Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Characteristics Of Parental Grief

Parental grief is boundless. It touches every aspect of a parent's being...When a child dies, parents grieve for the rest of their lives. Their grief becomes part of them...  As time passes, parents come to appreciate that grief is their link to the child, their grief keeps them connected to the child.  
~ by ARNOLD AND GEMMA, IN CORR ET AL. 1996, 50-51

We all know and understand that death is an experience that is common to all mankind, an experience that touches all members of the human family. Death transcends all cultures and beliefs; there is both commonality and individuality in the grief experience. When a loved one dies, each person reacts very differently. 

A child's death, however, is such a wrenching event that all affected by it express sadness and dismay and are painfully shaken. Such a devastating loss exacts an emotional as well as a physical toll on the parents and family - it is often referred to as an inconsolable grief.

Bereavement specialists point to the commonalities of parental grief that may include an overwhelming sense of its magnitude, a sense that the pain will last forever, a sense that the grief is etched into one's very being. They explain that it is also important for these parents to express their anger outwardly so that it will not turn inward and possibly become a destructive force in the future. 

These specialists say that although there are many commonalities in parental grief, individual reactions often vary and that the same person may even experience contradictory reactions. 

These specialists also say that the two responses experienced most commonly by bereaved parents are a baffling sense of disorientation and a deep conviction that they must never let go of the grief.

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