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Background Preparation For Grieving

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Since grieving is inevitable--whether from mental, spiritual, and/or physical traumas--much background preparation for it is needed. My preparation starts with classifying the Grieving Process into Mild, Slight, Moderate, and Extreme degrees, as measured by the height of my Feeling or Emotional intensity to the Trigger Core. Since that height is determined by what I bring to the Trigger Core and by how I react to the circumstance, my Grieving Process is unique. MILD Grieving might be something like my favorite team losing. If a "token" Black manager of a professional team fails to win a big (e.g. championship) game, a historical pattern is for the White media to pick apart his decisions; say how bad they were; and convey some demeaning stereotype which dampens enthusiasm for hiring other possible Black managers. What I bring to this Trigger Core is repeatedly hearing Black People telling me as a boy: "you must succeed for your race" (meaning Black People everywhere). SLIGHT Grieving may be from no longer being able to eat the foods I like for health reasons. MODERATE Grieving is a personal devastation from a permanent loss of something very significant. An example occurred when someone deliberately destroyed unpublished portions of my life's work. EXTREME Grieving, characterized by bottomless anguish and Spiritual Pain, includes the loss of a cherished loved one.

As a boy, background preparation came from a philosophy of life based on Unconditional Love. Thus, when faced with future mental traumas all decisions and solutions were framed in Love. Also emerging was a Purpose for being alive--to be a physician and, in retirement, to help struggling youth--and not allowing my Purpose to be aborted by any loss, lack, or obstacle. This boyhood attitude eventually served to prevent my ever entering into chronic Extreme Grieving. Such a Purpose has always motivated me to eagerly arise in the morning so as to get to work--and it has the same effect in urging me to get out of the Grieving Process. Second, even though people in my boyhood days tended to keep their word, I decided to be self-reliant and not wait for any promised help. This has carried over into not depending upon others to help me end my grieving. Third, my strong sense of personal responsibility to maintain stability in personal and public life meant routinely having "alternatives" which, while going through an obstacle course, would keep me from missing a step. Fourth was to make my own decisions because when mistakes were made I knew where to self-correct. Needless to say, each of these required mental discipline, self-control, and persistence--tough fundamentals needed for handling any Grieving Process.

Patterns developing out of these "seed" character traits were many. One important development was to compartmentalize the assortment of problems with which I was faced and then prioritize each compartment. Then to deal with each problem one at a time, starting with the most important, required perfecting the skill of focusing completely on a given detail. This turned out to be useful in shifting my attention away from grieving so as to "take a break." Another pattern was to possess efficient and effective habits related to "being right," "doing things right," "making things right," and taking precautions to avoid needless problems. For example, because I have mental lapses while grieving with all my heart, lessening the chance of trouble while driving a car comes from prior preparation. To explain, in addition to paying strict attention to the road I always keep as much distance as possible between me and the cars in front, behind, and on either side. This practice provides a cushion in case a mental lapse causes me to drift into the next lane. Still another habit is not to remember "bad stuff." Instead, I extract the lesson out of every bad experience for self-improvement; incorporate the lesson into my life; and dismiss the rest. Similar preparations are invaluable in helping me avoid complicating the Grieving Process.


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