Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

If you have children, you not only have your own grief to cope with, but theirs as well. While children may be a comfort, it can be hard to make time for them and to be sensitive to their needs. The increased responsibility of bringing up children on your own may seem overwhelming. It’s important to also acknowledge that for those who didn’t have the option or those that chose not to legally create a union recognized by the state, that there are additional challenges that the death of that partner brings. That can include not being acknowledged as the widow or widower in legal situations as well as personal. MADD acknowledges every loss even if not officially recognized by governments or family and friends. The closer the relationship is to the deceased person, the deeper the loss will be felt. While research tells us that grief is a normal phenomenon, the intensity of the relationship between the bereaved and the deceased is not always taken into account. It is assumed that “closeness of relationship” exists only among spouses and/or immediate family members. Often friends learn of the death days, weeks, or even months after the death has occurred. We have terms or labels that signify most types of grievers. Wives and husbands become widows and widowers; children become orphans; brothers and sisters are said to experience sibling loss. However, there is no term to describe those of us who grieve friends, Friend Grief

lovers, neighbors, co-workers, and others we care about. Family titles give rise to identity and prescribe expectations for behavior. The friend who is grieving has no identity, no role recognition and no outpouring of support from others. Sometimes friendships are not considered by people in our society to be “legitimate” losses to grieve. This mind-set can stop the griever

Support from others is an important part of mourning.

from seeking support available to “legitimate” grievers. Because support from others is such an important part of mourning, the lack of social support can make grieving more difficult.

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