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Loss, Grief, and Manliness

August 4, 2009

One of my favourite blogs is The Art of Manliness, a blog that posts on everything from how to mix a martini or trim your moustache to how to make men friends. Sometimes it is a bit tongue in cheek and sometimes it is good advice of the kind your (imaginary) father might give. Today I read a post on experiencing bereavement which definitely fits into the good advice category. Bear in mind also that Freud pointed out that depression is very similar to grief over a loss, he called it “pathological mourning”. Here is an excerpt from the post by Brian Burnham:

Tips for the Grieving Man

  • Experience your grief in your own way. As long as you are not harming yourself or others, there is no wrong way to grieve. Grief is a unique experience for every man and the way you grieve may not be what others expect or what you expected for yourself.
  • Permitting yourself to honestly experience grief is an important step towards healing.
  • Give yourself time to grieve. After the passing of a loved one, there are often many arrangements to be made and others mourners to be supported and cared for. While no man wants to shirk his duty, it is important to allow time for yourself to grieve as well.
  • Watch out for harmful behaviors. While experiencing anger is normal, it is important to manage that anger so that it doesn’t harm others. Also, grieving men are much more likely to develop problems with alcohol or other substances. Their use should be carefully monitored.
  • Call on your man friends. Other men, especially other men who have had a similar loss, can be some of your strongest sources of support.
  • Know when to seek help. For most grieving men, psychological counseling may be helpful but is not necessary. However, if you experience serious thoughts of suicide or self-harm or develop an alcohol or other drug problem, seek psychological care immediately.

via The Art of Manliness

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