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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Resilience in Grief: A Journey of Publish-Traumatic Development 

*That is an article from the Spring 2024 difficulty of Contentment Journal.

By Richard Citrin, PhD, MBA 

When my spouse Sheila and I meet new individuals, the query is inevitably posed to us, “What number of youngsters do you could have?” We all the time cease and take a look at one another, silently asking ourselves, “Do we expect this particular person can deal with the reality, or ought to we simply give them the quick reply?” 

The reality is that we had three youngsters, however two of our grownup youngsters died inside 5 years. Once we inform those who reply, we usually discover that folk transfer on to speak with others or work to alter the dialog matter shortly. 

Our son, Ken, was 28 when he was identified with HIV-AIDS and concerned within the early trials for the medicine that may finally make AIDS a power illness, although that improvement got here too late for him. His loss of life, after residing with AIDS for 4 years, was torturous as we watched him waste away bodily whereas his spirit fought each second, hoping to hold on till a remedy got here throughout his doorstep. He died in our front room in Texas, surrounded by our household, with Sheila singing softly to him. 

5 years later, in that very same front room, our daughter, Corinne, who was 40 years previous referred to as us from Lincoln, Nebraska, in tears. Regardless of quite a few mammograms that had been all unfavorable, Corinne’s issues about her well being led to a blind biopsy that found a extremely aggressive type of breast most cancers. We instantly stopped what we had been doing to grow to be part of Crew Corinne, supporting her husband, three babies, and her neighborhood of pals in serving to her struggle this battle. Sheila stopped working and attended Corinne’s care when she started an experimental remedy program at MD Anderson Most cancers Middle in Houston. After a brave two-year wrestle that included a whole lot of individuals shifting to assist Corinne and her household, she handed in a hospice room with paper doves on her door and many pals and family members lining the hallway. 

Corinne was a deeply non secular girl, and I keep in mind the phrases she shared with me after I talked about that everybody was praying for her restoration. She instructed me “that each one prayers are answered, however typically the reply is not any.” 

Just a few months after Corinne died, my mom referred to as to inform me a couple of good friend of hers who misplaced a son to suicide. “She is beside herself,” my mom instructed me. Her good friend didn’t go away her residence, was in fixed tears, and developed suicidal ideas herself. My mom wished to assist her, however she was inconsolable. She urged me to do no matter we may to keep away from that taking place. Sheila and I had no intention of letting that occur to us. 

Intentionality guided our therapeutic journey. As psychological well being professionals, we acknowledge the impression of kid loss on marriages. Surprisingly, analysis by Compassionate Pals discovered that solely 16% of marriages finish in divorce after the loss of life of a kid, difficult frequent misconceptions.1 Nonetheless, we prioritized our grief, supporting one another and committing to development. 

Navigating the complexities of grief alongside my spouse, Sheila, I witnessed her exceptional journey of self-discovery by way of artwork, dance, and advocacy. Sheila was an expert dancer and bridged her work as a therapist to convey novel and inventive approaches to her work. On this subsequent section of her life, she developed an unwavering dedication to embracing grief as a catalyst for change in herself and her purchasers. She has impressed numerous people to reframe their views on loss and therapeutic. 

One of many pivotal moments in Sheila’s therapeutic journey was after we participated in a workshop in Australia with a gaggle of improvisational artists who’re a part of a worldwide neighborhood referred to as Interaction. Interaction makes use of improv artwork varieties for social good, private development, and neighborhood advocacy. We had been in Sydney to check with native Aussies and carry out on the College of Sydney. Corinne was in remedy and steady and inspired us to go to the session for our self-care. 

In a single specific workshop session, Sheila and I started to share our story with others. As we moved concerning the room, telling our story with tune, phrase, and motion, Sheila moved into the group’s heart. She described this second in her guide Warrior Mom.2  


I started to sing with my eyes closed, in a considerably timid however deep and indignant voice: “What GOOD, what GOOD, what GOOD can come from THIS?” My voice obtained stronger after I heard the instrumentalists following my rhythm.  


“What GOOD, what GOOD, what GOOD can come from THIS?” 

I caught sight of the dancers and realized that considered one of them was  

Richard, who was, after all, as involved about Corinne as I used to be. 


“What GOOD, what GOOD, what GOOD can come from THIS?” 

After which the tune started to alter, and a softening  

got here into my voice and complete physique. 

The tune grew to become a prayer, “GOOD CAN come from THIS.  

GOOD CAN come from THIS.” 


The prayer became a pledge and promise, “GOOD WILL COME FROM THIS. GOOD WILL COME FROM THIS.” 

 Within the aftermath, because the tune resonated all through my physique, I started to really feel, for the primary time, that it could. 


Corinne’s journey continued for 2 years after we returned from that journey.  

As an outflow of our grief, Sheila determined to study one more artwork type and commenced attending the Iowa Author’s Summer season Workshops. Immersed in a neighborhood of writers and storytellers, she discovered solace in writing, channeling her grief into phrases and tales that comforted her. By means of the workshops, Sheila found the therapeutic energy of storytelling, utilizing her personal experiences of loss to attach with others deeply and emotionally. She started to see the items that grief gives. 

Sheila’s dedication to grief advocacy considerably impacted her therapeutic journey. Decided to problem societal taboos surrounding grief and loss, she grew to become a vocal promoter for these navigating the complexities of grief. By means of public talking engagements, workshops, and neighborhood outreach efforts, Sheila shared her story of loss and resilience in her shows and two books. Warrior Mom2 and her newest guide, The Artwork of Grieving.3  

For me, the trail to post-traumatic development took form by way of skilled reinvention and a deep exploration of resilience. I first encountered resilience in my scientific work after I was requested, together with colleagues, to satisfy with American Airways employees after 9/11, after we lived within the Dallas/Fort Price space. Over a number of months of assembly with pilots, flight attendants, gate brokers, and ramp staff, I noticed how their resilience moved them from grief to motion as they noticed their position in honoring their colleagues, serving to their firm, and therapeutic our nation.  

My journey of therapeutic included looking for help by way of a research-based remedy program for sophisticated grief. Difficult grief is grief that lasts over a yr, and in my case, I typically discovered myself weeping after I talked about our loss, even three years later. Over 16 weeks, I engaged in therapeutic interventions aimed toward navigating the complexities of loss and discovering resilience within the face of adversity. By means of particular person remedy classes, group help, and experiential workout routines, I discovered to confront my grief head-on and discover that means amid ache.

I additionally immersed myself within the research of resilience and constructive psychology. Drawing upon analysis and insights from main consultants within the area, I found new methods for dealing with adversity and fostering private development within the face of trauma. From mindfulness practices to gratitude workout routines, I developed a mannequin of resilience that goes past “bouncing again” to seeing how, within the face of hardships, I may use my energy of anticipation and preparation to plan for the adversity. Moderately than simply bouncing again I may use adversity to study and develop—to bounce ahead. My work led to the publication of my guide, The Resilience Benefit (with Alan Weiss).4  

Sheila and I’ve solid a path by way of the trauma of our grief by counting on our resilience, thirst for studying, and cussed persistence. Maybe our nature or upbringing propelled us to create the intention to heal and to not linger within the ache that creates struggling. We nonetheless expertise the ache each day, however we don’t need to stay there. It’s okay simply to go to. As we proceed to embrace the journey of post-traumatic development, we’re reminded that inside each second of ache lies a risk that we honor Corinne and Ken’s reminiscence in every thing we do.  

Within the face of life’s most formidable challenges, resilience emerges as a secret development mechanism and a profound capability to thrive and evolve. There are numerous paths to development from trauma. Every particular person should uncover their path, however our organic crucial to develop or die commits us to decide on the trail in the direction of our freedom and, with it, post-traumatic development. 



  1. NFO Analysis on Behalf of The Compassionate Pals, Inc. A Survey of Bereaved Mother and father. 1999 
  2. Collins, SK. Warrior Mom. She Writes Press, Berkeley, CA, 2013 
  3. Collins, SK. The Artwork of Grieving. In Press, Earth Springs Press, Pittsburgh, PA 2024 
  4. Citrin, RS and Weiss, A. The Resilience Benefit. Enterprise Skilled Press, New York, 2016 

Eddie Elish
Eddie Elishhttps://gfbrides.com
Welcome to Gf Brides.com, where love stories are celebrated, cherished, and shared. Who Am I? My name is Eddie Elish, a devoted author with an unwavering passion for all things related to weddings. Over the years, I've become an authority in the wedding industry, and through my seminal work, gfbrides, I've helped countless couples navigate the exciting journey toward their big day with ease and joy. What I Do With a sharp eye for detail and an empathetic heart, I've positioned myself as a guide for lovebirds looking to commence their lifelong journey together. At Eddie Elish, my mission is singular: to provide couples with the knowledge, inspiration, and advice they need to create a truly memorable wedding experience. From the whimsy of selecting the perfect venue to the practicalities of guest list management, no query is too small, no challenge too great. My advice spans the gamut of wedding preparation — whether it's about current trends, etiquette, budgeting, or even personal styling, I bring a wealth of experience and a personal touch to the table. Why Choose Eddie Elish? Weddings are a symphony of orchestrated moments, and every couple deserves a maestro. That's where I come in. Experience: My years of experience in the wedding industry have honed my instincts and insights, enabling me to provide tailored advice that aligns with each couple's unique vision. Passionate Advice: I am not just an author; I am an enthusiast of love's unlimited potential. I believe in creating experiences that reflect the couple's personality and the love they share. Comprehensive Support: From the first steps of planning to the final moments of your special day, I am on hand to ensure every facet of your wedding is handled with grace and care. Accessibility: Based in the United States, I am easily reachable and committed to assisting couples nationwide, ensuring no question goes unanswered. At Eddie Elish, I seek to make the path to matrimony as blissful as the vows you exchange. With an open heart and an open ear, I am ready to guide, support, and inspire you as you embark on one of life's most beautiful adventures. Here's to the start of something extraordinary. Your dream wedding awaits, and together, we'll make it a reality. Let's bring your love story to life, Eddie Elish

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