Words of Wisdom:

"Past is Past" but "Present" is "FUTURE" - Asra

Grief Patterns in Children

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.4 
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A simple child


That lightly draws its breath


And feels its life in every limb


What should it know of death.


--Henry Wordsworth





This question has been posed by many philosophers, religious leaders and psychologists for centuries, yet has been a potent taboo in society even today.   As the field of psychology is gaining ground and knowledge in how behaviors affect the way in which we interact with others, we are discovering new ways to approach and view the mental processes of a human and apply them to how a person grieves that loss.   But while oft times those assumptions, hypothesis, and theories are made by adults for adults, the child is a more difficult subject in which to study since it has not achieved its mature mental capabilities.   For the adult, a full and eventful life is the predecessor of a grasp of what life and death actually entail, whereas for the child a pure and incomprehensible approach is taken when trying to understand and rationalize its loss.   These differences cause much pain and suffering for both adults and children when one does not understand what each is going through and needs, especially those of the child.


It is often mistaken that bereavement, grief, and mourning are all used synonymously, when they are all in fact quite different terms, which are essential to understanding what relates to a loss proceeding a death.   Bereavement alludes to the stress that the person who has experienced the loss is feeling, but not necessarily defining the stress' nature.   Grief is the actual process that follows in stages which may occur at different times ensuing the death and loss.   According to Tom Golden, LCSW, "grief is related to desire.   Whether the desire is large or small, if it is not met, (one) will probably have grief." (Tom Golden, Crisis, Grief, & Healing)   Mourning, according to Sigmund Freud, is "the mental work following the loss of a love object through...

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