Families for Heaven

Surviving The Ultimate Loss: Death

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Alanzo & June Smith


Series Code: FFH

Program Code: FFH00003B

00:05 Welcome back, you are watching Families 4 Heaven.
00:09 We have as our guest Dijon Plummer and our co-host
00:13 Dr. June Smith.
00:15 Well, Dijon that story you just related to us was a very painful
00:22 one, but we are glad to see you are still holding on.
00:28 It is hard for me to even wrap my mind around what do
00:32 you do when you have something like this happen to you?
00:35 So why don't we talk to you.
00:37 Dijon share with us, what did you find most helpful?
00:42 How did you cope with this?
00:43 There are number of things, I think the first thing
00:48 that happened was that I realized that no matter how
00:53 depressed I was, how much I cried, how many times I woke
00:57 up in the middle of the night and would look beside me
01:01 and realize that she wasn't there.
01:03 I started wondering how long is she going to be in
01:07 the bathroom for?
01:08 I came back to realizing that she is actually gone.
01:13 No matter how much I cried, no matter how much I didn't
01:18 eat, I didn't feel like eating that she wasn't coming
01:22 back and I actually made a conscious decision.
01:27 I said you know I have to live and I prayed.
01:31 I didn't have much other option.
01:35 I asked God to take away the pain, just to lift it,
01:40 because I could not manage it.
01:43 I was going out of my mind.
01:45 I had a new role in my life, my perspective on life
01:50 totally changed, and nothing really mattered anymore.
01:54 It started with a decision, a decision to go back to my
02:00 roots, to get on my knees, to ask for guidance, to ask
02:05 for relief and that is where it began.
02:08 Dr. June: so you found that your relationship with God
02:12 was strengthened, you tried to find strength?
02:15 It was renewed, it was different, it was changed,
02:20 it became what made sense in life.
02:26 It became what gave me hope.
02:29 Yes, it definitely did change.
02:33 Dr. June: what would you say was the role that your
02:35 spiritual experience played?
02:37 Because why you are praying and you are seeking Him,
02:40 how did this faith that you have bring you to that point?
02:45 In all honesty I felt as if I had no option.
02:54 I had to go back to what I knew.
02:59 They say train up a child in the way he should go,
03:02 and when he is old he will not depart from it.
03:06 I had to go back to my roots.
03:07 I had to close my eyes and to fall backwards into God's hands.
03:15 And He caught me, He caught me and put me back up to
03:22 stand, and said, to walk beside Me.
03:26 What central thought, what central concept did you come to?
03:33 I realize that my family, my wife and two kids, they were
03:42 God's children, they weren't mine, they were His.
03:46 He did not need my permission to take them.
03:50 I was blessed and privileged to have shared a number
03:55 of years with them and I enjoyed them thoroughly.
04:00 The Lord was ready for them, their work was done
04:04 and He took them.
04:05 He allowed them to be taken, my work is not done.
04:10 That is why I am still here, I have a lot of work to do.
04:14 Dr. June: that is a powerful point to get to as you
04:18 except that, yes life is in God's hands.
04:22 And you notice that you can feel the pain and the empathy
04:26 as he is talking.
04:28 It is because of this attachment that he had with his
04:32 family, there is this theory called the Attachment theory
04:37 postulated by this British psychiatrist, John Bowlby.
04:41 Talk to us about the attachment theory and why is it that
04:45 people have this strong affection and bonding?
04:49 The whole notion of being attached is a phenomenon that
04:54 occurs pretty much at birth.
04:57 When children become bonded, or attached to their
05:00 caregivers, it is amazing how children might even become
05:04 attached to people other than their own parents.
05:08 But whoever it is that bonds and spends quality time with
05:11 this child it gets attached.
05:13 The bonding postulate theory is when this bond is broken.
05:16 It is as painful, as what he considers,
05:20 and amputation physiologically.
05:23 We can imagine how painful it must be for somebody to
05:27 chop your arm off, so it is emotionally when a bond that
05:30 is developed between two individuals, like a parent and
05:33 a child, a husband and wife and etc.
05:35 When that bond is broken that is the impact it has emotionally.
05:39 Grief is expected when an individual goes through a crisis
05:44 There are several manifestations, we have sadness,
05:49 we have anger, we have guilt, we have self-reproach.
05:54 Did you find yourself experiencing any of these?
05:58 Every one of them, on multiple levels.
06:05 I work as a nurse, and I have worked hospice so I have
06:11 giving grief counsel before.
06:13 I am familiar with the process of death, but what I've found
06:18 was all the speeches that I would give to my patients,
06:23 I give them to myself in the mirror and they didn't work.
06:27 All the research that I had done before, I applied it
06:32 to myself and it didn't work.
06:34 It took on an entire nature of its own and the script
06:40 has nothing to do with the reality of what you go through
06:46 and experience, which one comes first and which one comes
06:52 last, it does it by itself.
06:58 That is because each individual is different and people
07:01 come to their own experience based on their thought
07:03 processes and the significance of the meaning of the loss.
07:09 Now there are different behaviors that are demonstrated
07:13 by people who suffer severe loss.
07:16 What would you say, maybe one or two that you found you
07:21 have a preoccupation with?
07:22 For example people sometimes, you talked about not wanting
07:27 to eat, or not wanting to sleep, or life changes.
07:31 What was a real significant change for you?
07:34 Alanzo: restlessness.
07:37 Dijon: a combination of many of them.
07:41 I went for many nights sleepless.
07:45 I recall once, I was lying in the bed trying to sleep,
07:49 I would close my eyes and shut my eyes and just try to
07:54 play mental gymnastics because to think about all three
07:59 of them at the same time was too overwhelming.
08:02 I would have to separate them and think about my wife.
08:06 Then I would stop and think about my daughter.
08:09 And then I would stop and think about my son.
08:12 And then I would stop, but if I thought about all three
08:14 of them, it would drive me crazy.
08:16 I thought about this enormous responsibility that I had
08:20 to this teenager who was entering into adulthood.
08:25 I had this last shot to give him whatever I needed to
08:28 give him to teach him whatever I needed to teach him.
08:32 Here I was compromised with more responsibility.
08:37 The sleepless nights was the big one.
08:43 Alanzo: alright, moving on is essential for the survival
08:51 of an individual after a crises such as yours.
08:55 How to move on has often been the question people ask.
09:01 If I may take the privilege of saying that Dijon has
09:06 put back his life together.
09:09 He has gone through the pain and share with us very
09:14 briefly, where you are today.
09:16 We talk about the death that happened so many years back,
09:20 are you still in the quagmire of loneliness, by yourself,
09:24 sleepless nights, or have you moved on?
09:29 I was fortunate, God sent a church sister of mine who
09:37 made sense, who had a calm spirit, who decided to invest
09:45 in me, although I felt I was broken.
09:50 Alanzo: so in short what happened?
09:52 Almost 2 years later I got remarried and we are presently
10:01 expecting our first.
10:10 Alanzo: so even though Dijon has gone through this
10:14 terrible mishap, he realized that he has to move on.
10:18 And that is what you all have to do in life.
10:21 You have to be able to move on.
10:23 What is the first task that one has to do in order for
10:28 such a one to move on?
10:31 One of the things that is essential,
10:33 is accepting this loss.
10:35 Recognizing what it means to you and then recognizing
10:40 that it is a irreversible.
10:42 It is time to move on.
10:44 Alanzo: so you are saying except the reality, no denial.
10:48 Because often times we like to stay in denial.
10:51 Sometimes we wallow in self-pity, we have to move on.
10:55 Okay, so I accept my reality, okay yes this is what has
10:59 happened, where do I go from there?
11:02 Then we have what we often refer to as,
11:05 working through the grief.
11:07 So yes, the reality is accepted, but the fact
11:10 is you are still hurting, you are still in pain.
11:14 Now you must move through that pain.
11:16 So you are going to work through this grief as best as
11:19 you can, which is to do it in your own way.
11:21 Again we are saying people have different ways in which
11:24 way they do that.
11:25 So whatever it is, hanging with your family,
11:27 or with your friends, or crying as you like,
11:29 or finding a hobby,
11:31 or doing whatever it is that comes naturally for you to
11:34 bring comfort, you must work through this loss.
11:38 And thirdly you have to make adjustments.
11:41 We have to make an adjustment to the reality of the
11:44 situation, whether it is an internal adjustment,
11:48 excepting myself, my situation, we may have to make
11:51 an external adjustment.
11:53 He made an external adjustment by marrying again.
11:57 God has blessed you now with a child on its way.
12:00 We have to make this kind of adjustment in order
12:04 for us to move on.
12:06 That is one of the difficulties that many people have
12:08 because they have been so socialized in the lifestyle
12:11 they had before this loss, or their experience might have
12:14 been set in a way that brought them comfort, and now the
12:17 adjustment changed their life as it were.
12:20 Their function, maybe they have to relocate, maybe they
12:23 have to downsize, whatever adjustments will be necessary.
12:26 If you are going to move on you must let go of the past
12:28 and move forward.
12:30 For a Christian person listening to this program, what
12:36 role will spirituality play in all of this adjustment?
12:41 And briefly, very briefly, did spirituality play any
12:45 role in your adjustment?
12:48 I believe in my heart that spirituality played the major
12:54 part in this adjustment.
12:56 One could always say that, okay I'm going to develop a
13:00 new norm, so I will use a different type of soap.
13:05 I get a different type of car.
13:09 I live in a different neighborhood.
13:11 I changed jobs, whatever it may be you will try to create
13:16 this new norm and surround yourself with just things.
13:21 You find it will not pacify, what makes the real difference
13:25 is when you actually rely on God.
13:31 On the relationship that you have with Him and trust Him
13:34 to take you where you need to be.
13:40 Not where you think that you should be.
13:42 Alanzo: thank you Dijon, I think that was well said.
13:47 We have been talking about surviving the ultimate loss,
13:52 which is death and it is not easy.
13:55 We are cognizant of the fact that there are hurting
13:58 people out there who have gone through a tragedy,
14:00 maybe not as severe as Dijon, or maybe just as similar.
14:04 Whatever the situation is, we are saying you have to get
14:08 to the stage where you accept the reality of your loss.
14:12 You work through your pain and you move on.
14:15 Above all, trust God with your life.
14:18 He will give you strength.
14:19 He will give you power.
14:21 And He will give you comfort.
14:23 Never give up, keep holding on.


Revised 2014-12-17