Understanding death

Death is a limit event in life and needs time to be accepted as part of it; that's why dealing with the possible end of a relative's existence means combining hope with realism.


Different way of feeling among people involved in the mechanism of acceptance of death means different time for each other to elaborate it; complex and various mental mechanism are involved with different intensity and without a precise order.


Denial or refusal: death is traditionally refused; understanding this behaviour is easy if we think that everybody' mind tries to protect itself from uncontrollable anxiety and takes time to organize itself both practically and emotionally.

Anger: strong feelings like anger and fear could be addressed to relatives, medical staff and God.

Negotiation or bargaining: recognizing what is happening or what has already happened makes the very first contact with our sorrow.

Depression: realising that we lost someone loved brings with depression. Preliminary depression anticipates the fear connected with a loved one's death, as mind gets used with this new idea. Reactive depression begins when we realize that everyday life is whatever we try to do and this is connected with a strong feeling of impotence.

Acceptance: returning to rationality is part of a normal course. The awareness of what is happening does not protect us from anger and depression but it can dim their intensity.

A beloved one' death involves strong feelings difficult to be dealt with; sharing emotions and not feeling lonely make these painful moments more acceptable.

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