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A Grief Hygiene

shutterstock_175407059“The cup is already broken,” they say in Zen lore. Yes, we know: we get dogs knowing that we will most likely outlive them. We’ve learned to look at our fragile tech gizmos with that acquired acceptance of “it’s built-in obsolescence.” Impermanence is all around us: Heraclitus knew it, Buddha knew it. We all know it but we work hard to ignore it: we make assumptions of continuity and so we grieve post-factum – after the loss occurs.

What if we grieved in advance – the way Buddhists do – by accepting the impermanence as a fundamental condition of living? By recognizing the “ceasing” part of ceasing-and-arising? Living and dying, beginning and ending, arising and ceasing – are dichotomous word-pairs that describe one and the same seamless process.

What am I trying to say? Only this: “Meditation on impermanence is anticipatory grief work, a grief hygiene of sorts.”

www.pavelsomov.com

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. His books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the London Mindfulness Center (UK). Somov’s book website is www.pavelsomov.com and his practice website is www.drsomov.com

Broken cup image available from Shutterstock.

A Grief Hygiene


Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is www.pavelsomov.com and his practice website is www.drsomov.com

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).


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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2014). A Grief Hygiene. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2014/10/a-grief-hygiene/

 

Last updated: 2 Oct 2014
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