Death, Dying & Grief Term Paper

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Grief, Support group Pages: 4 (1665 words) Published: December 6, 2008
The Bereavement and Support of a Significant Other Taking into consideration his Native American heritage, death is viewed as a circular way of life. In grieving practices, they do not feel that death is something to be feared or mourned because it is a natural part of life that they accept. Further, they believe that talking about death and dying may cause it to happen, limiting his openness of expression and willingness to discuss the death of his spouse (Corr, Corr, & Nabe 2008). This may also have an impact on the way he publicly grieves; he may maintain a stoic and unemotional stature. This reflects the values of self-reliance, independence and keeping to oneself that are also prevalent in the Native American community; they do not want to impose opinions and feelings on others but would rather maintain those internally. This type of grieving can be compared to the American social norm of masculinity and what is perceived as acceptable forms of grieving. Instrumental grieving is more associated with masculinity in American culture, where grieving is carried out through problem solving and physical tasks versus intuitive grieving, where emotion is the main focus (Corr et al 2008). Even though society has changed, the 81-year-old spouse still believes in practicing his Native American customs and traditions, and in fact has passed them on to his daughters and their children. According to his ethnicity, the loss of his wife is seen as a natural event and that life itself is not linear, but circular and interwoven. The spouse’s grieving process consists of a communication restraint, making it difficult for him to discuss the loss of his wife with others. These beliefs and traditions of the Native American ethnicity make it extremely important to understand the needs and wants of the griever so that proper measures can be taken. As bereavement counselors from a local Hospice, it is our duty to ensure the well-being of the 81-year-old spouse. Our group has...

References: Bryant, Clifton. Handbook of Death and Dying (2 Vol. Set). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2003. “Ovarian Cancer (Cancer of the Ovaries).” 5 Dec. 2008 Robinson, Doane. A History of the Dakota or Sioux Indians. Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, Inc., 1956. “The Center for Active Generations.” 5 Dec. 2008 "What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer - National Cancer Institute." Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute. 5 Dec. 2008
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