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Coping With Grief At Different Ages

1387 words - 6 pages

Coping With Grief at Different Ages
Gadear S. Alatki
PSYC 2314: Lifespan Psychology MW 1-3
Fall 2010
There are many unexplained mysteries when it comes to humans. Acting and thinking in ways that make no sense is also a known fact, and when in the topic of psychology, proof can be given from every stage of the developing person up to the point of death. When a person dies, those who had loved the deceased usually experience grief and mourning, though the impact of death has different effects for different people.
Rosario states that “grief transforms” in which is referring to the many shapes it comes in (2004). Grief can be experienced physically, emotionally, socially, or ...view middle of the document...

What I found in my research is that the depth of grieving depends on multiple factors. The type of relationship, the circumstances surrounding the death, or the bond between the one who died and the one left behind are all examples of different factors that affect bereavement. Each loss is different, and the grief manifested is experienced differently as well, yet the one that caught my eye was the affecting factor of age. Age makes a remarkable difference in how grief affects a person. These ages range from childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Each has its own coping strategies and each gives an understanding of how the person would feel during that stage of life.
When it concerns children, coping strategies vary considerably depending on which developmental stage the child is experiencing (Krueger 2009). During the infancy stage, ages between birth and 3 years, children are unable to yet understand death. Though that may be the case, they can still sense feelings of unhappiness in the adults around them and can also mimic or take in those emotions. These young ones are also able to react to the loss of a caregiver with listlessness, increased crying, and changes in eating and sleeping habits. These experiences may be revisited later as they progress through different developmental stages. The infant then grows into a young child of age 3 to 6 years. At this age, children become more curious about death, yet are still unable to completely understand it (Krueger 2009). They may blame themselves, believing that the death was caused by their mischief. This is accompanied by regression, in which they revert back to younger behavior. This is common among young children, as well as fear of abandonment. As the child grows in the school-aged years of 6 to 12 yeas, they are now old enough to understand the conclusiveness of death, but are not able to understand the entire concept. They may not be able to explain their emotions with words, but as an alternative some will complain of stomachaches or other physical ailments (Krueger 2009). They also become very curious about the biological aspects of death resulting in many questions. As this clearly shows, children are no strangers to grief, though the may express it differently.
Teenagers have the same capacity for understanding grief as there is in adults, even though they are between childhood and adulthood. However, this can cause confusion on how to react to a situation; one must consider whether to act brave and strong like an adult, or show signs of sadness and emotional neediness like a child. Many teenagers are afraid of appearing weak or immature, so this may make them unwilling to ask peers or adults for a helping hand. As a result, many teenagers try to suppress their feelings instead of expressing them. Furthermore, grief can cause teenagers to fight with their feelings of invincibility. Death of a loved one can also cause them to question...

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