Mourning

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[edit] Mourning of a Relationship

Mourning is a step that is known in mediation. Indeed, the mourning of a relationship is a period that often requires an accompaniment into relational change, fundamental for the construction of a new form of relationship, with or without rupture.

In the very beginning, an information that is perceived as shocking causes amazement. The news is for example the announcement of a separation or the listening of a remark interpreted as being the cause or conveying the involvement of an unwanted change.

[edit] Shock or Sideration

The term of amazement or sideration fits to describe the reaction of the person facing that new information. According to the personalities, this reaction can result in great agitation or paralysis. This is what we can call a shock.

[edit] Denial or Refusal

Then will be added after this first condition the refusal to believe the information: arguments and behaviours of contestation, rejection of the received information which was experienced as shocking.

Internal or external discussions may treat about the plausibility of the announced event: It is not true, it is not possible...

The description of this period is brief, but it does not mean that it is not an important stage. Sometimes people are blocked within this state... or they come back to it, as if they feel in a shelter. This is what is called the denial stage. => Dramatization

[edit] Anger and Contestation

The person is obsessed with the heady verification of the authenticity of the information. His state will get more complex with attitudes of rebellion toward himself and others. Intensities are variable, according to the amplitude of the emotional system of the person. Therefore the thought and reflection of this person can develop strong contradictions and can pass from an accusatory behavior to the highest consideration. Under the grip of paradoxical reactions related to his personality and depending on the surrounding, this person can behave from a state of deep silence to an uncontrollable volubility. He experiences feelings of guilt in the same manner. This person interiorizes and/or expresses all kinds of critiques or judgments.

The person cannot control himself anymore. Impulses of revenge may therefore push him to have behaviors he does not understand himself. Faced with the impossibility to return to the lost situation that he should make the mourning, the person incomprehensibly repeats the cause of mourning.

He undergoes his own reproaches, remorse, resentments, disgusts or repulsions. He fights and struggles. He can perplex and disconcert others. Everything in him tries not to "plunge". According to his states, he will behave in seduction or aggression. But everything seems to bring the person back to the subject that obsesses him: this is the anger animated by a sort of broken record and sometimes a compensatory frenzy that aims at discharging the possible feeling of rejection or worthlessness.

[edit] Dejection, Sadness to Depression

The violent tension that may cause a state of anger, maintained despite ourselves, can cause a physical exhaustion. Combining all at once the initial shock, the denial and anger, the person may reach more or less deeply a state of dejection.

The person undergoes a state of resistance against the submission: like war, but with the heartbreaking feeling of a lost war. This state may go up to depression, which can be characterized by physical pains, headaches, stomachaches, back pains, muscle aches, and as well suicidal behaviors and attitudes.

However, the interacting set of internal states can make him live back past emotions and behaviors. This person becomes at this stage particularly "difficult to live with". Most of the time, he is living internal escapes, sometimes external, with scattered and unpredictable attempts to find a way back - that we could identify as regressions within the various states experienced from the beginning of the process. This state, which expands sometimes up to highlights of depression and destruction, can be expressed in a paradoxical way: dramatic but not expressed to others. Its duration is not linked to the intensity of feelings that the person had for the third party. This is at least and for sure a state of despair that may decrease, but rarely disappear suddenly.

[edit] Resignation

The resistance of the organism may thereafter lead the person to the abandonment of this struggle through which he may get the feeling of having tried everything in his power to return to the lost situation. The person may sometimes shelter himself within the stage of denial. This applies to those people who still put plates of their lost loved ones on the table.

In most cases, following this "infernal loop", the person reaches a point of real abandonment. Sometimes depressed, sometimes becoming sociable again, the person lets himself go through the flow of life, without any visibility of what he could do, behaving according to circumstances and feelings following the confrontation of an event. This is resignation. But this resignation may be composed by submission or rejection.

[edit] The Fatalistic Acceptance

The previous state has caused a relative opening. The obsessive character of mourning cause decreases. That's life. This is time for fatalism. It is still possible that the person express one of the previous states. The intensity is lower; periods of depression are shorter. The person can consider some projects. This is acceptance. This inner context is strongly developed in many cultures, with fatalism, hope of the reverse of the bad fortune, the will of God, etc...

[edit] The Acceptance

Acceptance: integration of the experience, construction, anticipation, projection. The cause of mourning becomes a memory.

Why is it not easier to be positive at once? The question is futile. The past has become a heritage of existence. The present is now lived with relativity and according to projects and a pleasant consideration of existence. What was a cause of suffering has become a resource in itself, calm and appeasing as a smile and even as a grateful experience. A transformation that is nothing compared with the relativization of the previous stage. But when this state is not known, it is unimaginable.

[edit] The Role of the External Support

The mediator can usefully identify the state of the person: he will be much more efficient to master his skills in accompaniment and therefore to accompany people through changes along the conflict resolution.

In fact, how many people are in the acceptance? Don’t our cultures push us to be blocked within the fatalistic acceptance of what we are living?

The statements made by the person experiencing a relational rupture might provide sufficient information about the stage of mourning in which the person is. The mediator can therefore intervene easily to accompany change.

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