Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist



grieving styles

What Kind of Griever Are You? - Part 2

Apr 20, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Everyone grieves differently.Often, people assume that someone who cries or talks about the person who has died is not handling their grief well. They are encouraged to stop crying, to not dwell on the past. But for that person, that’s how they express their grief.  Others are what may be defined as “instrumental” grievers. Rather than express their grief by crying, they are more likely to intellectualize their grief. They want to understand their grief, but they don’t want to talk about it. They want to control their grief, so it doesn’t overwhelm them, or surprise them, or distract them.They may also want to ‘do’ things. They may show up with food for the family, or run errands for them....

What Kind of Griever Are You? – Part 1

Apr 14, 2011 by Victoria Noe
There is no one way to grieve.There is no right way to grieve.Everyone experiences grief in different ways.Some people let themselves grieve in a physical way. Some clinicians refer to them as “intuitive” grievers. Another word for this type of griever could be “emotional”. Their grief is on display, not held back.Intuitive grievers express feelings that are intense. Crying is probably the most common expression, and it mirrors how they are feeling. Typically, in our culture, expressing grief in this way is considered a female response, rather than male. That also can imply weakness.Crying is not the only physical manifestation of grief for an emotional griever. They may experience prolonged periods of confusion, inability to concentrate, disorganization, and disorientation. Their...

9/11 - When the Therapists Needed Therapists

9/11 - When the Therapists Needed Therapists
Apr 11, 2011 by Victoria Noe
 "Firefighter Pew" at St. Paul's Chapel, near Ground Zero Karen M. Seeley’s book, Therapy after Terror:  9/11, Psychotherapists, and Mental Health,(Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press, 2008) explores a relatively invisible group of September 11 survivors: therapists.New York City was overwhelmed by the need for mental health professionals to help survivors and witnesses cope with the horror of the attacks. To their credit, many came forward in the city as well as from other parts of the country.  But helping those who grieve after a terror attack presented challenges never before considered.Most of the therapists were “outsiders”. Firefighters, already a tight-knit, closed society, were unwilling to talk to anyone outside of the department (assuming they talked at all). Unless you...

Chuckles the Clown

Chuckles the Clown
Mar 04, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Laughing at funerals is generally frowned upon (Irish wakes notwithstanding).People are expected to act a certain way: maybe not grief-stricken, but at least respectful of those who are and the person who has died.  You get a lot of dirty looks if you’re the only one laughing.In recent years, there has been a movement to make wakes and funerals and memorial services more of a celebration of life.  Laughing – in the context of shared memories – has become appropriate.  Considered by the Chicago Tribune to be the funniest TV comedy episode of all time, "Chuckles Bites the Dust" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show concerned the death of Chuckles the Clown.  Dressed as Peter Peanut, he was trampled by...

Types of Grievers

Feb 21, 2011 by Victoria Noe
What kind of griever are you?One of the hardest things for some people to understand is that everyone grieves in a different way.  Throwing yourself back into your “normal” routine may be perfect for some people, but the worst possible thing for others.  I’m not even talking about gender.  The differences I’m talking about today are personality differences.  Of course, gender, ethnicity, even age may have an influence on these behaviors.  But that’s what they are:  responses to a situation.  Personality and behavioral assessments are used in business every day: Enneagram, Meyers-Briggs, DISC.  In Dr. Kenneth Doka’s book, Disenfranchised Grief, he offers a description of different types of grievers.  You may see yourself and others in these descriptions:1.      Intuitive:  Some...