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Mourning: The outward expressions of bereavement and grief. ... Don't be embarrassed or shy about talking to someone in mourning. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bereavement%20and%20Grief

Bereavement and Grief
  • Bereavement the process of adjusting to the
    experience of loss, especially to the death of
    friends and loved ones.
  • Grief the intense emotional suffering that
    accompanies our experience of loss.
  • Mourning The outward expressions of bereavement
    and grief.

Bereavement and Grief contd
  • Grief Work consists of freeing ourselves
    emotionally from the deceased, readjusting to
    life without that person, resuming ordinary
    activities, and forming new relationships.
  • Our first reaction may be shock and disbelief.
  • After the shock wears off, we may be bothered
    by memories of the person and negative emotions
    like anger or guilt may surface.
  • Some grief reactions appear in the form of
    physical symptoms or illnesses.
  • Eventually, most mourners come to terms with the
    loss and resume daily activities.

Bereavement and Grief contd
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Psychological Reactions
  • Unresolved grief (or complicated grief) is a
    psychological state in which a persons emotional
    reaction to loss remains repressed, often being
    manifested in unexplained physical or
    psychological symptoms.
  • Unresolved grief can take many forms
  • chronic guilt, bitterness, and anger
  • obsessive thoughts about the loved one
  • extreme denial about the loss
  • Mental health professionals believe that this
    prolonged or obsessive mourning is abnormal and
    may require professional attention (i.e., grief

Bereavement and Grief contd
  • Unresolved Grief
  • Physical Reactions
  • Some people suffer adverse physical reactions to
    unresolved grief, i.e. heart attacks, ulcers,
    high blood pressure, etc.
  • People who live alone or are without close
    friends are most likely to experience physical
    symptoms of unresolved grief.
  • Widowed men, in particular, are most susceptible
    to health problems after the loss of their wives.

Bereavement and Grief contd
  • Good Grief
  • When we have learned and grown in our
    bereavement, we have experienced good grief.
  • People who can talk, feel, or act it out are more
    likely to experience it.
  • Dont be embarrassed or shy about talking to
    someone in mourning.
  • Encouraging the mourner to express feelings may
    be helpful.
  • Expressing grief in appropriate ways, such as
    visiting the grave and leaving flowers, can be

Life and Death in Perspective
  • Average life expectancy in 1955
  • 48 years
  • in 1995
  • 65 years
  • today
  • over 75 years!

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • Americans are living longer due to better health
  • As a consequence
  • the journey to death takes longer.
  • people more likely to die from a chronic illness
    (heart disease) rather than an acute illness
    (viral infection).
  • people today are more likely to die in a
  • Today, death is more common in older Americans
    rather than in children as was true a century ago.

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • The Right to Die
  • is a legal and ethical view that competent
    individuals who are able to understand treatment
    choices and their consequences have the right to
    decide their own fate, such as the withholding of
    treatment that would delay death.
  • Many dying people express concern about the loss
    of dignity (i.e., becoming dependent on others
    for all their care).
  • Both the American Medical Association and the
    public (in polls) generally support a dying
    persons right to die.

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • The Right to Die
  • Such thinking has led to the growth in use of
  • Living Wills (a.k.a., advance directives, health
    care proxies) A document in which a person
    instructs doctors and family members to stop
    using life-sustaining procedures in the event of
    a terminal condition.

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • A Natural Death
  • A hospice is a system of care that integrates a
    physical facility for the terminally ill with the
    patients family and home to enable the patient
    to die with dignity.
  • The movement represents a giant step toward
    creating a humane and supportive community for
    the dying.
  • Many hospice stays are shorter than the
    recommended three months
  • Many terminal patients are referred to hospice
    too late to fully benefit from the care.
  • Many individuals prefer to die at home.

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • Funerals and Other Services
  • A funeral is a ceremony and/or ritual associated
    with the burial or cremation of the dead.
  • They are as much for the living as for the dead,
    because the living may want to memorialize their
    loved ones in a special way.
  • can be a way of honoring and remembering someone
    whose achievements in life were never adequately

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • Funerals and Other Services
  • The funeral industry has been criticized for
    taking advantage of vulnerable family members.
    Funerals represent one of the largest expenses a
    family faces.
  • our fourth largest consumer purchase behind our
    house, car, and wedding!

Life and Death in Perspective contd
  • Death and Growth
  • It may seem strange relating death to growth.
  • Death gives meaning to human existence by
  • Reminding us to spend our days wisely.
  • Helping us relate more deeply to other survivors.
  • Helping us learn to hope that other adverse
    events can be overcome.

If you were told you had a limited time to live,
how would you spend your time?