Rick Underwood

Hey Tommy, Trish, Sister Donna, and Kathy,

I hope this week we can get on the same page with our reflections. Let’s do this week’s discussion in this thread. Just scroll below other’s posts and “Reply”.

Trish, you ask about our definition of resilience.  The old country music song, “Give Me One More Shot” comes to mind.  We all go through loss and defeat and failure.  Often, these experiences create feelings of grief, fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  The ability to bounce back and get back in the game is my way of thinking about resilience. Below, I describe my son’s reliance after his surgery.   For me, that ability to bounce back comes from my faith and hope that things will get better.  As our author demonstrates, that is a process and not an event.

Tommy, thanks for sharing about your loss and how silent things got around you.  That is so true as discussed in the book.  I have been guilty of doing the same thing.  And I have been the recipient. I think I mentioned my 40-year-old son’s emergency surgery and losing his 4-foot colon and appendix and in the process losing 30 pounds and all of the other things that go along with that.  While he was in the hospital, everyone rallied around.  After he got home, not so much.  Even when he goes out and people see him, there is often no questions about how he is doing today.

The author mentions and I know research confirms that one way of bouncing back from a traumatic experience is through genuine connection to others.  Telling our story of loss over and over is so important in working through the worst part of the grief.  An older psychiatrist friend of mine was sitting in consult with a bunch of us young therapists and we were talking about grief and loss.  He interrupted us and said, “you know how I knew I was over my grief from my open heart surgery and was ready to go back and listen to others?” He said, “it was when I didn’t need to tell my story to everyone I came across.”   I’ve found that to be true in my life as well.

I’m only halfway through the book and so she may refer back to the time when the grief was so intense that words from others only got in the way.  Recently, I sat for over an hour with a man who had just suddenly lost his wife.  He wept over her body, touching her and talking to her and it didn’t matter what, if anything others said, he was so emersed in his profound sudden shock of grief that he couldn’t or didn’t want to talk.  So, I do think it depends on the stage of grief one is in as to how open and or able they are able to talk.  As the man and his daughter were leaving the hospital, they thanked me for all I did.  I was just present.

I do like the idea of being more specific when we ask how people are doing.  How are you and how are you today are different and distinctive.

Thanks for reading my ramblings and I look forward to hearing more from all of you.


P.S. I did reach out to Sister Donna and Kathy O. who are registered for the course. Sister Donna assured me sure planned to participate, but had been delayed by life getting in the way.  Kathy has been taking care of her father who has cancer and hopes to catch up with us.


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