TV shows like Hoarders, Bar Rescue, and The Biggest Loser, often show a connection between major grief events and the subsequent misfortunes the folks featured on these shows suffer from.
Solutions are good, but if they are short-term rather than long-term, what happens to those folks after the initial glitz and glare of the TV show wears off. For example, on The Biggest Loser, we know they get a crash course in caloric intake and exercise and energy output, but do they get in-depth help for the probability that most of them ate to cover-up feelings about the loss events that are still unfinished emotionally for them? Do they know that they’re likely to put most or all of the lost weight back on because the underlying grief has not been dealt with?
We rarely hear of any follow-up to see if those folks, who were fortunate enough to be featured in the shows, have been able to sustain their new lives. If I had to guess, I’d say “not so much.” Unresolved grief is cumulative and cumulatively negative, and time can’t heal emotional wounds; and current success doesn’t repair the emotions attached to past losses.
Maybe we’re different from other people, but when we talk to someone whose life has descended into the pits, our first question is, “What grief event precipitated this decline?” When asked that question, most people will back their story up and tell us the truth, “It all began after my father died,” or, “Within weeks of our decision to divorce.”
At that point, the grieving person naturally begins to connect the dots and realizes that it may well be their grief that has caused the rest of their life to go into a tailspin. If they’re fortunate enough to identify their unresolved grief as the underlying problem, they can focus on finding an appropriate method to help them deal with the events and circumstances that have broken their hearts.
I now realize that, “When your heart is broken, your head doesn’t work right: and when your heart is broken, your spirit cannot soar.”
Ah, if only I’d known then what I know now.
Portion of an article written by Russell Friedman, Grief Recovery Method