Bereavement and Grief

Edith By Edith, 20th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Bereavement

Bereavement is a reality in life.While some people are handle bereavement successfully and even come out strong, others are not able to do so. in this article I look at the some of the reasons that could contribute to this difference and how bereaved persons can be helped through counseling.

Bereavement and Grief

There is a difference between bereavement and grief • Bereavement is the loss of a loved one by death. It is a statement of facts that somebody has died and is no more.
Grief is the deep distress caused by bereavement or any other loss. Grief in bereavement represents one’s reaction to the loss of a loved one through death. Grief reaction can manifest physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Physical reaction include lack of sleep, lack appetite, stomach problems and headaches. The most notable social reaction is withdrawal and loneliness. Emotionally a bereaved person with show great sadness sometimes accompanied by tears and confused thinking.while as some bereaved persons may become very spiritual in search for answers as to the loss of their loved ones, others may be angry at God and therefore withdrawal spiritually. These reactions are normal grief reactions and with time majority of the people are able to cope with the loss.

There are some factors that help people to cope with loss. These resilient factors include:
1. Individual factors. People who have a positive attitude toward life are able to see life beyond the death of a loved one. To them life has great rewards and the hope for tomorrow keeps them going. Instead of focusing so much on what they have lost, they focus on how the departed impacted on their lives positively

2. social support is another resilient factor. When a bereaved person is surrounded by loving and caring friends and relatives the pain of loss is eased. Social support is necessary in terms of physical and emotional support. For example, helping the bereaved person carry out some chores like purchasing a coffin or cooking for the children,if one has children, or a colleague at the place of work helping with some assignment.

3.Spirituality is another resilient factor in helping with bereavement and grief. Loss through death leaves the bereaved with many answered questions. The belief that some of these questions will never be answered or the consolation that the questions will be answered someday helps to relieve the anger and anxiety of answered questions. The awareness of finality of death and continuity of life is essential for the loved ones to cope in life.

4. Professional Counseling is very helpful especially for the bereaved persons who are not coping very well with the loss. Loss comes with varied emotional reactions including denial, anger, and guilt. Though these emotional reactions are normal, prolonged emotional reactions can impact negatively on the bereaved person. Professional counseling will help the person to resolve recurring emotional reactions. The aim of counseling is to help the bereaved come to terms with the loss, be able to bid their loved ones bye and to reconstruct life without their loved ones. The counselor aims at making the client to positively see life beyond the loss.

Because human beings have the capability for resiliency even under very difficult circumstances, the above factors will help to facilitate the grief process and build resiliency.


Bereaved Persons, Bereavement Counseling, Grief Counseling

Meet the author

author avatar Edith
A counseling psychologist and an educationist . I am interested in writing on parenting and the youth

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