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The emotional state of a person dealing with death is dependent on many variables. Variables such as age, sudden of onset of illness, and cause of death will affect each person in contact with the deceased differently. Also, learning of your own imminent demise has its own characteristics that are common, but not always shown. There are some standards established in the study of death that can be used as a guide in helping people that are grieving a loss.

The grief process is broken down into five overlapping phases. Beginning with shock the first phase the griever will have a first reaction of "No" and a feeling of numbness. This is known as the universal first reaction because most grievers display this reaction. Denial quickly follows shock with something like "This can't be happening to me." In the third phase anger is usually displayed in different ways. By blaming themselves, doctors, hospitals, and family members grievers will show their anger. Mourning is next and is almost always the longest phase of the grieving prcess. Guilt, loneliness, depression, and unprevoked crying are obvious signs of mourning. Making the realization that life must go on is part of the recovery phase. These symptoms may never fully subside. They can go away for short times and return only to repeat this over and over again. Lasting up to five years this Somatic Distress has some physical symptoms. Choking, shortness of breath and hallucinations are some severe examples of these symptoms. By accepting and expressing the emotions felt during the grieving process the griever can begin the healing of their soul. Crying is one of the greatest releases that a person consumed with grief has at his or her disposal. Everyone must try to forgive or deal with a life of hate. At times this may seem hard because of the circumstances, but it must be done. A person must face grief. Hiding behind drugs, alcohol, and any other dangerous forms of release only mask the underlying and unavoidable problem of grief. At times professional help is required to help the process along, but the only real cure is time.

When dealing with grieving children special caution must be taken with them. Never underestimate children's understanding of death. Yes, adults have a better understanding, but don't insult the intelligence children this only causes further problems. Don't hover over them either. Let their actions be your guide to each child's gieving process. Encourage their grieving and give affection to the child. Never ignore children they can be great therapy for the griever and the same is true for the opposite. As with adults children will eventually go on with life and heal. Most children will continue to grow mentally without professional help.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is one of the hardest deaths to deal with due to the lack of a cause of death explanation. The police inadvertently

cause more unneeded stress by questioning the parents to rule out homicide. To begin dealing with the sudden loss of a child parents must first understand that the death was unpreventable. After an occurrence

of SIDS the parents will be under a constant state of emotional stress. When dealing with a family grieving a SIDS loss expect the most extreme emotions and actions. Support groups for parents are great help and give them a comfortable place to express themselves. SIDS cases touch everyone involved including paramedics, police, and other health care providers. Counseling for everyone is strongly advised by SIDS experts.




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