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Bereavement and 9/11: Phone Calls from the Towers - Essay Example

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Bereavement and grief are common to everyone, yet grief is sometimes seen as a form of weakness and can often be misunderstood.Several models have been proposed that have brought more attention to the matter and have improved awareness of the need for sensitivity …
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Bereavement and 9/11: Phone Calls from the Towers
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Download file to see previous pages These models have also illustrated the need for grief as part of the bereavement process. The Kubler-Ross Model The Kubler-Ross model (commonly called The Five Stages of Grief) is one of the most well-known and influential grief models ever composed. The model essentially suggests that people who have experienced significant loss will be within one of five stages, which are known as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and anger (Kubler-Ross, 1973). The stages are usually referred to in this order, but the model does not suggest that these must be followed in a linear fashion in the grieving process, nor does it suggest that each stage must be experienced only once (Flatt, 1987). The model was initially derived from Kubler-Ross’ experiences with those who had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but was later expanded to be relevant to anyone who had experienced a recent catastrophic loss. Each of the five stages is described within the work by Kubler-Ross (1973). Denial is described as being completely unaware of the situation that one is in. The most important part of denial is that the person within this stage will often feel fine or even good in themselves and will thus appear strange to those on the outside who cannot understand why this person is not experiencing grief. This stage is usually considered to be one of the shortest (Friedman, 1984) as complete denial of the event cannot continue forever. The next stage described in this work is anger. Again, it is important to note that this may not immediately follow denial in the process. The anger experienced by the individual here may be directed at anyone, including the recently deceased. For example, someone may ask ‘why did you have to die and leave me alone?’ of the deceased one, with some anger being expressed at the fact that this person has ‘left’ life without permission. It is also possible to be angry at the perpetrator of the death, whether this is considered the doctors, the murderer, the driver or whoever can be found responsible (Barone & Ivy, 2004). The third main stage is known as bargaining. This involves the griever pleading with whichever forces they deem necessary to remove the source of the grief. In people with terminal illnesses, for example, they may ask God or another force to let them live long enough to see their children graduate (Maciejewski, 2007). In people who have recently been bereaved, they may ask to ‘swap’ the dead person with another that they do not know (Zisook & DeVaul, 1985). This stage is interesting because people often feel a lack of control with respect to death and as such this stage is trying to bring back some form of control (Bonanno & Boerner, 2007). Another stage illustrated by Kubler-Ross is the depression stage. This is the stage that is most commonly associated with grief, as it is a period of extreme sadness. The person involved may experience some of the clinical expressions of depression, which include extreme tiredness, inability to do anything and a loss of will (Maciejewski, 2007). This stage is, unlike bargaining or denial, a stage in which the individual is certain of the death, impending death or other loss and will understand fully the situation. This stage may last several years (Zisook & DeVaul, 1985) and is the most likely to reoccur at any point (Kubler-Ross, 1973). The final stage specified in this model is acceptance. This stage is another stage where the individual is certain of the events for which they are grieving, and they understand fully ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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