Loneliness, the pain of feeling nothing, and validating bereaved fathers’ grief

Feeling so much, feeling nothing, and understanding social location…we keep finding so many great resources online exploring aspects of grief experience. Here are a few we’ve loved…

The health risks of loneliness

We all know that loneliness is psychologically painful, and the grief research shows that social isolation is the biggest risk factor for poor mental health outcomes after loss. We’ve always emphasized the importance of relationship in our training of Creative Grief Support Practitioners, so we found this article about the links between loneliness and health very interesting: “Now researchers are trying to understand exactly how loneliness causes disease at the cellular level. And they’re finding that loneliness is far more than a psychological pain — it’s a biological wound that wreaks havoc on our cells.”


The pain of feeling nothing

“It’s hard to understand how the absence of feeling could actually equal extreme pain and distress, but it does.” We think it’s so important for grief support practitioners to expand their imaginations for the different experiences people might have after loss, and to be able to help their clients to articulate the emotions and thoughts that are less commonly noticed and validated in society. We loved this discussion – and cute cartoon drawings – of one person’s experiences of the pain of feeling nothing or numb.


Validating bereaved fathers’ grief

We’re always inviting our students to consider their own and their clients’ social locations, and how that might be shaping their grief experience – and what we do or don’t see about their grief experience. So it’s great to see more articles these days, floating around social media, acknowledging and sharing the experiences of bereaved fathers. While we know that patriarchy means that women are often left out of experiences, opportunities, and power, patriarchy also steals important things from men, by limiting their roles and forms of expression in accordance with ideas of what it means to be “masculine.” Many bereaved fathers report that everyone focuses on the bereaved mother and they’re left feeling a “double whammy” of exclusion from parenting in general, and from access to grief expression.



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