This post is an attempt to understand briefly the normal grief and the process of care and counseling in the situation of normal grief.
There are different kinds of problems and difficulties that can occur in a person’s life. These difficulties and problems bring a person into the situation of grief.
This grief can affect the total life of that person who is into grief in other words it can be said that it’s important to remember that changes in one area of life affect changes in all.
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What is Grief?
The term grief literary means ‘heavy’. It derives from the old French word ‘grief’ and also the Latin word ‘gravis’ means ‘weighty’. It is emotional suffering that disturbs the cognitive activity in normal life.
It’s the emotional suffering a person feels when something or someone whom he/she loves is taken away. Grief can be divided into two parts depending upon the circumstances which are named – normal grief and pathological grief.
1. Normal Grief
The term, Normal grief the feeling bereaved people experience, which peaks within the first six months after which starts off evolved to deplete. Normal grief is one reviews craving for the deceased and has painful memories. However, one is able to think of the existing and destiny.
Grief in its initial stages is best understood as an expression of the urge to search for what is lost. Only later, as the finality of the loss is fully found out, are “the hunt” step by step given up and the loss completely usual.
Allen Frances, who led the preceding DSM challenge force and has 40 years of experience inside the region, stated that he couldn’t distinguish normal grief from mild despair at weeks.
2. Symptoms of Normal Grief
a) Shock and Disbelief
Right after a loss it in not possible to tackle the condition and at the same time it is not possible to deny the truth.
For example, if a person in the family is dead, it is very difficult for us to accept the fact that now it is impossible for that dead person to come back to life.
Sadness is a symptom of grief. Sadness mostly lies in the feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. The person may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable.
Guilt can mostly see during death occasion. The person (relative) blames himself or herself for not taking proper care of the dead one and feel guilty.
He or she may even feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even if there was nothing more you could have done.
Anger is the natural emotion which is part of human nature. It is obvious to feel angry after losing the loved one, one may be angry with himself/herself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning him/her.
The person may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you.
e) Fear and Anxiety
The loss of someone very close can put the fear of helplessness and insecurity in the mind. These two emotions experienced in three different ways
- (1) Dread of Abandonment
- (2) Anxiety of separation
- (3) Fear of the future.
Depression is one of the phases of mourning and it is a quite natural form of reaction to a loss.
In normal grief, the depression of a mourner will disappear rather automatically after a few months but not the depression of the pathological or morbid case.
3. Counselling Process for Normal Grief
After the funeral, the grieving people are in all likelihood to go into depression mainly inside 6 to 8 days; and all through the one’s days counselor goes to will be beneficial.
Raising the questions about some of the important urgent works is essential, for example, paying the bill, management of the house or business if the dead person had.
a) Accept and acknowledge all feelings
Allow the grieving man or woman to recognize; that it’s okay to cry in front of you, to get irritated, or to break down. So, here don’t try to reason with him or her over how he or she should or shouldn’t feel.
The bereaved should sense unfastened to explicit his or her feelings without the worry of judgment, argument, or criticism.
b) Be willing to sit in silence
There is no need to talking with the grieving person if he/she doesn’t want to talk. You have to give him comfort and with your silent presence.
Here only offer him/her a reassuring hug, a squeeze of the hand, and eye contact.
c) Let the bereaved talk
Individuals who are grieving need to tell the tale over and over once more. But remember again and again telling a story also a way of processing and accepting death.
4. Pastoral Care and Counselling in the Normal Grief
As a Pastor how does he/she help persons in normal grief? How he/she contacts during their pastoral, in care-giving conversations?
First, they can hold a confidential, up-to-date “unique help listing,” including the names of people they know or suspect are especially want of pastoral care.
The bereaved, the ill, the unemployed, the depressed, the hospitalized, the distinguished, the ones in psychotherapy, newlyweds, new parents, the recently retired, the handicapped, alcoholics and their families, the lonely, those with disturbed or handicapped children, and those who face crisis and perplexing decisions.
a) Pastoral Care and Counselling
(1) The pastor and the pastoral counselor; who want to help persons in their grief need a “capacity for reflective review” on personal loss and grief as well as “preparation” for a journey, this is hard for all involved.
(2) Grief is not thought of as a problem of living; such as a marital crisis or alcoholism, for which one seeks help at a counseling office, in order to Counsel the grieve it is very important for a Pastor to visit the bereaved house.
(3) The minister is an outsider; he/she is at an emotional distance from the anxieties and tensions within the family.
He/she stands outside the grief situation and can keep an objective position, particularly in view of the irrationally often arising in grief.
(4) Grief is not a disease but it is a natural reaction upon the loss of someone very special; in order to deal with the bereaved; it is very important for the Pastor to be more empathic with the bereaved.
(6) The minister can be a “person of general confidence”. In another word it is the task of the Pastor or minister is not that he/she has to know all the solutions to the problem but rather; what best he/she can do is to acquire the confidence and the reputation that he knows; how to “go about things” and how to bring the problems closer to the solution.
(7) Finally, a number of conversations can follow, until the minister; or some other professional gains the impression that the mourner will cope with his/her loss without further complications.
By this brief analysis of Normal Grief, we can understand that it is a natural outcome and not something unusual. There is a sense of attachment of every living being that attaches them with their fellow beings emotionally; and when we lost our relative this sense of attachment comes out in the way of grief as it is already explained.
Still, the part of the counselor and minister is very important for the encouragement; and empowerment of the bereaved to come out to the situation.
As Bible says in the Gospel of John “You are the light of the world”; in this manner, we can understand that it is our responsibility to bring people; out of the darkness of their grief and bring them into the light of peace and life.