The Negative Effects of Unresolved Grief Among Family Members

2646 Words Apr 16th, 2008 11 Pages
The Negative Effects of Unresolved Grief Among Family Members
The death of a parent is the most traumatic event most families will ever experience. The primary support after such an event comes from the surviving family members and close friends who knew the deceased parent. Additional help can be received from psychologists, grief counselors, and other professionals. Resolving short term shock and long term grief following the loss of a parent can be extremely difficult based on the age of the remaining family members and the relationship they had with the deceased parent. It is important to use all resources available to get the family through such an experience. Families who experience the death of a parent, without the support of
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When a child is about 5 years of age, they begin to understand that death is irreversible, and that it is a permanent separation. They know that dead people are different from living people because they cannot move, feel, hear, see, smell, or speak. When the child becomes nearer to puberty they begin to understand that there are physical changes in the dead person’s appearance (Black, 1998). For children fro 9 to 14, the process of mourning is complex and frustrating for the surviving parent. Many preadolescents shove their feelings away and are reluctant to talk about death. Adolescents from 12 to 14 are sometimes the hardest for the surviving parents to reach. They don’t want to talk about their parent’s death and hate the idea of showing emotion. Those children from 15 to 17 very much resemble adults in the way they handle their grief. They are able to be helpful and supportive of the surviving parent, sometimes so much so that the parent forgets that the child is still a child (Goode, 2000).
The way that children work through grief has a lot to do with how friends and family help and comfort them. In order for a child to have optimal emotional, social, and psychosexual development, they must have warm, secure, affectionate, individualized, and continuous experience of care from their parents or guardians (Black, 1998). When a child loses a parent, all stages of development, emotional, physical, social, and

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