Experts suggest ways to correct habits that keep us from resting well
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I was 15 years old when my much-loved father died of a hereditary kidney disease, at home. A day or two after he passed (before his burial) I crept into my mother's now-lonely bedroom, where she was napping. Dad was standing near her, with one elbow resting on a chest of drawers that still contained his clothes. He was an athlete, and his lean into the furniture was graceful and athletic, as he had always been.
He looked just fine, not all still and dead as he had been when the funeral people took him away a day or two before. I distinctly recall the "Ban-Lon" shirt he wore - a kind of machine knitted tee shirt. And I think his usual khaki weekend trousers. I started to rush toward him, wanting one last hug. He held up his hands as if to say, :You musn't touch me." I didn't really understand, but if those were the rules, I wasn't going to argue.
We didn't talk, really, It was more telepathic.
I wanted to wake Mother, as she had been devastated by his death, but he did not want me to wake her. He was very firm about that.
When I eventually woke her I had to tell her the wonderful news - Dad had visited, sent his love, and he is fine! She went into a raging fit and said "Don't you EVER try to spout such garbage at me again. I DON'T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT. I had felt loved and comforted. Mother felt only rage at my apparent lie. She took to drinking herself into a stupor every night thereafter for decades.
Research now shows psychotherapy can help certain bereaved people.
Time doesn't heal, it's what you DO with the time that does.
It's time to quit describing grieving as occurring in stages.
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