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MEN, FATHERS, FAMILIES AND LOSSES: SPIRITUALITY AND GRIEVING TED BOWMAN FAMILY AND GRIEF EDUCATOR.

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Presentation on theme: "MEN, FATHERS, FAMILIES AND LOSSES: SPIRITUALITY AND GRIEVING TED BOWMAN FAMILY AND GRIEF EDUCATOR."— Presentation transcript:

1 MEN, FATHERS, FAMILIES AND LOSSES: SPIRITUALITY AND GRIEVING TED BOWMAN FAMILY AND GRIEF EDUCATOR

2 ASSERTION: We are influenced and shaped by a number of factors including : 1)The decade in which we were born 2)The place and culture of our birth 3)The values and practices of adults of influence 4)Family systems 5)Race, ethnicity, gender, age of parents 6)Socio-economic realities

3 The Things We’ve Handed Down Will you laugh just like you mother Will you sigh like your old man Will some things skip a generation Like I’ve heard they often can Are you a poet or a dancer A devil or a clown Or a strange new combination of The things we’ve handed down Marc Cohn

4 ANOTHER ASSERTION! We are also influenced and shaped by: the ways losses were perceived and addressed The test of a family's mettle is the way they handle conflict and grief Virginia Satir

5 EXPECTATIONS When expectations about the course of life are not met, people experience inner chaos and disruption. Such disruptions represent a loss of the future. Restoring order to life necessitates reworking understandings of the self and the world, redefining the disruption and life itself. Gay Becker

6 WHAT ONE SEEMS Sometime since then and there The dreams, Planted as perennials, Turned out to be annuals instead. Sometime between there and then and here and now The rules changed While play continued. The man I am Chose not to be the man I had envisioned. The game goes on.

7 Essentially, the only instrument we bring to the helping process is ourselves. Hence, the more self aware we are the more present we can be in the helping exchange. Paraphrased from comments by Virginia Satir

8 What Is One Practice / Value / Way Of Responding to Losses That You Were Exposed To As A Child That You Have Let Go Of? What Is One Practice / Value / Way Of Responding to Losses That You Have Chosen To Continue? What Is A New Perspective / Value That You Are Now Practicing?

9 FAMILY SYSTEMS: RESEARCH AND THEORY BASIC PRINCIPLES THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS EVERY PART OF A SYSTEM AFFECTS AND IS AFFECTED BY EVERY OTHER PART OF THE SYSTEM INTERDEPENDENCE / INTERRELATED

10 STILL MORE FAMILY SYSTEMS CAN AND WILL INCLUDE FAMILY HISTORIES, PERCEPTIONS, BELIEFS, AND YEARNINGS; SPOKEN AND UNSPOKEN MESSAGES, LONG PASSED EVENTS; AND BOTH THE DEAD AND THE LIVING.

11 TRANSFERENCE THE RELIVING OF PAST INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN CURRENT SITUATIONS A tool that allows one to bring material from the past into conscious awareness A way to work through issues so that they are not repeated in destructive ways

12 UNBUCKLING HIS BELT At night, with my wife sitting on the bed, I turn from her to unbuckle my belt so she won't see her father unbuckling his belt. Martin Espada

13 If I Am Not Modeling What I Am Teaching I Am Teaching Something Else Univ. of Missouri – St. Louis: School of Education Never Separate the Life You Live From the Words You Speak Paul Wellstone

14 L O S S REFERS TO BEING DEPRIVED OF OR CEASING TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT ONE FORMERLY POSSESSED OR TO WHICH ONE WAS ATTACHED GRIEF IS A WHOLE BODY RESPONSE TO LOSS: EMOTIONAL COGNITIVE SPIRITUAL VISCERAL

15 CATEGORIES OF LOSS MATERIAL LOSSES RELATIONSHIP LOSSES HEALTH LOSSES ROLE OR FUNCTIONAL LOSSES SYSTEMS LOSSES LOSS OF DREAMS

16 DIFFERENTIAL GRIEVING INTUITIVE GRIEVING (intensity of affect over cognition) INSTRUMENTAL GRIEVING (focus on cognition/moderated affect) BLENDED GRIEVING (a combination of the above) Martin and Doka

17 INTUITIVE PATTERN FEELINGS INTENSELY EXPERIENCED EXPRESSIONS MIRROW INNER EXPERIENCES (TEARS, CRYING) CONFUSION, DISORGANIZATION, DISORIENTATION CAN RESULT PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION AND/OR ANXIETY MAY RESULT

18 INSTRUMENTAL PATTERN THINKING IS PREDOMINANT, FEELINGS LESS INTENSE GENERAL RELUCTANCE TO TALK ABOUT FEELINGS MASTERY IS IMPORTANT PROBLEM-SOLVING AS STRATEGY IS STRONG PERIOD OF COGNITIVE CONFUSION CAN RESULT ENERGY LEVEL CAN BE ENHANCED

19 SHATTERED DREAMS LOSING AN EMOTIONALLY IMPORTANT IMAGE OF ONESELF, ONE'S FAMILY, ONE'S LIFE, ONE’S WORK, EVEN ONE’S DEATH LOSING THE POSSIBILITIES OF "WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN" ABANDONMENT OF PLANS FOR A PARTICULAR FUTURE THE DYING OF A DREAM

20 Loss Of Dreams Could Be Loss Of A Core Picture Of Who We Are No Longer Able To Be A Man/Father In The Way We Presume As Right Or No Longer SECURE COMPETENT CONFIDENT COURAGEOUS ABLE HELD IN ESTEEM POWERFUL

21 INQUIRIES ABOUT SHATTERED DREAMS When you pictured this time in your life, what did you picture? When you thought about being a father, what did you picture? If and when you thought of losses in your family, how did you think it would be, how would it happen? What was your early picture of handling loss well?

22 Wounded Healer Fathers One of men's greatest resources for change is our wound and our longing for the missing father. We can heal ourselves by becoming the fathers we wanted but did not have. Create out of the void, out of the absence. Our best map for parenting is outlined like a photographic negative in the shadow side of our grief. Get in touch with your disappointment, your rage, your grief, your loneliness for the father, the intimate touching family you did not have, and you will find a blueprint for parenting. Become the father you longed for. We heal ourselves by learning to give to our children what we did not receive. Sam Keen

23 STORYING AND RESTORYING INVOLVES GRIEVING THE OLD STORY BEFORE CREATING THE NEXT (NOT NECESSARILY NEW) STORY ---- LISTEN FOR MAJOR COMPONENTS/THEMES/VALUES OF THE OLD STORY HOW CAN THEY BE REFRAMED IN THE NEXT STORY

24 FORMS OF SOCIAL SUPPORT Emotional Informational Tangible / Instrumental Spiritual Esteem Linkage To Community And Community Resources

25 CHILDREN WILL LISTEN Careful the things you say, Children will listen. Careful the things you do, Children will see. And learn. Children may not obey, But children will listen. Children will look to you For which way to turn, To learn what to be. Careful before you say, "Listen to me." Children will listen From Into the Woods by Sondheim and Lapine

26 MYTHS ABOUT CHILDREN AND LOSS Children Do Not Grieve Death Is The Major Or Only Loss For Children Children Should Be Shielded From Loss Children Get Over Loss Quickly Children Are Scarred By Loss Talking With Children Is The Most Effective Method Helping Children Is The Family’s Responsibility

27 FIVE CHALLENGES FOR GRIEVING CHILDREN Feeling safe in their world Understanding the condition/disease/death Grieving / mourning losses Staying connected to family and friends Resuming / continuing children

28 SHATTERED DREAMS AND CHILDREN Futurelessness, terminal thinking The loss of innocence The loss of basic trust in self The loss of trust in adults Cynicism, depression, chronic anger Loss of the dream that family relationships could withstand any challenge The loss of “voice” Faith in institutions

29 ASK CHILDREN TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED... WHAT ARE YOUR STILL WORRIED ABOUT? WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? HOW CAN I BE HELPFUL TO YOU?

30 A Child Is Rarely Seeking - And Nearly Never Satisfied - With A Purely Rational Response To A Question. In Asking A Question A Child Shows Her Trust In Us And A Conviction That, Even Though Things Go Wrong, The Universe Makes Sense. JEAN GRASSO FITZPATRICK

31 Advice To Men With Living Fathers Say what you have to say before it is too late Resolve old issues and unfinished business Show him love and understanding; try to resolve misunderstandings Avoid holding back Make peace before he dies Neil Chethik

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33 PROMPTS FOR ETHICAL WILLS What have your learned from your experiences of loss that you would not have otherwise learned? What would you describe as an “anchor” that has kept you headed in the direction that your values and/or faith point? What words of advice would you have about care for others facing a challenging loss?

34 RECOVERY FACTORS ACCEPTED WHAT THEY COULD NOT CHANGE, CHANGED WHAT THEY COULD MANAGEABLE PIECES/STEPS REALIZED: BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE USED CREATIVITY HEALED THEMSELVES BY HELPING OTHERS DID NOT ALLOW BITTERNESS TO CONSUME / DEFINE THEM HOPEFUL VISIONS OF FUTURE DREW ON SPIRITUAL RESOURCES

35 ACTION STEPS BE A CHANGE AGENT(proactive not just reactive) BE AWARE OF YOUR ATTITUDE BE TOLERANT OF MISTAKES, YOURS AND OTHERS, INCLUDING MANAGEMENT KEEP A BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE: JOB, INTERESTS, FAMILY, VOLUNTEERISM ALLOW FOR STRESS AND DISCOMFORT MANAGE YOUR STRESS; BE ATTENTIVE TO OTHERS PACE YOURSELF MAINTAIN STABILITY

36 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT TED BOWMAN


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