Factors Influencing Reaction to Death

Factors Influencing Reaction to Death

Victor and Isabella married 53 years had four children, Paul, Sophia, Lenore, and Joseph. Following years of stable health, Victor became ill with pancreatic cancer. Over the last four months of his life, the treatment left him violently ill, in and out of the hospital. While Isabella and the other children provided some care the bulk of care was provided by Paul as the burden fell on the oldest child. Victor did not have a written living will. However, Isabella informed her children that Victors wishes were to receive unexpected supports be used to keep him alive. Victor eventually fell into a coma, having difficulty breathing; in a turn of events, Joseph prevailed against Isabella allowing a ventilator to be inserted. Victor dies a few days later. This caused strife amongst Joseph and his siblings as they felt it only caused Victor additional suffering. (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).


There may be several factors influencing Isabella’s reaction to Victor’s death and illness. They were married for 53 years, she is now in late adulthood and now left alone. Joseph may feel guilty for going against the wishes of his family; causing the strife. I believe the primary factor affecting the reactions of the siblings is the disagreement of medical care imposed by Joseph. Paul also worries significantly about his mother, and Lenore and Sophia appear to want to not deal with the reality of Victor’s death by avoidance.

Coping Strategies

Because grief is a typical experience following any significant loss which has no cure two healthy coping strategies I would encourage for this family is grief counseling for the entire family and building a secure support network with one another. Expressing to each of them the importance of healthy coping skills to prevent complicated grief, depression, substance abuse, or health problems.


A loss is an unavoidable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. Grief it is felt on an emotional and a physical level. Grief is linked with feelings of fury, sorrow, guilt, yearning, and regret among others; it affects everyone in different ways. The mourning process can last month’s maybe even years. While everyone deals with grief differently, it is essential to understand why the person is grieving and vital for the grieving person to know there is no proper or improper way to grieve.  “At some point, we begin to think of time not as limited” time to live” but as “time left to live.” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).


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

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