Bereavement is the condition of people of being unhappy due to the demise death of a member of their family or friend. It is also said to be the condition of being deprived of someone, especially a loved one, through death. It is a distress but a common experience. The process of bereavement has an impact on the morbidity and mortality and is known to increase depression, alcohol consumption, and physical deteriorate of health (Worden, 2008).
Uncomplicated bereavement is said to be an ordinary response to a main loss. The reaction period depends on the rapidity of the loss, the bond that existed between the deceased and the survivor and also the oldness or the dead person’s physical condition. Symptoms of normal grief resolve within one year.
Grief is a normal, suitable and healthy reaction to loss. It is a practice of adaptation, with numerous signs that form part of the experience. Grief may also come before a loss, which is referred to as an anticipatory grief. In this case, grief involves the slow acceptance of the possible loss of an important person, possibly as a result of a progressive illness. Grief experience takes place in different phases which overlap as do the components of those phases. The phases include shock and preoccupation with the dead person (Boss, 2009).
Grief results in the complicated or pathological mourning, characterized by negative consequences for functioning or physical health. Complicated grief involves a failure to go back to levels or state of emotional well- being that existed the before loss. This is usually within a period of eighteen months after the loss of a loved one and is illustrated by depressed mood, lower self-esteem, deprived sleep and worse global functioning (Worden, 2008).
Prolonged grief, also known as traumatic grief, may take place when the process of ordinary grief and loss seem to become stuck, and there exists a continuance of the symptoms that are not resolved for months and even years. The relationship that was there between the deceased and the grieving person may also prolong the process of the grieving. The indications of prolonged grief may comprise the normal incredulity, anguish and bitterness that continue even past six months.
Primary and Secondary Loss
Primary loss is when one loses someone they cared about. Secondary loss is connected with the losses that come after the primary loss. They include loss of support, social standing and lifestyle and are also known as succeeding losses. Secondary loss may also impact on a person’s identity which results from the change of the way one identifiies himself and the changes in some roles due to the demise that was the primary loss.
Mourning is the act of lamentation or being grief-stricken by someone having experienced the loss of a person they loved. It may be manifested in different ways including wearing of black clothes and hanging of flags. Mourning may also be said to be a time during which an individual grieves, for example, wearing black clothes (Worden, 2008).
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Disenfranchised grief occurs where one experiences sadness, but is not able to talk about the pain; they are suffering with other people due to the grief being regarded as unacceptable to these other people. Other persons view the grief as unworthy and unwarranted.
Ambiguous loss is distress connected with the loss of something but there exists uncertainty or confusion regarding that thing returning or being restored. Ambiguous loss is of two types; the first occurring where there is physical absence and psychological existence, for instance, kidnappings or a child not living with their parents due to divorce. The second type occurs where the physical presence exists but there is psychological absence, for example, a child having a physically present parent who overindulges in drugs making them not emotionally available to the child (Boss, 2009).