What was your reaction and feelings about the death of an individual in the creative, scientific, political, financial or humanitarian environment?

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Read Chapter 83 and specifically the Social Status section.

A number of notable figures died during these past seven years, each representing a different dying trajectory. There was forewarning in the death of some; however, others occurred “off time” — or unexpectedly.

Your task is to research the death of a noted individual and discuss the following:

What is fascinating about the deaths of public or notable individuals?
How do questionable circumstances affect the public’s interest in such deaths? Cause of death?
What was your reaction and feelings about the death of an individual in the creative, scientific, political, financial or humanitarian environment? Do you think the public saw it as a positive or negative event?
You may respond in severalsubstantialparagraphs. Give background of the person; why notable in their own country or worldwide. This is not to be just a sterile copy of your source. Read sources on early background as to how that influenced them as individuals even in their childhood, as appropriate.

Note: Be sure to put the name of the person in your subject line so others do not report on the same person.

This topic is worth5points.

Myth or Reality?
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Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of dying, death, and grief are known worldwide by gerontologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, thanatologists and others. As you noted in Chapter 84 (Experience of Grief and Bereavement) Kubler-Ross derived her framework for the five stages in the dying process from interviews with terminally ill hospitalized patients. The stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These were intended as defense mechanisms. The application is not just for the dying person but can also be for the loved ones, “the bereaved.”

Even so, the stages have been disputed by Kastenbaum (2006) and others and referred to as a myth by Friedman and James (F&J) in Counseling Today (March, 2009). The authors contend that there is wide acceptance vs. scientific fact that these stages exist and are appropriately named. Yet, they note that a bereaved person states that his mother died. He doesn’t deny it so he isn’t in a stage of denial. The authors contend that disbelief is a more appropriate description.

Anger, too, is refuted as a universal feeling, so it cannot be considered a stage. Bargaining, also, the authors contend, doesn’t relate to the grief people feel when someone important to them dies. Yearning to have them back is prevalent but, again, not a stage that all go through. Moreover, all dying persons do not bargain to live longer.

In fact, not all grievers are clinically depressed states F&J, so how can depression be identified as the fourth stage?

As for acceptance, the authors state it is a vague and amorphous term!

There you have it! Now it is your turn to weigh in with your support, opinions, or perceptions on this well known theory.

The topic is for your benefit with no points assigned and is an excellent exercise for you to think logically about the theory and interact!

Note: This is a topic that you will discuss/interact/debate with each other and, although read by the professor, nocontextual responses will be given.

Key Terms and Phrases
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The following are more key terms and phrases associated with death and dying. It is important to understand what they refer to when you hear them or need to use them in communication with others and for your own benefit.

Acute pain: distress in any dimension of an individual’s life that is characteristically time limited

Chronic pain: distress in any dimension of an individual’s life that is characteristically ongoing and not time limited

Compassion: “feeling with” another person, involving presence, active listening, and empathy

End-of-life care: services for persons who are within weeks or months of death, together with their family members.

Hospitals: organizations that deliver acute care services; often called “medical centers” or “health centers”

Long-term care facilities: institutions that deliver chronic care services; may be residential care, intermediate care, or skilled nursing care facilities

Anticipatory grief: experiences of grief occurring prior to but in connection with a significant loss that is expected to take place

There is no written response required.

Task-based Theories
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You are to review the task-based theories of Worden (Chapter 84) and Corr (2009) noted below.

Worden (2009) suggested that we think of mourning involving four tasks: 1) to accept the reality of the loss; 2) to work through the pain of grief; 3) to adjust to the environment in which the deceased is missing; and 4) withdraw emotional energy from the deceased and reinvest in another relationship.

A distinguished thanatologist, Corr (2009) identified “task work” in coping with dying as: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. (This is not in your readings)

Suppose you are a grief counselor/therapist and will be working with the client(s) in the sketch that follows. How would you proceed to help the person(s) work through their mourning in a task-based approach? The sketch is an original from Worden; however, you may use either Worden or Corr’s task-based perspective for your counseling approach.

Sketch

Son: You are 20. Your Dad committed suicide three months ago in the garage. You have been experiencing many feelings, especially anger because he killed himself. However, most of the time you just feel depressed. You are drinking a lot and you find that it helps you feel better. You still live at
home and your mother concerned about your drinking. When she mentions it, you either get angry at her or you withdraw. You are really not sure at this point what you feel about your Dad. There is some guilt mixed in your feelings of sadness and anger you reluctantly agree to go with your mother to a counselor.

Wife: Your husband killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning three months ago. You feel both guilt and anger along with sadness. You are concerned about your son’s drinking, which has increased since his father’s death, so you have sought out a professional to help the two of you with your problems.

Counselor: Your task is to help them sort out their feelings and deal with unfinished business regarding the deceased.

This assignment requires critical thinking and we will learn from each other in your discussion of three or more paragraphs.

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