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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Dave Benke on January 24, 2022, 03:46:04 PM

Title: Pastors and other Health Professionals Process of Grief
Post by: Dave Benke on January 24, 2022, 03:46:04 PM
I'm just going to cut and paste most of a post from Don E as a way to dialog about what the past several years have done to an already bumpy road that pastors and other health care professionals travel on the road to processing grief from the care given at the time of dying and death.  Here's Don:
I just came off of a week-long symposia at CTSFW.  First time I had been away from my parish for this long since the pandemic hit.  I almost cancelled but even my wife sensed that I needed to go.  The crush of the last two years was building up and showing through, at least to those closest to me.  I think I can sense some of what Pr. Loesch noted when he talked about "pastoral grief."  I buried an unprecedented number of parishoners in 2020; and dealt with death outside my church through chaplaincy work.  This year I have already laid to rest two dear saints.  I think some of it came to the surface as I went to the Divine Service at the symposia on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As I sat there I honestly wanted to cry. The stress of nearly two years flashed over me. Even as I write this I feel those emotions again just at the surface.  Not sure entirely what it is.  But I know that being ministered to was critical and I must continue to process where my mind and heart are at going forward.  I appreciate Pr. Loesch's willingness to share since I sense many of us out there feel many of the same emotions and dysfunctions and struggles.
I do not have all the answers; I hardly have any, other than I know my strength and healing is at the altar, with my Lord, being fed by His hand.  That much I know.

I'm not sure about one word in Don's post, and that's "dysfunctions."  Grief is not dysfunction.  It is the function that takes a human being through loss, whatever the loss may be, and especially when it's human life and most especially when it's the human life of someone close to you. 

Grief occurs, and reoccurs and in times of trial or death after death after death it also bears, in my experience, a cumulative weight on the heart/soul/spirit.  How are those on this forum processing or dealing with or ignoring grief in these days and times?  What are the symptoms that it's not being dealt with?

Dave Benke