Grief is a difficult issue at any time in a person’s life, but when the adult is older, there tends to be other challenges that happen because of their age. As an example, many older people will lose spouses, friends, and family as they age…
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Grief is a difficult issue at any time in a person’s life, but when the adult is older, there tends to be other challenges that happen because of their age. As an example, many older people will lose spouses, friends, and family as they age. This often forces them to think about their own longevity and they may be met with physical, emotional, and psychological crises (Gibson, 2012). Just as anyone else, elderly people have to adjust to the individual’s death and understand that their life goes on. Brief Background of Case Study The case study for this paper is an 83 year old woman who will be referred to as Mrs. X. Mrs. X has lost many people in her life. The first person she lost was her husband. In some respects, the husband’s death was more of a relief because of his constant fighting with Mrs. X. Mrs. X was left with a house payment, taking care of the house, and finding benefits she could use to sustain her home. Mrs. X was able to pay off her house eventually, and since her husband’s death, several friends and close family members have died. Mrs. X has never really dealt with any of these situations and she never attends their funerals because she does not like to see people in their coffin; she says this makes it feel too real for her own death. Mrs. X currently lives in a small town with her middle child, a daughter, whom she has a passive aggressive relationship with – the daughter takes her to doctors’ appointments and shopping, but basically Mrs. X is left at home to sit and watch television. Mrs. X has pretty much ignored grieving for any of these people, except for her oldest sister who died last year. Mrs. X still thinks of her sister because she was the last person that Mrs. X had to talk to in her family. In exploring the stages of grief, the stages will be applied to what might have happened if Mrs. X had allowed herself to grieve her friends and family. The Five Stages of Grief Kubler-Ross (2013) created a model that explains the various stages that people go through to come to terms with grief. Although Kubler-Ross applied these stages to death, these stages can also be used to understand any type of loss a person moves through. Although she has arranged the stages in a certain way, she acknowledged that each person’s grief is different, and each person may go through the stages in different ways; in fact, they may also go through the stages in more than one way. In the next section, the five stages that Kubler-Ross created will be discussed and applied to Mrs. X. Stage 1: Denial Denial is the first stage of grief in which the individual denies that the individual has died. Kubler-Ross (2013) states that this is a natural part of grief because the individual often dies unexpectedly. Some people can become stuck in this stage when the grief is particularly traumatic. Mrs. X has been in this stage, particularly with her sister. She often states, “I just can’t believe she’s gone”. She also talks about wanting to call her for her birthday and so forth, and then remembers she is dead and calls. Mrs. X has had the most difficult time adjusting to her sister’s death. Gibson (2012) states that for older people, the idea of their loved one dying is known, but it can take time to be realized. Gibson points out that when two people have been in a relationship for a very long time, when one part of the relationship dies. The one who did not die (in this case Mrs. X) may feel more vulnerable in their functioning and emotionally. Perhaps this is one reason that Mrs. X is content to watch television instead of going on with her life. Stage 2: Anger Many people become angry when someone the love dies. They can be upset with themselves for not doing what they could have done, or they can be mad at God for taking their loved ones. Often, the individual may lash out at family members or friends
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