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bereavement have changed over time. We now know more about bereavement in terms of its processes and impact (Stroebe et al 2001, 2008) and in such circumstances it seems appropriate to consider how care for those who have been bereaved can be enhanced. However, from the outset it is important that we caution ourselves not to become too prescriptive about grief reactions and their effect on bereavement and to remember that bereavement as a process, is affected by religious and cultural beliefs and by a range of mediators1. The meaning of the loss to the person, the combination of risk and protective factors and the level of

internal grief is

resilience and coping skills are important aspects.

Moreover,

also mediated by social factors such as the age of the bereaved

person, the circumstances of who have been bereaved and face of grief, takes place.

the death, the social background of the extent to which mourning, as the

those public

17.

According to the General Register Office for Scotland, there were

55,700 deaths recorded in conservatively estimate the

Scotland number of

2008 (GROS

2008). If we

people who

are significantly

affected by each death as four it can be seen people experience bereavement each year. frequently a very painful experience, and can be

that a large number of While bereavement is disruptive to daily living,

most people experience bereavement general, “normal” bereavement involves

as

a

normal

life

process.

In

a number of adaptationsi until a

point have

is reached where those who have adjusted to the death. In practice

been bereaved may be said to the intensity of their emotions

diminishes over time to a point obvious cause for concern and impaired.

where where

the observer cannot their functioning is

discern an no longer

18.

To become overly prescriptive about grief reactions can influence

our thinking and cause us to label or pathologise illness, which is not the intention of this document.

bereavement as an At the same time,

while

the

majority

of

those

affected

by

these

deaths

will

experience

1

For example Worden (2003) outlines seven mediators of grief.

Shaping Bereavement Care 12

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