Death and Dying learning objectives: Distinguish between grief and mourning. Discuss characteristics of grief. Identify mental, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of normal grief responses. Describe activities that can help in the grieving process.
Objective cont’d Describe two culturally different methods to manage grief.
Grief is a feeling is an inevitable part of living and understanding it will assist you in life. is unique to each individual, we all have different ways of expressing it. can have beneficial outcomes in terms of personal growth.
Characteristics of Grief Usually felt after a loss Most intense after losing someone to death Pain can be felt in the body. Can affect mental functioning and social interactions. May feel like you are “having a breakdown” May feel like you are on a emotional roller coaster.
Characteristics of Grief cont’d Feel like being in a fog There maybe disbelief, confusion, loneliness, anger, guilt, insecurity and even relief. Appetite and sleep may change, there may be fatigue. May feel forgetful, have difficulty concentrating and uninterested in normal activities. Some people feel like there is no purpose to living.
Mourning Is the expression of a feeling-sorrow for the dead. It helps to relieve pain. It is an external expression of something that is happening internally. Traditional rituals like: funerals, prayers, wearing black, visiting gravesites are part of mourning. Too often in American society, individuals feel as though they must act “strong”- as if nothing happened.
Challenges of Mourning: There are certain “tasks” that need to be accomplished by the bereaved individual in order to assimilate or transcend loss. This is called “grief work”. Many times we need to relearn the “lessons of loss” for example, an eleven year boy who grieves his father’s death, must do it again in adulthood, perhaps when his son is 11years old.
Five stages in approaching death: Denial Anger Bargaining Depression acceptance
Grief Therapists describe the “tasks of grief work” as: Accept the reality of loss Experience the pain of loss Recollect the deceased and the relationship Let go of attachments to the deceased Readjust your life without forgetting the deceased Reinvest in new relationships and pursuits
Activities that aid in the “grief process” : Day of the Dead, November 2, “Dia de los muertos”,(all saints day) is a time to remember loved ones who have died and invite their spirits to join us for a family celebration. We recall the best qualities of the loved one and thus inspire ourselves to be the best we can be. Reverence for life and death
Read article and describe: An experience with death. Who was it, how long ago? How you dealt with it. What can you do now to continue to heal from the experience.