What defines someone who is not coping with grief?

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BettyNoir | 21:14 Thu 27th Jan 2011 | Body & Soul
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I lost my mum 7 1/2 years ago. Obviously when she died I was heartbroken, but I'm convinced I have successfully moved past my grief and when I think of her now it's with a smile not tears. Last week I was asked to re-live the day my mum died in detail, and talking about it brought tears to my eyes because it's not a pleasant memory to recall my mum suffering like that. Because I cried the official verdict it I'm not over my loss. Apparently 7 1/2 years is plenty of time to come to terms with the death of a loved one and you shouldn't be crying about it. I would have thought not getting upset at all when re-living something traumatic would throw up more of a red flag? I've been told I need bereavement counselling, and yet I honestly feel like I wouldn't benefit from it. I can't really see what I would get out of it to be honest.

I wondered what everyone else thinks? Is it so unusual to get upset over a painful memory after 7 years? Has anyone been bereaved for longer than that and still finds they get upset?




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what rubbish! my dad died when I was 5, 40 years ago.. I'm still capable of shedding tears.
Sounds like rubbish to me - i lost my mother last year and I feel that I probably haven't grieved enough. Everyone is different, the circumstances are different. If you want/need to cry, then I think you should.
Load of bull....My Aunty died in an accident in 1996...I still cry if Steve Winwood comes on the radio...
Oh...and it's my Dads 3rd anniversary next month. I can't imagine ever not crying for him....not just on his anniversary either...
who made you relive the day?
Bedknobs has pre empted my question, who on earth asked you to do this??
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Bedknobs - It was a social worker. We're applying to become foster carers.

I understand they have to be cautious about who can look after someone else's child. But the rest of the conversation went really well.I talked about my mum in a really positive way, and the only time I got upset was when she asked me to tell her all about how my mum died. She actually said to me at the time that I seemed to have coped really well with the death of my mum and she could see a lot of positives to placing a child with us because I would understand the traumas that a bereaved child had been through. When she came to see us today she says we can't proceed unless I see a counsellor. My understanding of counselling is that it's there for when someone is so overwhelmed that they can't cope with the day to day business of living, or they really need someone to talk to. Because my mum died so long ago I feel very much like I have dealt with my grief and while I will always miss her, I'm not struggling to get through the days or crying all the time. She is literally basing this on the fact that I cried while telling her how my mum died. Which, to go back to my inital post, is normal, surely?
well we're all intelligent women, and it doesn't seem right. print off these responses and put it under her nose, and try to deal with someone else if you can.

surely they don't want someone who can't show emotion.
Yes it is go see the counsellor who will probably see that you don't need counselling.
it it absolutely normal. But perhaps it is not normal for social workers? Perhaps they feel social workers have to have slightly harder hearts than other people so they can retain some objectivity? I am just guessing.
sorry, slightly misread your post, I meant that social workers may take a stricter line than others. But I can't see why foster carers should have to do so, unless they feel you might not be able to cope when a child was returned to its own family?
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This is it - and I told the social worker this evenning. I will go and see my GP tomorrow and explain the situaution. She will probably reel off the symptoms of depression and ask if I identify with any of them, The answer will be no, as I'm not suffering from depression. I know the symptoms and I'm not depressed. I'm just a woman who was unfortunate enough to lose her mother 7 years ago. She will probably say the waiting list for counselling on the NHS is rediculously long and I don't need counselling. I really can't see why she would refer me on for it when I evidently don't need it. I just don't really know what I'm supposed to say to the fostering agency to convince them I'm perfectly fine. I mean, I've been judged not ready by a woman who's only met me once for an hour and a half!
Well it seems odd to me to push you to relive it so thoroughly, as we have all said we would all react in a similar fashion if we put ourselves back to that traumatic time.

However now the deed is done, see the counsellor and explain how you come to be there and how you are coping with the loss you had over 7 years ago, sadly if you rail against the obstacles in your way your fostering may be held up.

I know people who have been put off by some of this.

Good luck, hope all goes well.
So she recommends counselling and you have to arrange it?/ Sewe your GP and ask if they will put their findings in writing for you then.
When it comes to bereavement there is no "normal" - but given the situation it is not unreasonable for you to have cried when recounting what was a traumatic time in your life.

I hope that you get on okay when you visit the doctor. And I really hope that this does not stall the adoption process in any way.
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Jno - what she said to me this evening was that a lot of the kids who get placed are struggling with feelings of loss because they have been plucked away from their birth family, or they have actually lost their parents. As a carer you need to be strong and supportive and help the child with their pain. She isn't convinced that I'm over the loss of my mum enough to be there for a child who has lost someone, as i said, based on the fact that I cried when re-living in great detail the death of my mother. I talked about my mum, what a lovely person she was and how she had died without getting upset at all right up to that point and after I had told her about how my mother had died we talked about what coping mechanisms I used to deal with my loss and she said I seemed to have coped really well. She seems to have done a complete about turn and I don't really understand why if I'm honest.
Betty it sounds to me that you would have the necessary skills to help a child in that situation, is there not another more senior worker to consult?
I totally agree with everyone else on here who have said that it is entirely normal and natural to shed tears and feel sad when recalling the death, in detail, of your Mum. Who wouldn't shed tears doing that ?
However, you have run up against a Social Worker, or a Supervisor of a Social Worker , who is just plain caught up in their own little world of 'working things through' (And probably one who has not suffered a major bereavement like losing a Mum). As they have the upper hand in that they can say yea or nay to your being allowed to foster I think you should follow ummm's advice and go to see a counsellor, who will say that you do not need counselling. Sometimes you just have to jump through the hoops.
Please try not to upset yourself further about this. Treat it like taking an exam in school. The Social Worker who dealt with you sounds to have the sensitivity of a custard cream.
I also agree with you that relating a sad memory totally dry-eyed , no matter how long in the past, would be a pretty good indication to me of someone I would not want to look after a child.
Do not let this idiot grind you down. Good Luck!
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she says I can speak to her manager, who I believe is the bloke that runs the agency, he's not a social worker, but his wife is. She's the woman who gets all the references in and does the CRB checks nowadays. He agrees that I should go for the counselling as well, based on her recommendations. They will keep our application open for 6 months while I go for counselling. That is, assuming my GP will be willing to send me for counselling I don't need.
If organising the counselling is up to you, you could try CRUSE. They are a very reputable charity who deal specifically with bereavement .

I'm sure they will stamp your forehead with 'OK' or 'cured' or 'counselled successfully' or whatever the Social Worker will accept.

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