Does cause of death impact upon the expectations about grieving behaviour and/or what happens after death?

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pitstopbunny | 17:48 Tue 21st Jun 2011 | Society & Culture
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I'm writing an essay for uni, entitled anyone here able to point me in the right direction to get me started please? My tutor has mentioned 'applying theories' of grief...HELP!!!


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I'm not sure what is meant by the 'expectations of grieving behaviour' but I do know that if one of my loved ones slipped away quietly in their sleep I would be a lot more accepting than if they had been tortured to death.
grief comes in many forms, anger, rage, disbelief that the loved one has gone, upset that you can no longer hold them, have a conversation, nor get them back, sadness for losing someone you cared about, and sometimes its relief when they die, if they have suffered. If the person were killed by another, a violent death, then i would think that you would feel rage and would want that person hurt, or certainly locked away, but the disbelief, grief would still be there. I am not sure either example are all that different, its quite a difficult subject, because its rarely spoken of.
As to what happens after death, no one knows, many people believe that theres a lot more to come afer we die, or we come back as another being, but quite frankly i don't believe that, once we are gone that's it.
But others may have a completely different take on all of this.
Whereas I differ from Carmalee...

My Uncle, who I was very close to, died unexpectedly. It hit me very hard. The grief, for me, was very very intense, especially in the first month or so.

2 days after he died my Dad (his brother) was told that he has 'suspected' liver cancer. I was very wrapped up in Uncles death and just hoped that they 'suspected' wrong with Dad.

With Dad, even though they hadn't confirmed the worse, I knew their suspicions were right (I'd expressed concerns at least 6 months before)'s a kind of living grief. It was just a waiting game but I knew, and the family knew, that he was on limited time.

When they did finally confirm still hit hard, but we were prepared. There was no shock to the news.

Dads drawn out illness, and his eventual death, was a very slow process. I don't think I really came to terms with it for over two years (he died just over 3 years ago)

Uncle died in his evidence of a heart attack or anything else wrong. Simply, his heart stopped, he went to sleep and never woke up. Although the grief was intense, the way he died was a comfort.

Dad died in immense pain....that fact made the grieving process so much harder. I wasn't just grieving for the loss of my Dad....I was emotionally battered having to watch it happen and see what he went through.

I still have flash backs.... answer your question. Yes, I think the cause of death has a massive impact on how we grieve.
oh ummmm - xC
you haven't given a word count, but this should be quite straightforward:

i would break it down into types of deaths, eg natural old age, early age terminl disease, SI8DS, murder, misadventure and suicide and then show grieving stages within these areas eg. sudden v expected ends.

then i'd compare and contrast cultural 'expectations' (eg historically suicide was honourable in japan and queen victoria mourned for 25 years etc) with current realities and anecdotes/quotes. i'd also bring in the recent fashion for facebook tributes and non-religious aspects of funerals.

also, osama bin laden was buried at sea: what about revenge and martyrdom??

cath x
Ditto ummm. I went wild for a few years afterwards and only realised many years later that it was compensating behaviour.
When you lose your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles etc, yes, you grieve, but the grief eventually lessens as their deaths are the natural order of things.
Losing a child is a different kind of grief - it never goes
Answering your question pitstop, you need to establish a normative pattern or model of grieving and test it against different circumstances of deaths. If poss do a synthesis which enables you to point to a revised theory.
For example take the usual denial-anger- acceptance sort of cycle and show how it may be altered by differing scenarios. Hopefully the answers here will provide evidence.
Blimey seadogg - looks AND brains! lol
MY GOD how can you address this one...grief from the loss of a loved one through age/sickness/ violence ? from a young /baby lost...from natural /murder, the list goes on..grief willusually take the form of disbelief/anger/rage/sorrow/regret and as for behaviour...aggression,seclusion,lying,addict
etc etc
Businessballs is a wonderful site, seadogg - I find so many resources there.
doesn't surprise me at all boxtops!
Standard work is Murray Parkes and prior to that Kubler-Ross you would almost certainly be expected to refer to them probably as a starting point. Worth looking at the value of ritual in the grief process...permissive nature of funerals etc as well as cultural expectations...
not just cause but circumstances
make sure you apply the theories and correctly reference them too! get loads of diverse books and explain the theories in your own words.

As woofgang says circumstances alter things a lot, My father died very suddenly at the age of 75, but throughout his life he'd been close to death several times through various illnesses in fact he'd been that close to death that he'd received the last rites on three separate occasions and survived, so when he did die it was a bit of an anti-climax not that we didn't grieve it was more a case of "oh well it finally happened". When my mother died she literally dropped dead in a shop and even though she was also 75 you'd never have realised it if you didn't know her and her death really hit all the family hard, we all thought she'd always be there, but one thing we all came to realise was that no matter the shock to us we were glad they both went like they did,they were both physically and mentally fit and then they were gone, no pain, no suffering, somebody just switched the light off
I should probably Dad was only 59 when he died. So you can add anger to my grief. I was so angry that a man who worked so hard all his life did never get to retire.
Not getting a chance to say goodbye can have a big impact too. We knew my dad was going to die and I suppose in our heads we'd imagined that we'd alll be with him at the end.

In reality, he seemed to having a good day so mum and I popped out ( to order flowers for his mothers funeral ) and came back to find him lying dead in the bathroom. The shock of this, plus the immense guilt I felt ( and still feel ) that we let him down at the end turned what we thought we were prepared for into a living nightmare
I think you have to follow your tutor's advice and find out firstly what the 'theories' for grief are? Whose theory is it and how relevant each theory is to different circumstances of death and whether each step is manifested in order the theory suggests....or something?

I was watching 'The Greatest' yesterday (another coincedence or what?) and that good film explored the impact of a death of a son on the father, mother and brother. It was quite deep and very interesting as you saw the way each character grieved. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon - one and a half hours long if you get the chance to watch it. Good luck with essay.

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