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BEREAVEMENT AND GRIEF. . PRESENTATION. BY Adelbert Scholtz [counselling psychologist & retired pastor]. BEREAVEMENT AND GRIEF. The tragedy of life Symptoms Stages Support. 1. THE TRAGEDY OF LIFE. A UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation



  • PRESENTATIONBYAdelbert Scholtz [counselling psychologist & retired pastor]

  • BEREAVEMENT AND GRIEFThe tragedy of lifeSymptomsStagesSupport


  • A UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCEWhen bereavement and grief is discussed most of us can relate to thatAlmost every adult has lost a loved one and suffered tragedies, other losses and disappointments

  • THE FALL OF MANAlienation between Creator and manAlienation between man and manMan is spiritually dead (Eph 2: 1-2)Life is, therefore, often a burden and a tragedy

  • DEATHA natural and inevitable part of lifeNobody lives foreverAn experience never to be repeated and feared by most peopleAlways painful for loved ones

  • REMINDER OF OWN MORTALITYWhen a loved one dies you are reminded o That nothing is permanento That your own death is waiting

  • BROKEN HEARTSRelationships often come to an endDivorceLove affairs end sometimesResult: a broken heart, trauma, feelings of guilt

  • TRAGIC LOSSESLoss of health (e g cancer, HIV/AIDS &tc) Loss of youthfulnessLoss of a job & incomeLoss of a limb, organ, eyesight or hearing

  • TRAUMAGreek: (= wound)Physical and psychological woundsBoth are realBoth can be crippling

  • PSYCHOLOGICAL PAINGrief and bereavement are the result of some or other trauma or psychological woundIt is always very painfulAlthough it is invisible, it is very real


    We often hear: Time heals all woundsThe trouble with that is. it takes TIME!And LOTS of it!


  • SYMPTOMSUsually sadness and depressionOften anxietyBereavement as such is not a psychological disorder

  • ICD-10: F32 Depressive Episode (1)In typical mild, moderate, or severe depressive episodes, the patient suffers from lowering of mood, reduction of energy, and decrease in activity. Capacity for enjoyment, interest, and concentration is reduced, and marked tiredness after even minimum effort is common. Sleep is usually disturbed and appetite diminished. Self-esteem and self-confidence are almost always reduced and, even in the mild form, some ideas of guilt or worthlessness are often present.

  • ICD-10: F32 Depressive Episode (2)The lowered mood varies little from day to day, is unresponsive to circumstances and may be accompanied by so-called "somatic" symptoms, such as loss of interest and pleasurable feelings, waking in the morning several hours before the usual time, depression worst in the morning, marked psychomotor retardation, agitation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and loss of libido. Depending upon the number and severity of the symptoms, a depressive episode may be specified as mild, moderate or severe.

  • MOST IMPORTANT SYMPTOMSAn inability to enjoy anythingLack of energy, tirednessTearfulnessPessimism & hopelessnessSleeping disordersDecreased appetite & weight lossUnrealistic feelings of guiltSuicidal tendencies

  • DEPRESSION AS REACTIONDepression a reaction to some or other disaster or serious loss, e g death of a beloved one, loss of income, loss of health or cessation of an important relationshipNobody can stay untouched in these circumstances Depression is a normal reaction after such a blow or loss

  • AGGREVATING FACTORSSocial isolationInadequate dietWeak self-imagePessimismChronic pain & bad healthDependency on alcohol & other drugs


  • STAGESStages in the mourning process:DisbeliefAngerFeelings of guiltNegotiationAcceptance(As identified by Elizabeth Kbler-Ross)

  • DISBELIEFCannot believe newsThis cannot happen to me!All expectations and plans about the future are wiped out

  • ANGERAngry towards those who may be responsible for lossAngry towards the world in generalAngry towards GodWhy me!!!?

  • FEELINGS OF GUILTRemorse about lost chancesGuilt about wrongs committed (is this loss a punishment for past wrongs?)Could loss have been prevented?Result of fall of man

  • NEGOTIATIONTry to negotiate with God or humanity in generalPromises

  • ACCEPTANCELast stageAccepts the inevitableMake peace with irreversible situation

  • DURATIONMourning the loss of a spouse or child: at least a yearOther losses: usually lessIf grief does not clear it may become pathological

  • 4. SUPPORT

  • THE FUNERALMuch has to be organisedMany volunteersBig expensesThose left behind often in a haze or drugged

  • AFTER THE FUNERALLoneliness sets inAdministration of the estate Those left behind are often helplessLife cannot go on as normal too many adjustmentsSupport most needed at this stage

  • ROLE OF FRIENDS & FAMILYNo magic wand availableWounds take time to healListen with empathyAllow tears to flowBe availableSupervise mealsHelp with exercise

  • MOURNINGThose left behind have an urgent need to mourn the deceased by CryingTalking about the deceasedCelebrating his/her lifeCompleting tasks left uncompletedComplying with his/her last wishesSo dont get drugged!

  • MOURNINGAfter a catastrophy or other loss The person also goes into mourningCannot easily adjust to new life

  • SUPPORT WHEN A CHILD DIESDont tell the grieving parents that you know exactly how they feelthat the child is now in a better placethat they may have other childrenthat God picks the most beautiful flowersJust be there for them and allow them to cry and talk about their child

  • SUPPORT WHEN A CHILD DIESIf there are other children in the grieving family they also need To mournSupportTo talk about their sibling

  • MEDICATIONAntidepressants Meant to increase the supply of serotonin to the brainIneffective in many casesOften unpleasant side-effectsDont solve any problemsInterfere with mourning process and prolong the suffering

  • SLEEPING PILLSIt is necessary to get enough quality sleepSleeping pills are highly addictivePills dont provide quality sleep only induce a stuporUse only in an emergency

  • DREAMSMourning person often dreams of the deceased or lossDreams: coping mechanism of brainDrugs and sleeping pills interfere with dreaming

  • SUPPORT GROUPSGet to know new friends in similar circumstancesSafe environment to express griefGain knowledge and insightSocial support

  • YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFEDont neglect your spiritual lifePray & meditate What are your goals in life? What are your values?You may fight and argue with God as Jacob did (Gen 32)

  • NUTRITION & DIETEat lots of fresh veggies & fruitGet enough fibre in your dietSupplement with vitamins, minerals & omega-3 fatty acidsDrugs: NO!

  • EXERCISEYour body is designed for movementExercise produces endorphins potent pain killers and enhancers of moodHelps with relaxation & sleepGood for your overall health


    We often hear: Time heals all woundsThe trouble with that is. it takes TIME!And LOTS of it!BUT most wounds WILL heal, given time

  • HEALING OF SEVERE TRAUMAWhen trauma is severe and symptoms persist, then professional help is called forTreatment: hypnosis, EMDR, EFT, CBT &tc