Loss and Grief
Grief can be understood as the feeling of ‘psychological pain’ that a person feels after suffering a loss. Everyone experiences grief at some time in life, but each person feels grief in his or her own way. There is therefore no ‘right’ way to grieve, and no ‘wrong’ way to grieve. Each person grieves in a unique way. Because every person’s grief is different, there is no single ‘template’ for a helper to follow in helping a person in grief. Each situation must be assessed as it unfolds; and adjustments need to be made from time to time. The initial grief reaction can be very intense indeed and a person can feel that life will never be the same again. In these first despairing days following a significant loss, a caring helper might be able to do nothing more than ‘hold a hand’ and ‘just be there.’ This sort of caring presence is, in itself, therapeutic and helpful. Grief is like a wound, and with the passage of time the wound usually heals, even if it often leaves a mental scar that is always there. This chapter explores loss and grief and recommends strategies and techniques to help those who are dealing with it.
- what is loss?
- what is bereavement?
- the grieving process and associated emotions
- pathological grief
- loss and grief in the young and old.