End Of Life Care Essay

1120 words - 4 pages

Grief is an acknowledgement that we loved someone, and the nature of our relationship with that person determines how we grieve. Grief is an exclusive process; one that is as different as the person experiencing it is. As Hospice volunteers we must respect each person’s individual grieving practices and refuse to give in to the temptation to advise others to follow our exact paths. Although those of us who have also experienced such loss can sympathize with other’s feelings, we must be attentive to the fact that they are mourning the loss of a relationship that was exclusively theirs. As Hospice volunteers, we must consider this exclusivity and abstain from persisting that the grieving person grieve any way other than what is best for them. Keeping that in mind, I have information that can help you understand the grieving processes at various stages in life. Through this understanding, you will be able to assist family members and loved ones, as well as your dying patient to achieve a more peaceful death.
Let us first look at adults and grieving. Here the relationship with the decedent is a primary factor in the grieving process. When parents experience the loss of a child, it is considered the “most difficult of deaths” (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 492). The cycle of life dictates that the older shall die first. When this cycle is broken with the death of a child, adults are not prepared for the death. The hope for the future is threaten within the family, and thoughts of what should have been, what will be missed linger. Mothers will talk more about the death while Fathers will keep busy with tasks in an attempt to avoid expressing their feelings (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 492). There may be marital discord as well as moments of awkward silence. Be as attentive and respectful as possible to the adult’s needs by simply being a good listener. The death of an infant or fetus should never be ignored. In this case, grief is often negated, and this is also the case with the death of an adult child. Parents experience real grief in these cases and the minimization of that grief only makes it harder to achieve acceptance (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 493). The death of the adult child leaves parents with the feeling that the child’s responsibilities have not been completed and recognize the loss that their grandchildren will endure all of their lives. This is again, a break in the chain of the assumed cycle of life (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, pp. 505-506). In adults, in general there are often many cases of disenfranchised grief. Loss of a grandparent, sibling, or even a parent, is negated because the focus of grief attention is placed on other members of the family. Always remember they too are grieving, and their grief is just as important and should be validated (P.G.White, 2009).
Grief in children is also different depending on the relationship they have with the dying person. There are, however, many commonalities about...

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