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How to Deal With Bereavement and Grief
Knowing the grieving stages is helpful. Find more details about bereaving wording ideas and cards for bereavement at www.invitationsbyu.com
By: Sarah Porter, www.cardsshoppe.com
When someone experiences a significant loss, grief is a normal reaction. It is always followed with a painful and unhappy emotion triggered by the death of a loved one. These same emotional feelings are usually experienced by those with a terminal illness who is anticipating dieing soon, or by a person with a chronic condition who will have to deal with a loss of autonomy, like placement in a extended care home. And, the termination of a significant relationship can also result in a grieving process also. Therefore, when you are speaking of these emotions: bereavement;
Understanding the Five Stages of the Grieving Process
Although everyone deals with grief in his own way, there are basically five stages in the process. These five stage reactions might occur in the order shown, but that is not always the case. In fact, it is quite possible that two or more of these stages occur at the time. And, it is possible that some will not experience all of these emotions but, as a whole, these are the general stages most often experienced:
Disbelief, denial, and even numbness
Anger and blaming others
Bargaining, for instance, 'If I get well, I will never take that chance again'
Depression, sadness, and crying, outwardly or in private
Acceptance and then coming to terms
Those who are grieving usually have trouble sleeping, crying spells, and are unable to be productive at work.
Begin the Grieving Process by Recognizing the Loss
Each person handles grief in their own individual way, but there are acknowledged stages in the bereaving process. It will begin with the recognition of the loss, continuing through several stages until is eventually reaches the acceptance stage. Everyone response in different ways depending their particular situation and circumstances associated with the loss. If the deceased person, for example, had a chronic illness, then the death was probably anticipated, and perhaps might have even been a relief of their suffering. However, if the death was due it a violent act or an accidental, arriving at the acceptance stage usually takes longer.
Experiencing Prolonged Symptoms
If a person experiences prolonged bereaving symptoms, it could lead to clinical depression, and there could be physiological signs of depression such as appetite and sleep disturbance. It is quite common for friends and family to provide emotional support during the grieving process. But there are occasions when outside factors can effect the normal grieving process, so outside guidance and help from social workers, clergy, mental health specialists, or even self-help groups are usually helpful.
Excessive Grieving Period
The time for grieving varies, but the acute phase can normally last two months or longer, but some of the lesser phases symptoms can extend a year or even longer. Many people find that psychological counseling is beneficial for their suffering from depression associated with grieving, or even from their lack of grief reaction.
Possible Adverse Effects on Health
It is to be expected if those grieving experience an adverse effect on their overall health. This experience and contribute to excessive use of alcohol or drugs and / or depression, with major depression being a possible complication. If someone has devastating grief that effects their daily life and continues for longer than two months, it could be a sign of a more severe illness. A health care provider should be contacted if that person is: using excessive amounts and types of alcohol or drugs; unable to advance through the five grieving stages; has prolonged and extended depression that effects his daily functioning;
Even though few experiencing grief realize it, grieving is actually a healthy response to loss that should not be avoided. Instead, it should be expected and support should be provided to the grieving.
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