Ways To Cope With BereavementWays To Cope With Bereavement

Most traumas, including the death of a spouse are potentially shattering experiences. These events can disrupt the survivor's social, emotional, and cognitive worlds. Although there has been frequent mention in the literature that traumatic situations cause people to talk about their experiences most evidence has been anecdotal. When someone within a social network dies, members of the network are naturally drawn together. During the grieving period especially within the first few days or weeks the survivors socially share their emotions and memories with each other.

Many of the discussion topics surround the individual who died, of course, but funerals and grieving rituals often include the social sharing of other personal and family histories. Although researched conducted to date has not found compelling evidence that social sharing leads to emotional recovery, our data suggested that it may serve several other important cognitive, psychological, and social functions.

Analysis and Recommendations for Steps to Handle The Loss of a Spouse in the First Year. The roles we have within our social networks are not often discussed or clearly defined. One of the ironies of having a spouse die is that we openly discuss the person, our feelings about him or her, and become conscious of that person's influence on us. As far as it applies to bereavement, the death of a loved one generally introduces chaos in people's personal universe, which may end up in denial and in alteration of the sense of reality. When bereaved individuals socially share the loss of a loved one, the contribution helps to give both the death itself and its consequences more reality.

A widow has to go through a lot when her spouse dies especially when she is very young. The death of spouse very often challenges our beliefs of a coherent, predictable, and controllable world. The overwhelming emotions which result from such challenges often drive individuals into a state of cognitive business. They slip into a cycle of ruminative thinking trying unsuccessfully to figure it all out. Based on research, it is hypothesized that social sharing helps to undermine this cognitive business cycle. This leads to predict that emotional memories that were not shared would be associated with higher cognitive needs than emotional memories that were shared. This function of social sharing is also very relevant in the context of bereavement.

Experiencing the death of a spouse, often shatters people's basic beliefs that they live in an orderly, understandable, and meaningful world. As a result, individuals frequently search for some meaning or try to make sense out of their negative experiences. Finding meaning in the loss of spouse is thought to be one way for dealing with and adjusting to the event. Through the use of social sharing, people can contribute to give both the death itself and its consequences more sense and meaning.



Stroebe, W., Stroebe, M., Schut, H., Zech, E., & van den Bout, J. (1997, June). Must we give sorrow words? Paper presented at the Third International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society, Washington, DC.

Watson, D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (1989). Health complaints, stress, and distress: Exploring the central role of negative affectivity. Psychological Review, 2, 234-254.

Wortman, C. B., & Silver, R. C. (1989). The myths of coping with loss. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 349-357.

by Gene Torrey
References and Bibliography

Gene Torrey - runs a non profit grief and bereavement website (Linda Angel Bereavement & Grief Help Center)who's sole aim is to provide free information to those in need. The website provides articles, resources, advise, forums & a free book.

Rated:NR/0 Votes
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
More Article By Gene Torrey
More Article by Gene Torrey
More Articles From Grief
More Articles From Grief
Related Articles and Readings
Are You Afraid Of Repairing Memories Of Your Emotional Past By: Nick Arrizza MD
I find it interesting and puzzling that most individuals fail to recognize how not repairing traumatic memories of one's emotional past (which we all have plenty of by the way) can severely undermine all aspects of their life.I say that because to ignore such emotionally traumatic material literally causes inordinate ...
Enhance Your Emotional Resilience By: Nick Arrizza MD
As we are bombarded by global catastrophes, the increasing threat of terrorism, the increasing pace of technology and many other factors that have a destabilizing effect on our inner emotional state is it possible to develop greater emotional resilience to all of this chaos? In order to answer this question ...
A Leadership Secret Replace Goals With Processes Using The Shared Dream By: Brent Filson
I bring leadership processes that help leaders get more results faster continually. The results will come in a specific length of time. The results will go beyond what the leaders are achieving now. The results can be measured, validated, and used as springboards for even more ...
Expect Success If It Plays In Peoria By: Terri Emmett
Will it play in Peoria? This well-known gauge has been the long-standing median for determining entrepreneurial success since vaudevillian days when performers judged their potential for future success by the initial responses received by the public in Peoria.What is it about Peoria, Illinois that causes it to remain such ...
How To Unleash The Power In The Other 98 Of Your Unused Brain By: Nick Arrizza MD
Did you know that the 98% of your brain/mind that goes unused corresponds to what many call your unconscious mind?Why do we have an unconscious mind?Now that might sound like a strange question but please bear with me for the duration of this article and you may learn something that ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of ezinepost.com. ezinepost.com  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more


  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252609
  • » Active Authors:31915
  • » Active Members: 38222
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Thu May 7th, 2020 12:50AM EST