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How to Deal with Grief ; Overcoming Grief ; Grief Recovery

Abstract: Grief Work: How to handle grief, when a loved one dies.

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How to Deal with Grief ; Overcoming Grief ; Grief Recovery

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Question(s): 
Written by: Fabio Piccini, doctor and Jungian psychotherapist, in charge of the "Centre for Eating Disorders Therapy" at "Malatesta Novello" nursing home in Cesena. Works privately in Rimini and Chiavari. E-mail:
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 20 Aug 2008.

Tell me how to deal with grief and bereavement after the death of a close friend?

Three weeks ago I’ve lost my boyfriend in a car accident, now I’m feeling sad and lonely, I often cry, and I don’t want to see or call anyone. Give me advice on grief work. Do I need therapy?

Answer:

The verb to bereave means to rob, or to leave desolate, and bereavement usually refers to the experiences which people have when they have lost, through death, someone who is important to them.

These experiences are normal in the sense that they occur to almost everyone in the course of a lifetime. Nevertheless bereavement causes disabling psychological symptoms, like the ones you’re experiencing now, and (but this is not true in your case), occasionally, precipitates or complicates almost all life cycle coping difficulties and pre-existing and/or subclinical mental diseases.

You’re not mentally ill, but a bereavement is certainly a very distressing and disruptive experience, especially frightening to anyone who is going through it for the first time.

The shock, the numbness and the disbelief you are probably feeling just now are normal. Also normal are your symptoms of anxiety, your crying, your anger. It would also be normal to feel some guilt or to sometimes have hallucinations, like a sense of presence of your boyfriend.

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