Death is a part of life that is inevitable

Death

Death is a part of life that is inevitable, however it still hurts us to the core regardless if we are expecting it or it happens suddenly. I overheard a person on an elevator one day explain how to move on when a loved one dies. He said we never really get over our loved ones that pass, we just learn how to live without them and keep moving on. I think about my Father and Grandparents each and every day, and the pain from their deaths still hurts. I believe we learn how to keep going but we never forget. When loved ones die that we are close to it is best to remain non-judgmental because everyone grieves differently. Several factors will take place as each family member faces the death that has occurred. Also keep in mind coping with death varies according to the effects the death has on the individual that is grieving. In our case study Isabelle and Victor have been together for 53 years, and produced four children that have lost their Father to pancreatic cancer (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

Factors Driving Each Family Member

Death of a family member, close friends, and even strangers is hard to face and accept. The emotions that run through your mind are stressors that appear to be unbearable. Questions run rampant with thoughts of how do I go on or did I treat them right before they passed. Isabelle had been married to Victor for 53 years, and this is the vast majority of her life. Letting go or allowing Victor to pass without medical heroics to save his life has become Isabelle’s driving force in the wake of her husband’s death. Paul the oldest child has been forced into becoming the leader, because this is expected from the oldest child regardless if he likes it or not. In the article “Working Through Grief” by Angela Kennedy, she explains that grief and depression is not the same thing and physicians have to stop prescribing depression medicines for grief stricken individuals (Kennedy, 2008). Emotions and feelings that are surfacing have the potential to work themselves out, but each family member has to respect the fact that everyone does not grieve the same way. Sophia and Lenore are not communicating with their brother Joseph, because the care Victor received was not to their liking. The distance and stubbornness maybe their driving factors, and solidifies their excuses in not dealing with their father’s terminal illness and death. Sophia and Lenore express signs of impatience because they avoid their mother while she is grieving and they do not want to constantly hear about their father’s death. I wonder have they ever thought, their mother is trying to process 53 years of marriage to a man that she loves and birthed four children together. They should embrace their mother and with patience allow her to grieve the ways she needs too.

Two Healthy Coping Strategies

Coping with terminal illness and death is difficult, but there are different coping strategies that will help you not forget but to keep going while honoring the person that died. One strategy I am in favor of is grief counseling because expressing how you feel and being able to talk about it helps people accept the death but keep the memories alive. Learning how to cope in grief counseling through physical contact, allowing yourself to cry, meditating, and looking at old pictures or videos helps lessen the pain of suffering for the terminally ill patient and the loved ones that are witnessing this transition to death (Kennedy, 2008). Another healthy coping strategy is accepting the inevitable which is difficult but necessary. Acceptance is also looked at a coping strategy but it is a defensive one (Broderick &Blewitt, 2015). Defended your loved one that passed is normal, and accepting the results of terminal illness and death are a process that takes time to comprehend. I believe people view acceptance as a tool to let go and forget, but it is actually giving yourself permission to accept the inevitable while learning how to keep living. In the process of acceptance we allow our mind and hearts to be at peace while accepting the death (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

Summary

The agony of spending the majority of your life with someone and before you are ready you watch this person slip away suddenly or gradually. The pain either way is deep rooted and hard to fathom in the midst of a loss. Surrounding each other, accepting the outcome and how you feel, communicate with others that are enduring the same heart, and remember while uplifting and celebrating the life that was lost are intricate parts of the mourning process. We hear all the time from people who are close to the deceased, that they would not want us crying or feeling depressed but to move on and celebrate the life they had. I will admit this is one of the hardest accomplishments to achieve when death hurts so much.

References

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Kennedy, A. (2008). Working through grief. Retrieved from http://ct.counseling.org/2008/01/working-through-grief/

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