• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

On Dealing With Grief, Part 1 -- The Box and Ball Analogy


Last week, a friend called me for some advice about helping her mother deal with grief. She was worried, and she didn’t understand why her mother was suddenly so upset about what seemed like an old topic.


It felt like it was out of the blue.


So, I told her about the box and ball analogy which I had read about a little over a year ago. When we begin to grieve something - death, losing trust, letting go of a belief - it’s like the pain is a giant ball rolling around inside a small box and according to the article there is a pain button in that box. Personally, my life sometimes feels more like the ball and every time it hits the wall of the box it hurts. Ie. Most of us have more than one pain button. Every time our ball of life hits the box, we feel it.


Personally, my life sometimes feels more like the ball and every time it hits the wall of the box it hurts. Ie. Most of us have more than one pain button. Every time our ball of life hits the box, we feel it.

Over time, the box gets bigger, and there’s more room for the ball to move around. It hits the box less often. And sometimes, the ball moves faster and hits walls more often. Or hits them with more force. That feeling of “everything is going so well, crash.” What do they say? The higher you go the harder you fall. The happier you are, the sadder it gets when you need to confront grief, confront pain?


Sometimes, we see the wall coming and anticipate the pain. Maybe it’s an anniversary, or a song, or seeing a total stranger who reminds us of someone. Other times, we have no idea what’s triggered the ball of grief to touch the pain. We just feel the ouch.


Sometimes, we see the wall coming and anticipate the pain. Maybe it’s an anniversary, or a song, or seeing a total stranger who reminds us of someone. Other times, we have no idea what’s triggered the ball of grief to touch the pain. We just feel the ouch.

And there are times when it feels like the ball gets stuck in a corner, hitting the box over and over again. Bouncing off the 3 corners in a way that no matter where we turn, we bump into pain. Forgetting that there is quite a big box behind us if we stand still for a moment, find our center, literally, and allow ourselves to acknowledge the pain and at the same time move away from the corner. Moving to a place inside the box where bumping into the pain over and over is not the only choice.


What’s important is to acknowledge the grief. It’s okay to ask for support. It’s okay to practice self-care.


In a world where there’s such an emphasis on the importance of feeling happy, we have to remember that all of our feelings, including grief, are valid and serve an important purpose.


And, having a community for support when you are bouncing off the walls, is priceless!


https://psychcentral.com/blog/coping-with-grief-the-ball-the-box#4

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