Angie Cartwright started Grief Awareness Day—August 30—back in 2014. During her lifetime, Angie has witnessed the deaths of her sister, mother, and husband. She now works to spread the word that grief is normal and necessary. By recognizing grief and processing your loss, you can avoid a downward spiral that often leads to real financial distress.
Grief Awareness Day
Angie's Facebook page is titled, “Grief the Unspoken,” because she feels that, too often, we try to diminish those in grief. Well-meaning family members and friends encourage the mourner to “move on,” or “get over it.” Angie feels this too often turns grief into silent, deadly grief.
The negative health effects of rushing through a mourning process are thoroughly documented. When grief is short-circuited, belittled, or hurried, the sufferer may:
- Feel overcome as if struck by a wave, unable to regain footing, resume daily tasks, or socialize
- Fall into a depression and refuse to discuss feelings with those hoping to offer support
- Never move from the overwhelming sensation of grief to actually grieving the loss
- Retreat from holidays, family activities, and other social situations
Grief by itself has health consequences:
- High blood pressure
- Shorter life span
- Sleeping problems
When grief is complicated by kindly but misguided family members and friends, the sufferer may fall into a deadly and silent depression, which is why Angie Cartwright wants to shout from the rooftops that grief is natural and needed.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Was Wrong
Some readers may wonder why we have taken so long to get around to the [in]famous “Five Stages of Grief,” as espoused by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. Her numerically nifty model is catchy and by now engrained in just about everyone, but it is wrong, say experts. To help you win the next bar bet (or tearoom brawl; we're not judging), know this:
- The stages apply to the person dying
- Kübler-Ross did no scientific studies; she only interviewed patients and extrapolated (far more broadly than she should have) from that handful of interviews
- Kübler-Ross meant to describe, not prescribe, what she was witnessing in her anecdotal interviews
- Many studies attempting to support her findings actually showed their many weaknesses
So what are we left with? People still grieve. People still suffer immeasurable loss. They just do it in unpredictable, unscheduled ways. We do not fall into neat categories (bargaining, denial, and so on). We suffer waves of grief and loss, and then numbness, and then more waves of grief and loss. Yet we still have hope!
The death of a spouse, for example, is one of the greatest stressors a person can suffer. Imagine dealing with that while also shouldering financial worries. Imagine grieving your dead spouse and hearing your children tell you it's time to move on.
Angie Cartwright wants us to value and honor the time, the words, and the emotions needed to process death. Medical professionals want us to do so without compounding our grief by ruining our health. And financial advisers want us to simplify our lives by avoiding soul-crushing, health-ruining debt.
Experts writing at Health.com outline seven ways debt is dangerous to your health:
- Debt can raise your blood pressure—One study found adults 24 to 32 with high debt-to-assets ratios also reported poorer health, including higher blood pressure
- Debt can lead to anxiety—The same study showed that adults in greater debt reported perceived stress levels 11.7 percent higher than average
- Debt is linked to depression—A Rutgers University study found adults age 51 and older were more likely to report depressive symptoms when they owed a high amount of unsecured debt
- Debt may lower your immunity—Adrenaline and cortisol are released when we are stressed, and both hormones can suppress our immune systems
- It can affect your doctor visits—When you have a lot of existing debt, you avoid adding to it with doctor visits, laboratory tests, or dental appointments
- Debt can be a literal pain in the neck—An Associated Press/AOL Health poll found that 44 percent of people with high levels of "debt stress" had frequent migraines or other headaches
- Debt can ruin your most significant relationship—A study indicated that newlywed couples who disagreed about financial issues at least once a week were more likely to divorce within five years than were those who argued about other issues
When you meet with a bankruptcy attorney, you can discover many ways to solve debt problems and alleviate health issues associated with debt. Perhaps you are in debt from a trigger event:
- Unexpected medical expenses
- Financially supporting other family members
- Expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Unsecured loan debt
- Job loss or diminished work hours
- Death of a spouse
Two possible answers to your health and debt problems are Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both are real solutions offering real results. The Page Law Firm is committed to answering your bankruptcy questions and helping you to find a healthier, happier life. We serve Collin County and surrounding areas. To begin getting the relief you need and deserve, please contact us today to schedule an appointment or telephone our Frisco offices at (214) 618-2101.