Monday, August 19, 2019

Grief Patterns in Children Essay -- science

Grief Patterns in Children A simple child That lightly draws its breath And feels its life in every limb What should it know of death. This question has been posed by many philosophers, religious leaders and psychologists for centuries, yet has been a potent taboo in society even today. As the field of psychology is gaining ground and knowledge in how behaviors affect the way in which we interact with others, we are discovering new ways to approach and view the mental processes of a human and apply them to how a person grieves that loss. But while oft times those assumptions, hypothesis, and theories are made by adults for adults, the child is a more difficult subject in which to study since it has not achieved its mature mental capabilities. For the adult, a full and eventful life is the predecessor of a grasp of what life and death actually entail, whereas for the child a pure and incomprehensible approach is taken when trying to understand and rationalize its loss. These differences cause much pain and suffering for both adults and children when one does not understand what each is going through and needs, especi ally those of the child. It is often mistaken that bereavement, grief, and mourning are all used synonymously, when they are all in fact quite different terms, which are essential to understanding what relates to a loss proceeding a death. Bereavement alludes to the stress that the person who has experienced the loss is feeling, but not necessarily defining the stress' nature. Grief is the actual process that follows in stages which may occur at different times ensuing the death and loss. According to Tom Golden, LCSW, "grief is related to desire. Whether the desire is large or small, if it is not met, (one) will probably have grief." (Tom Golden, Crisis, Grief, & Healing) Mourning, according to Sigmund Freud, is "the mental work following the loss of a love object through death." (Fuhrman, 1974, p 34, quoting S. Freud, 1915/1957) It not only concerns itself with the present loss but also with the future possibility of relationships. But when a person experiences the loss of a parent through death, they are forever shaped and mettled. Although it has been theorized and debated over whether a child mourns or is even capable of mourning, the affirmations on the cases' part have been very well supported. In order to understand the differ... ...h is a process, not an event." (p. 47) When expecting a child to demonstrate certain characteristics, it is not uncommon for the parent to be confused since both are on different levels of recognizing the loss and dealing with it. Attempting to understand and sympathize with the child and to help them effectively deal with their emotions and confusion is very helpful, not only for the child but for the parent. Everyone, at some point in their life, is going to experience a death or have someone close to them experience a death, the key is communication--opening up and being perceptive to the needs of the bereaved. Sometimes the survivors will exemplify attitudes and actions which show independence and strength yet have needs that need to be met. The everyday changes everyone experiences are and can be very burdensome, but for children, with the uncertainty of their worlds and the people that fill them, it may seem almost impossible to deal with. The significance is in helping the children to deal with their loss at a developmentally appropriate level and to help them "get through" their feelings and to rebuild their lives with the environment in which they've been left.

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