Decision making and grief

I am not sure who gave the commonly accepted advice that after a major crisis in one’s life, major decision making should be deferred to after 6 months. We have all seen the results of a failed/broken/terminated  relationship and ‘on the rebound’ the person walks straight into another one, only for it to to terminate some months later. When we walked into the house, 1 month after Mike died I wanted to move. Today I would struggle to move and leave the memories. Let time take its course and my emotions to get an even keel. Someone said the other day that its better to wait 1 year before making a major decision and I would tent to agree with them from my experience thus far. 

The following is Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ model of grief stages, with comments on our ability to make decisions during each stage. 

  • Stage 1: Shock and denial. It is common for people to avoid making decisions or taking action at this point.
  • Stage 2: Anger. Making decisions at this point is difficult because all one’s energy gets put into the emotion rather than problem solving.
  • Stage 3: Depression and detachment. Because it’s hard to make decisions at this stage, consider asking a family member, friend, or professional for help if important decisions need to be made.
  • Stage 4: Dialogue and bargaining. People become more willing to explore alternatives after expressing their feelings.
  • Stage 5: Acceptance. Decisions are much easier to make because people have found new purpose and meaning as they have begun to accept the loss.

Whilst I agree there are some sound principles, time lines, context, personalities etc bring a dynamic that effect each situation in a unique way. Today we are close to 9 months on from Mike leaving us and I am still not in a position to make some major decision. What is becoming clearer is that time is a wonderful gift of God. If we are willing to trust God, to accept that nothing comes into our lives without His permission, if we have absolutely surrendered our lives to Him, if we are seeking Him on a daily basis, then in His time, he will reveal to us next steps. In my case right now I am beginning to realise that at this juncture in our family life, there is not a sign post, its more a slowly unveiling of the picture. Change if unnecessary should be avoided. Stability in every area will help the healing process. The danger I have seen is to ‘run’, to move to a new situation and not have the loss in your face. But with time, you make friends with the pain and loss. You make friends with his room, his music, the sofa he sat on, his bike, his guitars, the road he walked down every day, the chair he sat in at church.

So being a dosser, I think procrastination and avoiding decisions that will lead to work, are all good health warnings to me right now!

One Response to Decision making and grief

  1. Laurie Ruwe says:

    Isn’t sussing through this enough work right now?

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