HNC Social Care Grief & Loss

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Topics: Death, Burial, Funeral
Supporting Individuals Experiencing Loss and Grief.

Grief is a natural response to a major loss, though often deeply painful and can have a negative impact on your life. Any loss can cause varied levels of grief often when someone least expects it however, loss is widely varied and is often only perceived as death. Tugendhat (2005) argued that losses such as infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, adoption and divorce can cause grief in everyday life. Throughout our lives we all face loss in one way or another, whether it is being diagnosed with a terminal illness, loss of independence due to a serious accident or illness, gaining a criminal record (identity loss), losing our job, home or ending a relationship; we all experience loss that will trigger grief but some experiences can be less intense.

Kubler-Ross (2005) argued that there were five stages of grief, these being the following stages: 'Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance'. She believes these five stages of grief are part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we have lost and feels these stages make people better equipped to cope with life and loss. She states that they are not tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or goes in a prescribed order (Kubler-Ross et al., 2005). A description of Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief are:
Denial - on first hearing of the death there may be disbelief. The person may hang on to the hope that the deceased will walk in as normal. Numbness and shock may also be felt. Again, this particular process can be applied to any kind of loss not just death.
Anger - the strength of the pain results in anger; this anger can be directed at anyone, including self anger where the bereaved person blamed themselves.
Bargaining - some people may try to negotiate with another person or with god to be given another



Bibliography: Cowan, C. (2008) Risk factors in cases of known deaths of young people with experience of care: an exploratory study, Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care. 7 (1). Cowling, C (2010). Good Funeral Guide, Continuum. New York. p73. Douglas, A (2002). Victorian Mourning Customs, Pagewise, Inc. Retrieved from http://ky.essortment.com/victorianmouri_rlse.htm. Kubler-Ross, E and Kessler, D (2005). On Grief and Grieving, London: Simon & Schuster. p7-28. Tugendhat, J (2005). Living with Grief and Loss, Sheldon Press. London. Wright, J Wrigley, E. A. and Schofield, R (1981). The Population History of England 1541–1871, London.

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