Death, Dying, and Grief

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~ To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness ~ --Erich Fromm. Death, Dying, and Grief. Some Questions. What is grief? How does grief differ from sadness? How do we get over grief? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Death, Dying, and Grief

Death, Dying, and Grief~ To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness ~ --Erich Fromm

Some QuestionsWhat is grief?How does grief differ from sadness?How do we get over grief?Does everyone grieve the same way?What is the appropriate way to grieve?What kinds of situations cause us to grieve?What do we do when we lose someone close to us?How can the experience of someone dying be made easier?What do you say to someone who is grieving?Pre-DeathWillsLiving willWritten while alive and healthyExpresses what medical treatment is to be administeredLast will and testamentWritten while alive and healthyExpresses where assets should go and what to do with property, children, etc.WishesCremation vs BurialMemorial services, open/closed casket, wakeOrgan/tissue donerOrgans must be farmed immediately (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys)Tissues include skin, bones, and eyesIn the event of a deathDo not move anything or anyone; try to keep gawkers away and dont go near anythingCall 911; they will notify the other authoritiesDo not start to spread the word; allow time for the family to let others knowBody identificationusually the closest relativePlanning a FuneralJourney: Hospital to morgue to funeral homeNewspaper: Writing the obituaryMemorial accountsPallbearers/UshersMostly males, friends or family membersEulogiesIts ok to declineIts ok to cry, but dont lose control2-10 minutes longPick a few characteristics or storiesFlowersBaskets/plants (any kind, can be from anyone)Wreaths/crosses (usually sent by a group)Fancy arrangements (from family/for family)Casket arrangements (from immediate family only)

Funeral BehaviorWhat Do I say?Avoid overt emotional outburstsTo Adults (ages 14 or older):Im so sorryYoure in my thoughtsLet me know if you need anythingAre you sleeping?Take care of yourselfTo Children (under 13):Talk about something else. Dont mention the deceased to childrenAsk about their sports or other interestsComment on how nice they lookTake young children something to snack on, candy, or a drinkFuneral DressMen:Wear darker clothingDress pants and a button up shirt is okA tie makes all the differenceWomen:Darker colors are appropriateDress, skirt, or dress pantsFuneral ProcessionsIf you are in one:Your stereo should not be heard outside of your carTurn on your lights and your hazardsFollow closely; dont allow too much room between you and the car in front of youYou do not have to obey any traffic signs or signalsIf you see one:GET OFF THE ROAD! Stop your car, pull off the road, even if its across several lanes or going in the opposite directionAfter a DeathAllow yourself to grieveTry to get back into your routine; dont allow your life to stopLearn to read your emotions; the feelings can come back up at any timeIf you are in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, its okay to remove yourselfMemorials and rituals are ok, as long as they arent all-consumingStages of Grief1. SHOCK & DENIAL-You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

2. PAIN & GUILT-As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs. You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one.

3. ANGER & BARGAINING-Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion. You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")

4. DEPRESSION and LONELINESS-Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

5. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

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