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Old Guy Discussion Paper

Topic

Part A

Before posting on this Discussion Board, please read through this description of grief from  “An old guy” on Reddit. Reflect on what you read.

The “old guy” writes:

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while all you can do is float. Stay Alive. In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything… and the waves comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life. Somewhere down the line, and its different for everybody, you find the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow, you will again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out. Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow, you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.” (Reddit, 2014)

In your initial post, please address the following questions:

  • Is this an accurate description of grief, in your experience?
  • What is an example of a “piece of wreckage” that you have or could hold onto?
  • How does reading this help someone who is grieving (if at all?)

Part B

In addition, read over the helpful tips in the module. In your initial post, please answer the following questions:

List

  • Three things you can do to help someone who is grieving
  • Answer the following question in two or more sentences: What is something on the list that I think would have actually helped me when I was grieving and why? OR, if you have not experienced any significant grief, what is something on the list that you think would actually help and why?

Remember to answer all questions in your post

Civility in Discussions

Although you are encouraged to share your point of view freely, when posting to any discussion, you must remain civil.  We all know how easy it is to say something online that you wouldn’t say in person.  Please think twice and don’t post anything hurtful to anyone. Since we will be discussing communication, people may share things that are personal and there is a good chance that you are going to read comments that you don’t agree with.  Any sort of hostility, insults and name calling do little to communicate ideas and have strongly negative effects on our efforts to learn.  Let’s start with kindness and compassion and treating each other with respect.

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