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Dealing With Grief Essay

2098 words - 8 pages

All of a sudden I felt there was nothing more to do. There is nothing. I'm so confused, solost...All of a sudden she passed away and I couldn't do anything more for her. The ambitious,hopes, and inspirations I had before seemed no longer important to me...How am I going to live?What am I going to hang on to? Is it necessary to grieve? Do sorrow and mental anguish serve someuseful function? What is the purpose of grief work?Grief is the reaction to the loss of a person or thing to which we have become attached. Itis a natural and normal reaction that has a natural form and sequence. It is, at times, intensely painfuland frightening, and it may therefore be avoided, repressed, or distorted out if its natural form. Griefis experienced in each of three major ways--psychologically (through your feelings, thoughts, andattitudes), socially (through your behavior with others), and physically (through your health andbodily symptoms).Psychiatric research indicates that attempts to deny or avoid grief are potentially harmful.It is important for people who suffer a loss who are in a position to help to encourage the bereavedto express their grief. This process of realization and the acceptance of the full implications of theloss take time. "I can't believe it' true, it doesn't seem real."Grief is a continuing development, involving many changes over time. It will come and goand appear different times. Grief is a natural, expectable reaction. In fact, the absence of it isabnormal in most cases. Grief is the reaction to all kinds of losses, not just death. Grief ismultilayered, the pain is felt on many levels at once. For example, when a loved one dies, thebereaved not only must feel the physical hurt of the broken heart and the emotional pain ofseparation, but also must contend with the social deprivation of having to live without that specialperson.Because of the pain, grief is obscured to the extent that there are few words in ourvocabulary to describe it. Three of the most commonly used terms--bereavement, grief, andmourning--are often used interchangeably. "Mourning refers to the conscious and unconsciousprocess that (1)gradually undo the psychological ties that had bound you to your loved one (2)helpyou to adapt to his/her loss, and (3)help you to learn how to live healthily in the new world withouthim/her" (Rando 12). "Bereavement is the state of having suffered a loss. To be bereaved meansthat you suffered a loss" (12).Losses may be of two kinds. First, they may be physical. This means that they are tangible,something you can touch. Examples of a physical loss include your husband or wife through death,having your car stolen, or your house burning down. Losses also may be symbolic. Symbolic lossesare psychosocial in nature--related to the psychological aspects of a person's social interactions.Examples of a symbolic loss include getting a divorce, or losing status because of a job demotion,or losing a friendship after an argument. Some losses are...

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