The Grief Ultimatum - Understanding
and Adjusting to Everyday Grief in Life
By Steve Wickham
Grief is the summary statement of the average life. It
surrounds us in not only the deathly hellish things that
occur, but in our momentary lives as well. For this
reason, active and effective grief management is a daily
must for all who wish to succeed. Allow me to
Our main problem in life is we can't live the way we
want to live without certain negative consequences
coming into play. We do too much or too little of
certain things and we create problems for ourselves and
others. Due to the very nature of these problems we have
to face our grief of them or deny them and therefore
avoid the grief.
The former is attending to the grief ultimatum; the
latter sees us only dogged with further problems.
Every time we want to eat something but aren't hungry,
for instance, the subconscious mind is kicking against
the rational mind, resisting the grief we feel for
'missing out.' There is a sad dissonance created within
and we subconsciously want to reduce that tension. But
the point is we can't - not that way.
Denying our problems only increases the tension.
Let's further consider the following problems:
1. Consumer debt from 'retail therapy';
2. Societal crime from discipline issues with children
where parents couldn't say "no," or continually took the
easy way out;
3. Pre-marital or extra-marital sex and relationship
We've already mentioned obesity/lax dietary control. All
these are due to denial responses of the grief
ultimatum. They're a flat and proud rejection of truth.
Not always, but small problems generally lead to bigger
Certainly small problems not met most often become
The grief ultimatum is this: to succeed in life we must
believe that grieving is so much an intrinsic part of us
that it insists on our continual attention and
We must comply or we face the consequences. All of life
applies to this principle.
Those people with great 'will power' are illustrative of
those who've learned to cope effectively with their
momentary grief. Indeed, they still grieve for the
little things and 'acts of want' like others do; they
just don't give way to temptation as much. They've
adapted to grief.
Grief is experienced almost continually. Even when we
are in the heights of pleasured joy and sustained peace
we suffer grief, as least subconsciously, simply because
we know we can't retain these halcyon emotions.
The only way we can get better at living life with these
facts considered right at the forefront is to learn how
to grieve better, and accept that active grief
management for the never-ending miniature (as well as
the massive and all sizes between) disappointments in
life is the only way.
This is a sharp rejection of the denial response and the
growing of the strength of resilience so it can be used
at all available times.
And still, because none of us are perfect, we will still
choose the denial response occasionally. This simply
proves the eternal power of the grief ultimatum.
The grief ultimatum hits us and demands our attention in
its unique ways, custom-designed to our distinctive
personalities. Our task is to understand these and find
ways of grieving appropriately.