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.
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
According to the General Register Office for Scotland, there were
55,700 deaths recorded in conservatively estimate the
Scotland number of
2008). If we
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
a number of adaptationsi until a
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.
the observer cannot their functioning is
discern an no longer
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,
For example Worden (2003) outlines seven mediators of grief.
Shaping Bereavement Care 12