After ‘what’ is the ‘why’ of survivors’ grief
In the dictionary, why infers a suggestion, “whether agreed upon or to make one.” It also refers to a “reason” something is said or done—the discussion of ‘what’ from the previous blog specifies the cause of a thing.
Regarding survivors’ grief, ‘what’ is a spouse's death, which leads to a long list that follows. What do I do? What is this guilt? What did I do or not do? Obviously, there are more ‘what’s,’ all based on the individuals’ circumstances. These become the elements of importance in journaling.
After that, the ‘what’ remain but changes to a variety of ‘why’s’ in a reactive manner. This reactive moment can last for a long time. The nerves are on edge, and the anger is a fresh wound on the tip of the tongue lashed out at anyone when it is prompted. I use the word ‘prompt’ since it is less aggressive or linked to the finality of the word ‘trigger’ or a ‘button’ to be pushed.
Why is it necessary to express emotional pain on paper? It uses the senses to absorb, assimilate and accept the anguish, despair, and anger relative to the loss. Once on paper, the immediate emotion is confronted and questioned as to why it is felt—again providing a reason for journaling. Is it cathartic to journal? Absolutely. But the underlying purpose is to use the 3 A’s-absorb, assimilate, and accept.
Also, why is it aligned with the past negative-ego prompts of growing up? All those experiences of stacked and imprinted emotional and physical stimuli. They compounded the reactive nature of being human as an adult and become reflected in the present state of survivor’s grief.
Attaching “Why” to the following “whats”
What is important?
What to use?
What to avoid?
What from the past?
What is a benefit?
Provides insight into the assimilation of emotion by asking, “Why?” Then, when written in a journal fulfills the role of the senses in offering fuel to the mind. To catalog and compartmentalize the chemistry of emotion in memory.
Raising the question of ‘why’ also creates avenues for new prompts based on positive intentions of forethought as a result of a pause. To pause allows for the assimilation of a prompt. Analyzing and accepting the positive intention of the purpose changes neurochemistry. Thereby changing emotional reactive behavior to responsive thought and actions.