Grief Support Community ©
This is some general information from the adult NEW HOPE GRIEF JOURNEY HANDBOOK
"Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted" St. Matthew 5:4
Grieving stages/phases to the loss of a loved one, other losses or change.
Depression and Loneliness
Fear and Panic
4 Tasks of Mourning
Task I To Accept the Reality of a Loss
Task II To Experience the Pain of Grief
Task III To Adjust to an Environment in which the Deceased is Missing
Task IV To Withdraw Emotional Energy and Reinvest it in Another Relationship
1.) Worden J. William, Grief Counselor and Grief Therapy, 1980, 7-17
What is Grief? What is Mourning?
Grief is the response brought about by loss or change. It is not just the loss of a loved one, but also from the changes, in our lives such as divorce, moving, changing a job or career as well as situational changes. The difficulty in overcoming the effects of grief depends on the nature and depth of the loss. To feel and experience grief after the loss of someone we love and care for is normal, natural, and expected. It is a normal human reaction to loss or change. Grieving is done in a wide variety of ways involving the 4 dimensions of our lives: mental, social, spiritual and physical areas.
Grieving is recognized by psychiatry as a normal and necessary reaction to loss of someone we love. There are very complex reactions accompanied by a wide range of contradictory emotions and distorted behaviors.
Because of the wide variety of behaviors and variety of human responses, grieving persons are often surprised, bewildered and perplexed by their seeming inability to recover or “feel normal.” Prior stressful crisis in the pas, now are somehow ineffective. The consequences are additional feelings of frustration, depression and even despair as their lives become increasingly dysfunctional. “Grief often surfaces as the underlying cause of various physical and mental aberrations.” People seek physical and mental health care without necessarily recognizing that there may be a grief issue underlying their particular physical and mental condition. Aaron Lazare, a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, estimates that 10-15% of the people who pass through the mental health clinics at the Massachusetts General Hospital have underneath their particular psychological condition, an unresolved grief reaction (Lazare, 1979).
Normal Grief Responses
Most people who suffer a loss, experience one or more of the following:
Initially denial of the loss along with feelings of shock and numbness. “I can’t believe he is gone!”
Enormous feelings of sadness, sorrow, emptiness and loss of meaning as well as purpose in life.
Restless activity yet difficulty concentrating. Aimless wandering, unfinished tasks, forgetfulness.
Idealized memories of the deceased person along with intense preoccupation of the life of the loved one.
Strong need to remember, relive, tell and retell memories of the loved one, often of the event and experiences related to, or associated with the death.
Insomnia frequent dreams about the loved one, sometimes of nightmarish quality.
Difficulty with eating either increased or decreased appetite.
Overwhelming, uncontrollable need to cry, often at unexpected or awkward times.
Identification with the deceased person, sometimes assuming traits and mannerisms of the deceased.
Selective sharing about or feelings of loss, no matter how desperate we are, to protect others who seem uncomfortable around us.
A sense of feeling the deceased person present in the room or nearby. Even hallucinations of seeing the person occur for some grieving people.
Tightness in the throat stomach, or chest pain, shortness of breath, a need for signing deep and often, and empty feeling in the abdomen, decreased muscle strength, increased weariness, exhaustion and lack of energy.
The personal experience of loss or change
There are emotional reactions, stages or phases that the grieving person will experience following the death of the loved one.
Emotional reactions, stages, or phases of grief:
Depression and loneliness
Fear and panic
The grieving person will experience these perhaps some but not all and not in any order. Grieving persons will revisit the emotional reactions to their loss many times over during the acute phase of their loss, in the first few years post-death of their loved one. Acute, raw grief endures for 1-2 years or a bit longer. One never gets over the death of a loved one but can get through it with the help of grief support groups. In the event of a person feeling “stuck” or prolonged in their grief, the help of professional counseling must be sought out.
The grieving person needs to know and rehearse often:
In your grief
are not going crazy!
Guidelines for Caring
Friends of the Grieving Person
Helping Grieving People
For more information, you can contact New Hope Grief Support Community here:
New Hope Grief Support
P.O. Box 8057, Long Beach, California 90808
562-429-0075 / Fax# 562-429-0076
www.newhopegrief.org / email: email@example.com
Grief Support Handbooks are available for adults and children. Contact New Hope Grief Support Community to place your order.
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