There’s pleasure in it too. The lost and absent brings.
Near twenty years have passed away The friends I left that parting day,
Since here I bid farewell How changed, as time has sped!
To woods and fields, and scenes of play, Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And playmates loved so well. And half of all are dead.
B2. Contemporary experiences of grieving in United States Culture 1. Death not a popular subject in conversation (as opposed to media)
2. Death a subject people avoid
3. Death has gradually withdrawn from everyday life
4. Fewer public moments, more private moments
5. Less ceremony now, more focus on "getting over it" and "getting on with one's life"
Q: Experiences with minimizing those public moments? V. Importance of studying grief reactions A. Everyone has the painful experience of loss B. Our culture poorly understands, poorly responds to grieving individuals
The psychological responses to grieving are fairly common
Applying the pattern of grieving the deceased to other losses
VI. Complicated Bereavement A. Defined as… B. Other examples of complicated bereavement include 1. Bereavement Overload
2. Mummification (“Ordinary People”)
3. Frozen Grief (“Sanford Jones”)
VII. The basis for “normal” grieving
Common cognitive and behavioral reactions in grief
-Preservation of personal effects
-Attachment to physical reminders
-Constant thinking, obsession, even “illusions”
-Dreams of the deceased
B. Mourners are “different” -Seen in the “custom of seclusion”
a) allowing survivors to shelter their grief from world
b) preventing survivors from forgetting their deceased too quickly
C. Manifesting grief -People experience a wide range of emotions, especially early on
D. The course of grief 1. Shock/Denial Q: How can compartmentalizing grief be useful? How can it hurt us? 2. Fear C.S. Lewis: No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the
sensation is like being afraid…There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I
want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If they would talk
to one another and not to me...
3. Longing 4. Anger
5. Depression 6. and finally…Acceptance Freud: We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss, the acute
stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else.
C. Typical questions children ask D. Suggestions: -Avoid euphemisms
-Taking a child to a funeral service?
-Be open and honest
-Plan on revisiting the issue REPEATEDLY
-Remember the stages of grief
-LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN
HANDOUT: How to talk to children about death (G. Koocher)
X. Some interventions
Shakespeare said it best
“Give sorrow words: The Grief that does not speak knits up the o’erwrought heard and bids it break.”
B. The Grief Circle (Guinee, 1995) Choose someone in your life that you loved but now he/she is now gone. Put that person’s name in the middle of the page, and then draw a circle around it. Draw another circle around the first one, and keep making bigger circles until you run out of room.
Each circle represents a group of people in this person’s life who had the same “emotional attachment.” The closer the circle to the middle, the more emotionally attached these people were to the person listed.
Now begin writing names of people who have grieved this loss. Which circle do they belong in? Which circle do YOU belong in?
C. Death education -Teach self, others what NOT to say:
“God must have had something important for him/her to do”
“You’re not still sleeping in the same bed, are you?”
“You have to be strong for your children”
“You need to get on with your life”
D. If they left… Each person has five pieces of paper and writes down three things very important to them
the person sitting directly on their left. If they are touched on the shoulder, this means
they have died and must leave the room. Discuss then how it felt to lose this person?
How was it for the person who was sitting to their right (and left)?
E. Writing letters [e.g., “Dear God, I am angry…”] F. Helping yourself and others respond to grief 1. It is ok to not want to let go right away
2. You will never completely let go
3. No longer feeling bad doesn’t mean no longer loving the person
4. It is good to talk to others and let others talk to you
5. Don’t be surprised if others react differently to this person’s death than you do
6. Be patient with yourselves and others
7. Do not be surprised that a death will affect many areas of your life
8. What is “normal” and “abnormal” more often a matter of how long rather than what
"A grief observed" http://catanddoghelp.com/animals/bereavement.php
2. Grief over the loss of a child
2. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross http://www.compassionatefriends.org/
"On death and dying"
ISBN 0-6848-4223-8 3. Grief Recovery Institute
3. Staudacher, C.
“Beyond Grief: A guide for recovering from the death of a loved one.”
4. Kenneth J. Doka, Charles A. Corr (Editor), Bruce Jenning (Editor)
"Living with Grief: Ethical Dilemmas at the End of Life"
XIII. Bible References for the bereaved
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.
Isaia 57:1-2 “The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.”
Isaia 51:11 “So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Jeremiah 49:11 “Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; let your widows trust in Me."
John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."