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The grieving process - Essay Example

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Summary
Grief infers a normal and natural response (whether emotionally, physically, or spiritually) to loss of a loved one or something bearing a personal value. Grief in this case may be anticipatory, unanticipated, or ambiguous. The process of grief is multifaceted, with the…
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The grieving process
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The grieving process

determinants of grief differ according to various factors such as significance attributed to the loss, circumstances surrounding the loss, and utilization of support networks.
The grieving process and stages features in Elisabeth Kubler-Ross book, On Death and Dying (1969). Although, the five stages can be regarded as universal, they do not necessarily follow a linear order. Sadness (feelings of pain and sorrow) is the prominent feeling experienced in grief triggered by feelings of emptiness or despair, although distracted by denial, anger, guilt, and fear, which trigger defense mechanisms (Shives, 2008).
Shock is mainly an initial response to loss as the individual seeks emotional protection from the overwhelming loss. Most individuals rationalize the loss with numbed disbelief, in an effort to escape from reality (Webb, 2011). The denial and isolation plays out when individuals perceive it to be a mistake. Denial is predominantly a temporary defense followed by isolation.
Individuals normally replace denial with feelings of frustration, rage, resentment, and envy. Anger is a common response to feelings of frustration, abandonment, or powerlessness (Webb, 2011). The anger may be directed towards self, God, or life due to the perceived injustices occasioned by the loss. Pain and guilt features less extreme self-reproach regarding things that the griever feels failed to do prior to the loss (Timby, 2009).
Bargaining stems from the realization that the individual cannot derive much from anger, and thus opts to make a last ditch negotiation with fate and God. This is heralded by feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. The patient or individual normally reverts to some form of childhood response. Bargaining in this case may feature an endeavor to downplay loss demonstrated by an alteration in behavior (Webb, 2011).
Depression arises when the individual can no longer deny or ignore the loss as the feelings of immense loss sinks in, and anger and ... Read More
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