Grief is defined as the emotional or affective process of reacting to the loss of a loved one through death. The focus is on the internal intrapsychic of the individual. Common grief reactions include components such as numbness and disbelief, anxiety symptoms of depression that accompany mourning and recovery at the end of everything.
Reactions can be seen as abnormal, resulting from trauma, pathologic and complicated. A sudden and unexpected death of a loved one results to a more difficult grief as opposed to a death that was expected for instance a person who has been sick for a very long time (Kayiwa and Mathews, 2005).
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Social support is a very complex aspect when it comes to handling grief. It consists of a variety of components in itself. Social networks, supportive environment are some of the components. Lack of social support can lead to negative mourning outcomes. It is both a health risk factor and a bereavement risk factor (Kayiwa and Mathews, 2005).
According to Kayiwa and Mathews, normal grief needs intervention. It gives rise to emotional reactions that include shock, disbelief and denial that occurs after death. A spectrum of interventions that cover prevention and treatment to long term maintenance care should be provided. Preventive measures should target all persons associated with the death, persons with known risk factors and people who experience symptoms for distress (Kayiwa and Mathews, 2005).
Formal treatment should be provided for those people experiencing pathological grief complications. The time limited approach may also be used as a solution. It lasts for nine to eighteen months and covers four to ninety minutes per session. It identifies families that face risk of poor outcomes. It focuses on improving communication, and conflict resolution. It puts effort to strengthen family solidarity (Santrock, 2007).
Maintenance care as a form of support is recommended for people experiencing chronic grief reactions. Psychosocial treatment may be offered for complicated grief through diagnostic criterion. This involves exposure that is followed by cognitive restructure then exposure therapy and lastly supportive counseling (Santrock, 2007).
There is an extensive literature that defines and measures dependent and independent variable. The implementation should take effect when the death of a loved one is reported. The implementation process starts from observing whether the members of the bereaved family have been affected by grief. People are different and their response to bad news or disaster is not the same. Some people respond quickly and often at the very time they learn of the death of a loved one. Others respond slowly to the effect of the news. The grief may affect the latter group after the burial and even several days after that. The impact of the grief is another factor that requires keen observation. Some people are impacted by the news so hardly that they develop grief at that moment in time. These kinds of people can faint or loose consciousness for sometime. Other people take the impacts and go through them with ease. This is especially for people who may have lost a couple of other people including some of their loved ones in their lives. They may seem not to be disturbed by the losing of a loved one but actually it has affected them (Santrock, 2007).
Observation helps to identify the members of the family that may have been adversely affected by the death. It also helps identify the way the death has impacted them. This may help in identifying how much grief one is facing and to what extent (Chesser, 2010).
After observation, one should identify the appropriate support intervention measures. Different support intervention measures are given depending on the impact of the death of a loved one. There are members of the family who will suffer mild grief and there are those who will suffer complex and complicated pathological grief. Those who suffer mild grief are supposed to be given support measures that are not intense as those with complex and pathological grief. Identification will entail choosing the right support intervention and the resources that will come handy with the support (Chesser, 2010).
According to Chesser, after identification, implementation is done. Implementation involves the actual offering of the support. When implementing the support measures each individual must be taken as an entity. There are those who may require company, encouragement and assurance that life will go on even after the losing a loved one. These are the people who may have common grief. People who require intensive support measures are those that have complicated pathological and complex grief (Chesser, 2010). The news of the death of a loved one may have interfered with the normal functioning of their brain thus interfering with their emotions and socialization with other people. They may need serious counseling, therapy and medication. These people may need to be taken to hospital for a certain period of time or just remain at home and be treated from there. The resources that will be needed when implementing the help strategy are several. Money may be needed to buy materials to be used in the entire process and to cater for transportation purposes if need for traveling to the hospital arises. The counselor, therapist, social worker and medics may be required to offer their help especially for people who have suffered complex and pathological grief.
When the implementation process is done evaluation has to take place. Evaluation is very important in the process of offering support to people who are suffering with grief. Evaluation is important as it shows the relevance and progress of the support intervention. There are two forms of intervention namely, formative and summative. Formative evaluation is done at the beginning, in and during the support intervention process. The importance of formative evaluation is that it identifies the weakness of the patient at the beginning of the support process. It also tells whether the support intervention measures are creating a change or not. In the event that the support does not bring about any change, formative evaluation helps in modifying or changing the intervention for better results (Chesser, 2010).
Summative evaluation is done at the end of the entire process to ascertain whether the support process has yielded any results. It helps to indicate whether the support has helped the individual or has done nothing. There are several resources that can be used in the evaluation process. Questioneers are used to interview the members the affected person’s family about the changes that have occurred. Mental screening tools can be used to screen the mind of an individual who may have gone mad when he was grieved. This may be done to see if the person is responding to the support intervention (Chesser, 2010).
Support given to the grieved should be handled with great care and attention. People receive information differently and the information affects hem in different ways. Therefore support services must be chosen carefully and ensured that they are relevant to the person who needs them. The implementation procedure must be carried out slowly and let the person regain his normal in a smooth way.
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