Adolescent Grief Issues: Help For The Caring Adult. David A. Opalewski Author/Presenter (989) 249 – 4362 firstname.lastname@example.org www.griefrecovery.ws. When death impacts a family, everyone has a high need to feel understood, yet a natural incapacity to be understanding !.
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David A. Opalewski
(989) 249 – 4362
Professionals helping families grieve anticipated deaths rarely consider their potentially traumatic impact.
These deaths are considered to be “good deaths” providing opportunity to come to terms with the situation.
This view ignores the many logistical, financial, and emotional strains of terminal illness.
Deterioration of dying patient – physical, mental and emotional
Fear of unknown
Inability to help
Loss of sense of world as a safe place
Teen’s fear of intensity of own emotional reactions
Guilt over inability to tolerate exposure to dying parent
Surviving parent emotionally depleted
Surviving parent seeking support from teen
“I didn’t want to spend time with mom. I was scared of the fact she was dying. It’s different than you’re used to. You’re kind of speechless and you don’t know what to say.”
Generalized reaction SADNESS
Grief reactions stand alone
Grief reactions are usually known to public and professional
Most can talk about what happened
Generalized reaction TERROR
Trauma reactions usually include grief reactions
Reactions largely unknown to public and often professionals
Most do not want to talk about what happenedDifferences Between Trauma And Grief
Pain is the acknowledgement of the loss
Anger is usually non-destructive/assaultive
Usually does not attack or disfigure self-image
Guilt says “I wish I would/would not have”
Dreams tend to be of deceased
Anger often becomes assaultive verbally or physically
Generally attacks, disfigures self image
Guilt says “it was my fault; I could have prevented it”
Dreams about self as potential victimDifferences Between Grief And Trauma