Welcome to part two of October 22nd's notes, it was a veritable feast of knowledge, hence it having to be split into two parts. Well I also wanted to separate this part from the more 'me' part of that lesson, as they each deserve their own space.
After the first part of the lesson, we then went back to the topic of grief and whizzed through some very interesting things. As always, these are just my notes, not actually in-depth posts about these things. I always try to add some extra info links and doodles, because this helps me remember the stuff that I need to look into more.
Rose, my Wednesday tutor, read out this poem about grief, stating that it was one that had just stuck with her from the time she first read it.
Grief Poem by Margot Sunderland:
And when you left.
I hung my lifeless life
Like a long unchosen garment
In the dark belly of some forgotten wardrobe,
and will you know?
Doodled interpretation of poem by me
Well the poem certainly stayed with me and inspired the above doodle.
How did it make you feel?
Do have you any poems about grief that resonate with you?
Next we dipped our toes into the world of brain chemistry and how it is affected by grief. A lot of this research has gone into how children are affected by grief, focusing on attachment and primary attachment theories.
'Attachment is a process made up of interactions between a child and his or her primary caregiver. This process begins at birth, helping the child develop intellectually, organize perceptions, think logically, develop a conscience, become self-reliant, develop coping mechanisms (for stress, frustration, fear, and worry), and form healthy and intimate relationships' (Allen, et al., 1983).
The primary caregiver is usually the mother, but could be the father, grandparents or even an unrelated adult.
I get a bit flummoxed when I have to think about the chemistry side of it, although it is fascinating. Let see if I can make some sense of it. Oxytocin is the chemical released in the brain that bonds you to your primary care giver, this then releases opioids that make you happy. So when a child loses their primary attachment, they can go into hormonal and separation distress.
Have you noticed when a child is attached to a blanket or toy, they stroke it and soothe themself? This action is meant to release the same opioids that are released when they are soothed by their primary attachments.
Losing a loved one is meant to be as painful and harrowing as coming off heroin, when talking about whats going on with you physically. I guess thats what they mean when they say that love is a drug?
Personal Journal entry for october 22nd.
It was such a relief to jump back into theory today, even though grief is such a difficult topic.
You cant help but be preoccupied with your own thoughts of lost loved ones.In fact it has made me realise how much I have avoided thinking about my grandparents and their deaths. If only I knew the stuff that I know now, but then again I am not sure it would of made a difference at that time. We also learnt a few exercises/interventions that were originally designed for children, but also work with adults. Margot Sutherland, who wrote the poem about grief, has written a lot of books for children and how to talk to them about grief. The books are very special and it has really made me think about going down the child counselling avenue.
Next lot of notes will be a bit more cheery.