Wednesday, March 16, 2011


by Diane Forrest, RN

Nearly everyone has lost someone special in their life, either expentantly or unexpectanly.  With thr recent tragedies that have occurred in the world we sometimes have trouble understanding why.  There are 5 stages of grief that have been defined by Kubler-Ross in 1969.  They are as follows:
  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
Not everyone goes through all the stages, and there is no time frame to move between stages.  This is a very personal process and should never be rushed.  As a nurse, you experience death and bereavement constantly. A nurse's role is to be supportive to the patient by talking with them, praying with them, if they wish, listeing, offer to call family or friends.  It is very difficult to say the right words.  Phrases like "they are in a better plance" and "they aren't suffering anymore" may not be comforting to someone who has just lost a family member.  Saying that you know what they are going through because it happened to you is also not as helpful.  Each person's feelings are different.  Sometimes it is just best to listen, let the person know that you are sorry for their loss and assist with calling the funeral home and packing the belongings.

Suggestions to assist in dealing with this loss include: crying, talking with family members and friends, visit support groups. Loss of a loved one is a difficult thing to overcome, it takes time.  Don't rush it, and it will get better each day.

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