The Phenomenology of Bereavement


The most common time for someone to get in bereavement or grief is adulthood, which increase in frequency as the age of a person increases. Whereas, facing a loss through death of a loved one is an uncommon loss which a young person may face, bereavement and grief are relatively companions of old age. The fact has been approved that the predominant factor in aging is the outcome of facing grief.

In this article we are going to discuss the basic psychological reactions of adults towards grief, the observations here are based mainly on clinical researches and observations. The phenomenon here is that grief changes in emotions, thoughts, behaviours, physical symptoms followed by a loss, and a number of models that are accounting on these phenomenons.

The reaction towards bereavement covers a vast often confusing range. Experience over grief may not only result in sadness which is an expected reaction but it can also result in several unexpected reactions or emotions that can puzzle the relative friends, family or health practitioners employed to console them. Increase in knowledge regarding the procedures and the results associated with grief and are likely to decrease misunderstandings which makes it more difficult for the practitioner.

The Phenomenology Of Bereavement

Instead of some previous descriptions over bereavement reactions, first systematic study about grief was not conducted till the year 1944. Relating to the clinical observations of survivors of the Coconut Grove Fire, Lindemann, gave the symptomatology of grief was passed. He described the type of grief which is not complicated as a syndrome which can be predicted and has some distinctive symptoms like :

  • One might go through somatic distress
  • One might feel guilt about something
  • One might loss usual patterns of conduct

After that time, a number of clinicians and researchers, including Pallock, Clayton et al, Raphael etc managed all these researches and observations to describe the process of grieving in adults. They measured the accuracy of changes in emotions, thought, and behaviours, and their emergence within bereavement.

Instead of the fact that there is nonlinearity in grieving process, most of the researchers over it talk about the changes of reactions in bereavement with time. The observer have divided this procedure of grieving into a number of phases, and use general terminologies for all the phases and their is an agreement about nature of reactions over grief in different phases. Clinicians also agree to the idea that there is a difference of manifestation over grief and the phases in which people overcome those losses.

More data is being collected to monitor the reactions over loss. There is need of translating the theoretical formulations into operational definitions that can be easily understood. The detailed reports from clinical cases should not be ignored, they should be kept in mind while dealing with a greaved as clinical observations and reports have proved to be valuable source of providing details about bereavement processes and to provide further ideas for systematic research. Keeping all this in mind might help in coping over the loss of grieved one.


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