The Loss Of A Loved One

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The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences to endure in a human lifetime. The grieving process often encompasses the survivors’ entire world and affects their emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and physical selves in unexpected ways. After a major loss, such as the death of a spouse or child, up to a third of the people most directly affected will suffer detrimental effects on their physical and/or mental health (Jacobs 1993).

What is Grief and it’s Stages

Grief refers to the psychological reaction to the bereavement, the death of a loved one. When a person dies who has been a close companion and with whom we have had a close bond with, many changes in our life have to be taken in. Death of a long-term partner can force on us a need to redefine ourselves and it is not an easy task. Grief becomes a problem when someone gets stuck in grief, this is know as “complicated grief” or “chronic grief”. Factors that contribute to this include a lack of family support and remaining overly focused on past memories. Returning to normal everyday activities is the most obvious sign that the grieving stage is over.

Grieving becomes problematic when it lasts longer than six months. Signs of this include loneliness, emptiness, regret, not acknowledging the death, and avoiding places that would be reminders of the deceased person. It is only problematic if these symptoms are excessive and interfere with normal everyday life. Grief is not an illness and usually does not
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