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Bereavement 

Bereavement
Chapter:
Bereavement
Author(s):

Max Watson

, Rachel Campbell

, Nandini Vallath

, Stephen Ward

, and Jo Wells

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745655.003.0031
Page of

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date: 22 August 2019

This chapter covers the issues surrounding bereavement and grief, including abnormal and complicated grief, as well as sadness and the risks associated with significant loss. Grief and mourning are generally adaptive responses following a bereavement or other major loss. Their manifestations will vary from person to person, but will often include physical, cognitive, behavioural, and emotional elements. For a close personal bereavement, grief is likely to continue for a long time and may recur in a modified form, stimulated by anniversaries, further losses, or other reminders. Most cultures provide accounts of what happens after death (such as religious accounts of an afterlife) and provide guidance about how the bereaved should feel and behave, but in an increasingly secular society these may now have less influence. Although people are likely to be changed by the experience of loss, most, in time, find they are able to function well and enjoy life again. A compassionate approach surrounding the death can positively impact on adjustment in bereavement.

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