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Woman Shares The "Ball In The Box" Analogy Her Doctor Taught Her To Handle Grief

Woman Shares The "Ball In The Box" Analogy Her Doctor Taught Her To Handle Grief

While there is no cure for this anguish, a woman's thoughtful analogy is helping people conceptualize the condition in a unique way.

Image Source: Twitter/Lauren Herschel

Grief is a cruel experience that human beings are forced to undergo while dealing with the loss of a loved one. The terrible feeling is so consuming that we often find it impossible to shake off. Everyone processes these heartbreaks in their own way and at their own time. It may take someone decades to overcome the intense pangs of emptiness or maybe a few years to escape the cycle of grief. While there is no cure for this anguish, a woman's thoughtful analogy is helping people conceptualize the condition in a unique way.

 



 

 

Lauren Herschel, a Ward 11 City Council Candidate from Canada, had grabbed everyone's attention with a Twitter thread she posted years ago. Herschel wanted to help others make sense of the feeling they experience in their tough times after her doctor helped her deal with the grief of losing her mother. She explains how grief does not truly go away as it can be triggered by various objects around that can bring those dormant memories flooding back. After what has been a surprisingly okayish Christmas, I had a moment today in SuperStore. Saw a lady who reminded me of my 92yo grandma, who even in the early stages of dementia, completely understood that my mom died. I thought I’d share the Ball in the Box analogy my Dr told me, she wrote in a Twitter post.

Image Source: Twitter/Lauren Herschel

Herschel starts by explaining how there is a box that contains a ball and a pain button. 

 



 

 

She goes on to describe how the ball is "huge" in the beginning and so "you can’t move the box without the ball hitting the pain button." The ball keeps rattling around on its own inside the box and continues hitting the "button over and over." While "you can’t control it - it just keeps hurting. Sometimes it seems unrelenting," she wrote

 



 

 

But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel as Herschel, a "servant to 2 rescue dogs,"  says that the ball does get smaller with time. Although "it hits the button less and less", it "hurts just as much" whenever it does. She explains this stage is definitely an improvement as it can help you function better while carrying out your day-to-day activities. Noting the downside of this ball, she says that it can randomly hit the button and take an unprepared you by surprise.

 



 

 

Concluding the thread she expressed: For most people, the ball never really goes away. It might hit less and less and you have more time to recover between hits, unlike when the ball was still giant. I thought this was the best description of grief I’ve heard in a long time. She added: I told my stepdad about the ball in the box (with even worse pictures). He now uses it to talk about how he’s feeling. "The Ball was really big today. It wouldn’t lay off the button. I hope it gets smaller soon." Slowly it is. Speaking to Bored Panda, Herschel said, "I think we absolutely need to talk about grief and death more."

 



 

 

"It is normal, yet so many people feel like they can’t talk about it, or can only talk about it for a short prescribed period right after someone passes. But grief is a longer journey than that. I do believe that it’s good to feel grief even years later. It does help you remember happy times and process how the loss of a family member or a loved one has affected your life. I don’t think it’s something you can wish away at any point," she said. "I still refer to this analogy example. The 23rd anniversary of my dad passing was Valentine’s Day – old feelings of grief do pop up for sure but now I have a way of making more sense of them, and I also know it’s more normal than I previously thought years ago." 

Herschel's post was shared by many who thought this was a great way to describe a person's grief. It helped some to be more comfortable about opening up about their grief.

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 



 

 

 



 

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