to join an absent-parent family with visiting or resident stepkids and "interfering" ex mates and kin.

       The natural human reflex to mourn broken bonds (losses) can be blocked by low-nurturance family and social environments. If a "loser" (one with losses) was taught as a child to fear, numb, or self-medicate painful emotions, s/he'll have trouble feeling and expressing the shock, rage, and sorrow or despair that inevitable adult life-losses evoke. Also, if a young or grown "loser" lives among people who discourage honest, full expression of these feelings ("You're such a wimp! Put on a happy face right now!"); fully accepting their losses and what they mean can be slowed or prevented.

       Premise: incomplete grief and/or an inability to bond promote addictions, ''depressions,'' divorce, and chronic psychological and physical conditions like obesity. Our speed, excitement, and pleasure-focused media discounts and distracts from healthy grieving because we consumers want that. This increases major personal, family, and societal stress and illness. self-improvement Lesson 3 focuses on building ''pro-grief'' families. Can you define your family's ''grief policy'' now?