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Grief Stages and Goodbye Letter

Grief

10 Stages of Grief

1. Shock
The initial stage of grief which is usually experienced whether the death was expected or it was a long illness.

2. Emotional Release
As the shock wears off, there is a need to express the pent up emotion.

3. Depression
There are often feelings of isolation and loneliness.

4. Physical Symptoms of Distress
Physical symptoms may show up.

5. Anxiety
A common experience is intense dreams of the deceased.

6. Hostility
It is common to become angry with those involved in the situation, especially medical personal and clergy.

7. Guilt
An exaggerated, often imaginary emotion.

8. Hesitancy to Renew Normal Activities
There can be a fear of getting back to a regular routine of living.

9. Healing of Memories
Start of understanding that painful memories are a part of the healing process.

10. Acceptance of a New Life Role
The start of the realization, that a new role is accepted and lived.



Signs of Grief in a Child

1. Depression, Anxiety

2. Acting out inappropriate anger

3. Lack of concentration

4. Difficult or poor performance in school

5. Sleeping and/or eating disorders

6. Regression to earlier childhood developmental stages

7. Expression that child wants to join the deceased

8. Sympathetic pains or a fear of disease

9. Intense dreams so real that it's hard to distinguish between reality and the subconscious 

(Outside intervention is needed when: child pretends nothing has happened, school work takes a major decline, phobic fear of school, threatens suicide, panic attacks, physically assaults to others, starts using drugs or alcohol, involved in serious socially delinquent acts, and if the child is not willing to socialize with other peers).

Writing a letter to the person who has passed is a good tool to say goodbye.  





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