Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values
Because the trajectory of our lives is affected by our relationship with our fathers it must be examined. When our relationship with our dad has left wounds and scars, our “father hunger” needs attention.
Try to be honest, do you feel a sense of loss when you think of your relationship with your father? If so, how do you cope with that loss?
Grief, Loss & Father Hunger
Susan Berger is a researcher studying the grief and loss of others:
– She interviewed hundreds of people
– She studied how they have been able to move on after the death of a loved one.
Berger — the author of The Five Ways We Grieve: Finding Your Personal Path to Healing after the Loss of a Loved One — found five “identity types” that people use to cope with the loss of a loved one.
THE FIVE IDENTITY TYPES
1. Nomads are characterized by a range of emotions, including denial, anger, and confusion about what to do with their lives. Nomads have not yet resolved their grief. They don’t often understand how their loss has affected their lives. The remaining four types have chosen their personal path to healing.
2. Memorialists are committed to preserving the memory of their loved ones by creating concrete memorials and rituals to honor them. These range from buildings, art, gardens, poems, and songs to foundations in their loved one’s name.
3. Normalizers place primary emphasis on their family, friends, and community. They are committed to creating or re-creating them because of their sense of having lost family, friends, and community, as well as the lifestyle that accompanies them, when their loved one died.
4. Activists create meaning from their loss by contributing to the quality of life of others through activities or careers that give them a purpose in life. Their main focus is on education and on helping other people who are dealing with the issues that caused their loved one’s death, such as violence, a terminal or sudden illness, or social problems.
5. Seekers look outward to the universe and ask existential questions about their relationship to others and the world. They tend to adopt religious, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs to create meaning in their lives and provide a sense of belonging that they either never had or lost when their loved one died.
Do you find your own story among one or more of those types?
Berger can relate to those who feel the pain of loss:
– She lost her father when she was just eleven years old.
– She lost her mother died when her mom was forty-nine.
Your father hunger does not need to be a fatal blow in your life.
Hope and some healing are near at hand.
The Five Ways We Grieve: Finding Your Personal Path to Healing after the Loss of a Loved One by Susan Berger