Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dancing with the Grieving Stars?

Last night, my wife and I watched "Dancing with the Stars" and I was struck by the number of times grief came up in the show.  The theme of the night was "Your most memorable year," so many remembered highlights of great years.  Some however remembered loss.  Doug Flute, a former NFL quarterback remembered the loss of his parents.  His situation was quite different in that his father died and while kissing him goodbye, his mother passed away. This all happened within an hour.  See more here:  http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25380287/ex-nfl-qb-doug-flutie-loses-both-parents-on-same-day-an-hour-apart.

Doug made a very valuable statement during the show.  He said something to the effect that he had the chance to tell his father how much he meant to him shortly before he died, but he didn't have that chance with his mother.  This all happened in November of last year and you could visibly see his demeanor change during the discussion of his mother.  Obviously Doug had unfinished business with his mother.  He wished he could deliver some communication of love and appreciation to her, but he did not have the chance.

Jodie Sweetin, a beloved child star from Full House and now Fuller House, talked about her loss and grief when the original Full House show ended.  She said she did not "know how to grieve" about this loss.  She was five year old when it started and an early teen when it ended.  She did not know anything but working with this family and suddenly it was all lost.  Jodie turned to various short term energy relieving behaviors like drugs and alcohol.  She spent many years in that place until she looked for and found help five years ago.

Paige VanZandt stated that she was bullied in school and had trouble fitting in.  She didn't say it exactly, but she was hurting from the abuse of other children.  In not knowing how to deal with it, she turned to fighting.  She is now a championship contending UFC fighter.  She funnelled all of the anger she kept inside into fighting in the ring, unleashing the inner hurt on her opponents.

What is most interesting to me is that all three of these public figures struggle with grief just the way we do.  They seek comfort from the grief in sometimes healthy and sometimes unhealthy ways.  They are victims of no knowledge of how to grieve in a healthy way or how to complete the relationships. They do not know how to deal with lost hopes, dreams and expectations associated to their losses.  They have messages they want to be delivered that were not.  They explore how they could have done things differently, better, or more.

I wanted to reach out to these three stars and introduce the Grief Recovery Method to them from the Grief Recovery Institute.  Both Jodie and Paige's parents could have learned much from "How Children Grieve" and all three could benefit now from the "Grief Recovery Method."

I am so happy to be able to help people through this program as a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist.  Paige, Jodie, and Doug, please give me a call so we can set up an appointment.

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