"Grief and Loss : Understanding the Journey" (Paperback) by Stephen J. Freeman

Essay by TralynUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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3rd Summary Paper

Concept of Reading

Freeman's chapter concerning the "reaction to loss" demonstrates the varying degrees of the grief reaction. The timetable for grief is one that is unique to the individual. Many seem to move on quickly while others appear to linger.

I chose this chapter to summarize instead of concentrating on one theme because one will be able to differentiate between normal and abnormal grief reactions. I feel that many people, particularly in American society, do not know what normal grief is. Any visible weeping or emotional pain is seen as something that should be avoided. In fact, death in general is avoided in this society as we continually seek ways to prolong our lives and age "gracefully." Perhaps this phenomenon is due to the fact that aging signals our impending death and should be something that is fought diligently.

Practice Importance

Freeman offers practical guidance to counselors in dealing with death issues.

During this vulnerable period, one needs to be particularly sensitive to coping and defense mechanisms of the grieving individual. If an individual is one that has had unhealthy coping patterns in the past, one must closely monitor their potential for relapsing into these behaviors. For a social worker who is employed at hospice agencies, senior citizens centers, or nursing homes, death will always be an issue and an opportunity for intervention to assist the clients and their family members in the grieving process.