Quiz 43: Loss, Grieving, and Death


Sanders described 5 phases of bereavement namely shock of the loss, awareness of the loss, conservation/ withdrawal, healing the loss, renewal. In the given case, all three surviving sons are distinct phases of bereavement. Eldest son lived near his mother's house. He was closer to her and his response to the loss suggests the awareness of the loss and then healing of the pain of the loss after a week. He was older and therefore, could manage to deal with grief better than the youngest son. Middle son was living far away from his mother and therefore, his emotional attachment was lesser compared to the other two sons. His response suggests that he was in the later phases of bereavement because he could manage to overcome the shock and awareness of the loss much faster than the other two brothers. Youngest son had difficulty attending the funeral, has been unable to sleep or eat and cannot concentrate at work and did not believe that his mother is dead now. Clearly the youngest son is in state of shock. All the observations are related to shock response to his loss. In a shock response, survivors are left with the confusion, unreality as well as disbelief that any loss has occurred.

Loss leads to grief and everyone experiences this, at least once in a lifetime. It might be failure of a relationship, divorce or death. People change after the grieving period is over, some for better some for worse. It is the nurses' duty to help out any client who may have had a loss, not affect his clinical condition. It is essential for the nurse to understand the importance of loss and grief. She has to assist the client go through that period. Complicated grief, unresolved grief and inhibited grief all are not considered normal or healthy, as they push the person to the wrong end. Hence, the options 4, 5 and 6 are incorrect. Abbreviated, anticipatory and disenfranchised grief all falls under normal and healthy grief. In this the person grieves for a moment and moves on. He realizes the loss and does not let it hamper his present life. Hence, the correct answer are options img , img and img .

Several factors may affect the response to a loss like death. They influence the person's reaction to the death. Some of these factors, which would have affected the responses of three sons different from each other, are as follows: Age- In the given case age is the major factor to the differential response to the same loss or death. Loss of death is rare events therefore; people do not have prior experience to handle a loss in every stage of life. Significance of the loss- It is the loss in the surviving person's life also plays a role in deciding the extent of grief. Dependence and closeness to the lost one are important factors. The middle son was able to observe the shock of the loss faster than the other sons because he was living away from the mother. Therefore, his life was not affected much in the other state where he lived. On the hand, eldest son was living closer to the mother and meeting his mother was part of his life. Support system- Closed ones are very useful in the process of healing out of the grief and pain associated with the loss like death. All three sons might have different support system at their houses.

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