COPING WITH THE LOSS OF A PARENT DURING THE MIDDLE CHILDHOOD YEARS

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,200

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most trying crises any person will go through during a lifetime.  Despite the fact that death is a common and inevitable loss, the changes associated with it can be overwhelming, bewildering and unexpected.  However, while the emotional pain associated with the death of someone we love can never be wholly diminished (for to do so would be to negate the importance of the life that is ended), that pain can be lessened through a more accurate understanding of the process of grief. A number of recent studies argue that both mental-health professionals and society as a whole have made enormous strides in understanding the process of grieving and using that understanding of how grief affects each individual to help people prepare for and work through the process of grief.  (Archer, 2000; McGlauflin, 1998; McGovern & Barry, 2000).

Research into the way in which individuals grieve has led to two separate bodies of findings. While some researchers have focused on similarities in the ways in which grieve others have focused on the vast differences that exist in the ways that people experience and recover from grief.  Even within groups that might seem to be relatively homogeneous (widows whose long-term husbands have died, for example), the grieving process of individuals is unique and may have great variability from one individual to another (Becvar, 2001; Bowlby, 1980).   This should hardly prove to be surprising to us: Individuals are unique and the way in which they experience grief must be expected to reflect their own unique experiences and emotional make-up.

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