Dealing with Grief

Whenever we face loss, we experience grief.  The responses that we have as we grieve are very unique and individual.  Each of us responds differently to loss.  And we may even experience different reactions as we face different kinds of losses.  Our reactions to grief can include physical symptoms, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

Many times, we experience grief emotionally.  We may experience all kinds as we face loss. Anger, for example, is a common and natural reaction to loss.  That loss may then create a deep sense of powerlessness and rage.  We may be angry with god, or the universe, for this unfair act.  And we may express that anger and rage, taking it out on others around us.

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Children's Questions About Death

How do you tell a child that a loved one has died?
Being straightforward is best.  Tell the truth.  The child must understand that death cannot be changed back to life.  Say where the body will be.  Talk about the cause of death.  This may be painful, but the child is entitled to know.  Answer questions directly.  Your own beliefs will, of course, affect what you say about the meaning of death and life after death, bur be careful-some phrases can do harm.  For example, "gone to sleep" may lead to a fear of going to sleep, and "God took her" may lead to hating God.  Moreover, death in a hospital may lead to fear of hospitals unless the role of the hospital is explained.

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