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Death and Dying

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How do parents cope with the death of a child when the natural grieving process is interrupted? ... When death is sudden, grief is highly intensified. Family ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Death and Dying


1
Death and Dying
  • The effects on parents with the sudden loss of a
    child

2
Statement of the Problem
  • How do parents cope with the death of a child
    when the natural grieving process is interrupted?
  • What health effects does the death of a child
    have on the parents?

3
The Grieving Process
  • 1. Shock
  • The initial emotion that one feels is a feeling
    of shock and total astonishment.
  • 2. Denial
  • Can not believe what has happened so we go on
    thinking that nothing has happened.

4
Grieving Process, Cont.
  • 3. Anger and Guilt
  • A reaction of anger comes from feelings of
    unfairness, abandonment, or feeling powerless
    attached with the loss.
  • You feel guilt when you feel that you have
    violated your own standard of feel that you have
    let others down in some way.

5
Grieving Process, Cont.
  • 4. Depression
  • When one begins to feel overwhelmed by what has
    happened and feel hopeless, this is usually when
    the depression sets in.
  • 5. Acceptance
  • For most this is the final stage of the grieving
    process. We come to terms with the loss, and are
    ready to move on with our lives.

6
Grieving Process, Cont.
  • 6. Empowerment
  • This is a step beyond acceptance. Not all
    people get to this stage. Your loss is
    integrated as part of your identity. It
    cultivates within you a newfound hunger for life,
    it drives you forward.

7
How is a parents health effected after the death
of a child?
8
Psychological Effects of Death
  • -Depression
  • -Difficulty with social functioning
  • -Overall psychological well-being
  • -Reactivity to good events
  • -Future worries and concerns

9
Physical Effects of Death
  • -Weight loss
  • -Difficulty sleeping
  • -Irritable of listless
  • -Hair loss

10
What are the possible solutions?
11
Possible Solutions
  • Parents must get through, not over, their grief
  • Finding solace in their religion
  • Finding comfort in rituals
  • - Funerals or memorial services
  • Acknowledging and sharing their grief
  • Finding comfort in friends and family
  • Helping yourself through
  • - self-expression
  • - good physical care
  • - emotionally

12
What is the best solution?
13
Ericksons Developmental Perspective
  • Some changes are expected to occur throughout
    the lifespan-baby to child to adult.
  • Sudden death of a child is so unwanted and
    unexpected it can cause major changes in how
    someone handles grief
  • When death is sudden, grief is highly intensified

14
Family Lifecycle
  • Carter and McGoldrick have proposed the following
    family lifecycle
  • Leaving home single young adults
  • The joining of families through marriage the new
    couple
  • Families with young children
  • Families with adolescents
  • Launching children and moving on
  • Families in later life

15
  • When a child dies, there is a break in the cycle,
    with the parents not being able to complete the
    last 3 stages for that child as planned (families
    with adolescents, launching children and moving
    on, and families in later life)

16
What is lost?
  • In a study done by Edelstein, there are three
    major types of loss for a parent, especially the
    mother
  • The loss of a loved child as an aspect of ones
    self
  • The loss of future hopes and expectations
  • The confrontation with false illusions as a
    result of the death

17
Dealing with the death of a child
  • Most common solution is to seek professional help
  • Support groups are the most recommended solution
  • According to The Compassionate Friends
    organization the best solution on how to cope, is
    to find another family in the same situation!
  • To best address a parents grief, treatment
    should be individualized.

18
What makes this successful?
  • In working with a therapist or a support group,
    the parent must
  • Move through all stages of the grieving process.
  • Have the ability to discuss the lost child.

19
Summary and Conclusions
  • Children are not supposed to die...Parents expect
    to see their children grow and mature.
    Ultimately, parents expect to die and leave their
    children behind...This is the natural course of
    life events, the life cycle continuing as it
    should. The loss of a child is the loss of
    innocence, the death of the most vulnerable and
    dependent. The death of a child signifies the
    loss of the future, of hopes and dreams, of new
    strength, and of perfection. - Arnold and Gemma
    1994

20
The Effects on Health for Parents with a Sudden
Loss of a Child
  • Physical Effects
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal distress

21
The Effects on Health for Parents with a Sudden
Loss of a Child
  • Psychological Effects
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Helplessness
  • Emotional swings
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Disbelief
  • Impaired concentration
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Hallucination
  • Feelings of unreality, numbness, denial

22
Effects on Health if not Addressed
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Higher risk for health problems mentioned and
    death
  • Depression
  • Emotional distress

23
Possible Solutions
  • Parents must get through, not over, their grief
  • Finding solace in their religion
  • Finding comfort in rituals
  • - Funerals or memorial services
  • Acknowledging and sharing their grief
  • Finding comfort in friends and family
  • Helping yourself through
  • - self-expression
  • - good physical care
  • - emotionally

24
Ways that help parents cope and heal from the
sudden loss of a child
  • Admitting to themselves and others that their
    grief is overwhelming, unpredictable, painful,
    draining, and exhaustingthat the situation
    should not be ignored.
  • Allowing yourself to experience the pain of grief
    and working through it.
  • Having someone to share feelings with.
  • A support group
  • Keeping a diary or journal
  • Talking about the loss and encouraging others to
    talk of the child.
  • Accepting the reality of the loss.
  • Counting on, confiding in, and trusting those who
    care.
  • Increasing exercise and maintaining a healthful
    diet.
  • Accepting that they are allowed to feel pleasure
    and continue their lives.

25
Selected Solution
  • The solution that repeatedly appeared in both the
    research and on the information websites, was the
    use of therapy and support groups.
  • These methods helped to face the loss and
    provided two main focal points
  • Allowing the name and memory of the child to be
    addressed
  • Finding other families that have been through a
    similar loss
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