Your Grief Youre Not Going

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     Y OUR  GRIEF:

     Y OU'RE NOT GOING CRAZY

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    1

     Y OUR  GRIEF: Y OU'RE

    NOT GOING CRAZY

    It is dificult to imagine the magnitude o !ain

    associated "ith the t#aumatic death o

    a lo$ed one%

    &hen someone is illed suddenl(

    and $iolentl()

    g#ie #eactions o amil( and #iends

    can *e intense)

    com!licated) and long lasting% I (ou#

    lo$ed one "as illed in a d#un d#i$ing

    c#ash) (ou ma( eel ang#ie# than (ou

    ha$e e$e# elt and sadde# than (ou

    thought !ossi*le% You ma( ha$e sca#(

    thoughts and (ou ma( do st#ange

    things% You ma( *e a#aid (ou a#e +going

    c#a,(%+ G#ie$ing the death o (ou#

    lo$ed one can eel so o$e#"helming

    that (ou ma( -uestion (ou# o"n

    sanit(%

    Fo# man( !eo!le g#ie is uncha#ted te##ito#(

    and can *e $e#( unsettling%

    Unde#standing mo#e a*out (ou# g#ie "ill not change ho"

     (ou eel a*out the death o (ou# lo$ed

    one) *ut it ma( hel! (ou to eel mo#e

    como#ta*le "ith the !#ocess%

     A  N T I C I PAT E D D E AT H V  E R S U S

    T R A U M AT I C D E AT

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    H

     Anticipated

     Death

    G#ie$ing the sudden death o a lo$ed one is t(!icall(

    dife#ent than the e.!e#ience o

    g#ie$ing an antici!ated death% &hen the death o

    a lo$ed one

    is e.!ected) !eo!le oten *egin to eel

    the efects o the loss *eo#e the death actuall( occu#s%

    Collecti$el() these #eactions a#e #ee##ed

    to as antici!ato#( g#ie%

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    2

     W hen a lo$ed one is diagnosed "ith a te#minal

    illness) amil( and #iends ma( #eact

    "ith dis*elie%

    The( ma( see se$e#al medical

    o!inions to

    su*stantiate the !#ognosis% As death

    a!!#oaches)

    the( ma( *ecome ang#(/ ang#( that

    mode#n science

    can de$elo! machines as mi#aculous

    as com!ute#s

    *ut cannot 0nd a cu#e o# a !a#ticula#

    disease% The( ma( *e sad and

    de!#essed as the( ace the act that

    thei# lo$ed one "ill die) (et long o#

    #elie as the( "atch thei# lo$ed one

    sufe#%

    The acno"ledgement that death is imminent

    eithe# *#ings !eo!le close# togethe# o# it

    causes them

    to distance themsel$es emotionall(%

    Eithe# "a()

    antici!ato#( g#ie is *elie$ed to cushion

    the im!act%

    Togethe# the !e#son "ho is d(ing and

    the !eo!le

    the( lo$e ha$e an o!!o#tunit( to #esol$e

    eelings and #elate lo$ingl( *eo#e death

    occu#s%

    Famil( and #iends a#e oten su#!#ised to lea#n

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    that the( go th#ough man( o the same

    eelings o

    dis*elie) ange#) and sadness ate#

    thei# lo$ed one

    dies% G#ie$ing an antici!ated death can

    tae se$e#al

    months o# se$e#al (ea#s% 1ost !eo!le

    0nd that i the( allo" thei# emotions

    to 2o" and the( tal

    o!enl( a*out thei# loss) the !ain "ill

    dec#ease) little

    *( little% Those "ho attem!t to den(

    thei# g#ie

    and !#etend that nothing has

    ha!!ened ma( ha$e mo#e dificult(%

    It is tem!ting to la*el antici!ato#( g#ie as

    +no#mal g#ie)+ *ut e" !eo!le) e$en

    in the *est o ci#cumstances) eel +no#mal+ as

    the( g#ie$e%

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    3

    3o"e$e#) the !e#son "ho can antici!ate

    a death ma( #eact dife#entl( than the !e#son "ho

    has no time to !#e!a#e%

    Traumatic

     Death

     A sudden death is usuall( mo#e dificult to co!e "ith

    than an e.!ected death% &hen a

    !e#son is $iolentl( illed) the death is

    e$en mo#e t#aumatic% 4u#$i$ing

    amil( mem*e#s and #iends a#e

    emotionall( assaulted

    "ith no time to g#aduall( !#e!a#e o#

    the loss% You

    could ha$e ne$e# !#e!a#ed o# the

    inca!acitating *lo" caused *( (ou# lo$ed

    one's t#aumatic death%

     Violence of te De!t" You# lo$ed one's death "as

     $iolent% 3is o# he# *od( ma( ha$e

    *een mutilated%

    5no"ing this ma( *e mo#e !ainul o#

     (ou than the

    e.!e#ience "as o# the one "ho "as

    illed% &hen

    !eo!le a#e se#iousl( in6u#ed the(

    usuall( go into

    shoc and do not e.!e#ience !ain% 1an(

    !eo!le "ho

    ha$e #eco$e#ed #om t#auma do not

    #emem*e# the

    !oint o im!act) "hethe# it "as #om an

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    automo*ile c#ash) a gunshot "ound) o#

    othe# o#m o t#auma% In

    act) most sa( that it "as some time

    *eo#e the( elt

    !ain) e$en i the( d#ited in and out o

    consciousness%

    E $en so) (ou !#o*a*l( "ould ha$e done

    an(thing to !#e$ent the $iolation o (ou#

    lo$ed one's

    *od(% You g#ie$e the loss o (ou# lo$ed one's *od(

    and ma( dee!l( #esent the act

    that it "as not #es!ected *( the

    ille#%

    #ecause o the condition o (ou# lo$ed one's

    *od() (ou ma( not ha$e *een a*le to

     $ie" it at the

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    4

    hos!ital o# une#al home% As a #esult)

     (ou ma( *e #el(ing on antasies to o#m a !ictu#e

    o ho" he o# she looed% You ma( e$en

    ha$e dou*ts that (ou#

    lo$ed one died and ma( 0nd (ou#sel e.!ecting him

    o# he# to "al th#ough the doo# o#

    call on the tele!hone%

    Man( !eo!le "ho "e#e a*le to  $ie" the *od(

    o thei# lo$ed one a#e glad the( did%

    3o"e$e#) the#e

    a#e othe# "a(s to *e assu#ed o the

    #ealit( o thei#

    death% The la" eno#cement agenc( that

    in$estigated

    the c#ash !#o*a*l( too !hotos o the

    c#ash% These

    !hotos ma( *e at the !#osecuto#'s ofice%

    The medical

    e.amine# o# the une#al home ma( also

    ha$e !hotos i (ou "ish to $ie" them%

    Sen$ele$$ne$$ of te De!t"   Anothe# dificult

    com!onent o t#aumatic death is the

    senselessness o (ou# lo$ed one's death%

    7eo!le gene#all( unde#stand

    that death occu#s "hen *odies g#o"

    old o# a#e no

    longe# a*le to 0ght disease% You# lo$ed

    one's death) ho"e$e#) "as clea#l(

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    someone's ault% The act that someone

    chose to *e so negligent and #ecless

    maes no sense at all% 5no"ing that

     (ou# lo$ed one's death

    could ha$e *een !#e$ented ma( *e one

    o the most !ainul as!ects o (ou#

    g#ie$ing%

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    5

    U N D E R S TA N D I N G G R I

    E F

    The Importance of  Relationships

    8eath is acce!ted as an ine$ita*ilit( o lie% 1ost

    o us unde#stand that "ith the death o

    a lo$ed one

    comes !ain and sufe#ing% 3o"e$e#) in

    o#de# to ull( a!!#eciate the im!act o

    death) "e must conside# the

    signi0cance o human #elationshi!s%

    T he deg#ee o !ain and sufe#ingthat ollo"s

    a death is di#ectl( #elated to the

    natu#e o the

    #elationshi! *et"een the su#$i$o# and

    the !e#son

    "ho died% &ithout the #elationshi!) the

    death "ould ca##( no meaning and cause

    no sufe#ing%

     W hen a !a#tne# dies) the  $ictim9su#$i$o#

    has lost a *est #iend) lo$e#) !#ima#(

    con0dant) and

    !e#ha!s) co!a#ent% I (ou# !a#tne#

    "as illed)

     (ou lost such an essential !a#t o

     (ou#sel that (ou

    ma( eel incom!lete and

    a*andoned% 1aing

    ma6o# decisions alone "hile

    maintaining a amil(

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    can *e e.t#emel( dificult% Facing

    0nancial

    #es!onsi*ilities "ithout (ou# !a#tne#'s

    in!ut ma( add to (ou# *u#den%

     W e tend to $ie" ou# !a#ents as immo#tal%

    &e antici!ate that i and "hen ou# !a#ents die) thei#

    deaths "ill *e !eaceul and !leasant% I

    a !a#ent "as

    illed) no matte# ho" old he o# she "as) (ou ma( dee!l( #eg#et that thei#

    death "as an undigni0ed

    one% Although some ma( sa( +3e li$ed a

    good lie)+ it ma( eel "#ong that (ou could not sa( +Than (ou

    o# all (ou ha$e done o# me+ o#

    +Good*(e%+

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    6

    Si*ling #elationshi!s a#e distincti$e in that

    the( oten last a lietime% ;#othe#s and

    siste#s sha#e

    simila# e.!e#iences and

    conse-uentl( sha#e a

    common histo#(% E$en "hen a si*ling

    dies du#ing childhood) the su#$i$ing

    si*ling tends to #ee# to

    that !e#son as *#othe# o# siste#% I (ou#

    si*ling "as